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Are Business Analysts Good Management Consultants?

This article is a controversial topic today about whether business analysts are good management consultants. It can be considered controversial because there is no perfect answer to the question.

How are business analysts and management consultants different?

While there is no perfect definition of the difference between the two roles, it is important for us to understand that roles and jobs are not necessarily governed by definitions. Both business analysts and management consultants work to solve a business problem for the client with a specific goal in mind.

Personally, I don’t think there is a clear distinction between the two roles. As a consultant, I have in the past performed requirements planning, gathering, and documentation (some of the core functions of business analysts), but have also worked on project management, change management, stakeholder meetings beyond gathering requirements, creating assets, performing gap analysis, etc. . So, in essence, I would be anywhere between a business analyst or a project manager icon.

Are Business Analysts Good Management Consultants?

In the strict context of a role definition, a BA is most often dealing with IT in one way or another. Consultants, on the other hand, I think could also be in a non-IT consulting area. This, while debatable, could potentially be seen as an area of ​​difference between the two roles.

Once again, before jumping into firing the gun, I’d like to point out that this is not always the case. I know that my consulting experience involves solving client problems with the use of technology and information technology. Per the CBAP manual, experience in the following areas would not be considered for the CBAP experience criteria.

– Creation of project plans and identification of project risks, weekly project status reports, leading design workshops, creation of the project charter or system architecture, execution of tests, etc.

Personally, I think that sucks. I believe that learning beyond the role is an incredible tool for professional success. But I guess CBAP excludes these work experiences for a reason justified by its end. An important reason could be to differentiate the CBAP certification from the PMP certification or any other certification.

Fortunately, the industry and companies are always looking for people who can stretch beyond their role. We all know in life that the roles of business analysts or consultants are never restrictive. At least I haven’t seen a company say NO when a BA wants to take on more project management responsibilities.

So, are business analysts good management consultants?

In my opinion, BAs are exceptional consultants. In certain areas, BAs may need to extend beyond their role to support areas not covered by the scope of business analysts, such as business processes or project management, change management, etc. But I think that’s the trick to a great consultant. So if you’re looking to be a top consultant, starting out as a BA could be your first step to success.

So even though from a pure context perspective BAs and consultants may differ, I feel like we’re actually the same in a lot of areas and we share our responsibilities. While management consultants may range from strategy, process, operations, or other functional consulting areas, business analysts may be narrowing their area of ​​expertise if they want to proceed strictly by the handbook guidelines.

Let’s keep in mind: CMC or CBAP, certifications are just credentials that are enablers. The real world experience could be quite different. So keeping an open mind would certainly help.

CBAP® is a registered trademark owned by the International Institute for Business Analysis

CMC® is a registered trademark owned by The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes

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