Whether you’re just starting your BA career search, or are a practicing BA that’s looking to change jobs, you’ve probably looked into start-up companies for opportunities and found that they rarely (if ever) post positions for BA roles.
Subject matter experts? Yes.
Developers? YES. Definitely yes.
Business Analysts? Almost never.
Why is this exactly?
Reason 1: The Cost Can’t Be Justified
No company would be able to survive in a seriously competitive environment if 5% to 10% of its workforce was made up of business analysts. Add 1 BA to a 10 person team, and you’ve just increased the workforce by 10%. Most start-up companies run on shoe-string budgets and have to be very prudent when spending their money.
Instead, you’ll see them hiring for roles such as “product manager” or “product evangelist”. These roles require some business analysis skills, but they are much broader, and go far beyond the traditional BA skill-set. Even if you see someone with the title of “business analyst”, they are probably doing a whole lot more than just BA work.
Reason 2: There’s No Room For a “Middle-Man”
Even if the start-up can afford to dedicate a whole resource to the BA role, they probably won’t get the value they want from their investment.
A big part of a BA’s value comes from making sure that the business and IT can align their objectives and efforts enough to come up with solutions that work for the company. Having a solid BA onboard can breakdown some of the barriers that naturally exist between the business and technology groups (e.g. The confusion that arises from the business and IT using different language to say essentially the same thing. Or, the fact that business and IT work at completely different levels of detail when discussing requirements and solutions.)
Start-ups tend to hire developers that are keen to understand the business, and they hire businesspeople who are technologically curious (and technologically inclined). Most start-ups simply do not experience the types of issues that BA’s are there to resolve.
Adding a BA to small start-up teams may just be creating an unnecessary middle-man instead of adding real value.
- Focus your career search on companies that are a little better established, and have a real need for the hard and soft skills that BA’s bring to the table.
- If you’re interested in broadening your skill-set, then look into what it takes to become a “product manager”, or “product owner”.
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