Short and Simple: The Business Analyst is not the Business Expert, is not the Subject Matter Expert (SME) – the Business Analyst cannot create the Requirements all by themselves. Even if they were the SME at one point, and came to be a BA by way of testing, they will soon be out of the loop and their knowledge will become dated… not a good basis for new requirements.

 So why do employers keep posting jobs for BA’s that require specific domain experience? Is it because they don’t trust their own people to be SMEs and want a BA to do it all? Even so, why does my domain experience necessarily apply, or not, at your company? It’s like saying construction workers who have built houses can’t be hired to build a shopping mall.

 Consider the BA’s a company already has; they will likely have started in one business area and done a few projects in one domain, but then other projects in other domains need to get done. Do you ignore your own BA’s, or do you expect them to work successfully in a new domain? The latter is the reality; In my first job I worked in a corporate systems area that had more domains and systems than people; as a PM, BA, or Developer, you had to be able to switch domains as needed and apply your domain-independent skills to get the job done.

 I have learned about a lot of domains over the years by doing requirements, forgotten a lot of it too, because the next project will always be on something else.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada