Monday, January 24, 2011

Customer Requirements: It's Not Just for Business Analysts Anymore

I heard something today that never occurred to me before.  It was suggested that ITSM process design and improvement tasks are best assigned to Business Analysts in the IT organization.  The theory being that any tasks requiring the gathering of business requirements inherently belongs to the Business Analyst.  Since ITSM process design includes gathering and assessment of business requirements, the Business Analysts are best prepared to handle the job.

Now I realize all companies are different, and the role "Business Analyst" can mean just about anything to anyone.  I just find it interesting that the task of gathering and managing requirements should land exclusively with the Business Analyst.  In the changing IT landscape where we ask all IT staff to become more "business savvy", does it seem a little outdated?  If anything, I'd recommend prioritizing training in requirements gathering for all IT staff.

Think about it.  Will your star WAN architect ever be in a meeting with a business manager?  Will your Service Desk Manager have use for understanding business requirements when maintaining or reporting on the Service Catalog?  Of course.  How could she do her job without that fundamental skill set?

And yet, even with all the knowledge we have about consumerization of IT, the message still prevails.  We know technical skills are becoming a commodity, but we're still stuck in the old way of thinking.  It's time to break out.

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