Hard and Soft

No, not about Brexit…  More about styles of Business Analyst.

I’ve been doing some conferences recently, and the best bit of them is getting to meet lots of other BAs and exchanging ideas. And seeing what other BAs think is important in their jobs.

Now this is blog about modelling, so you’d expect me to be on the lookout for fellow modellers, but I seemed to meet a surprising number of BAs who seem to think that modelling is some kind of deep-technical, fringe activity for BAs. There are still lots of us modellers our there, so I wonder if there is a split opening-up in the BA world. I’ll characterize them as ‘hard‘ and ‘soft‘, with no suggestion that one is ‘better’ than the other – both are needed to be a useful BA:

Soft – concentrating on workshop techniques, frameworks which allow for better interaction with stakeholders, and clearer communications. I saw lots of presentations about visual techniques of all kinds, and many were really engaging.

Hard – concentrating on the ‘Analyst’ part of the job title: taking the knowledge gathered in workshops and meetings, and trying to make sense of it using models. Still using visual techniques, but less ‘friendly’ ones, needed more still to engage with.

Is this a ‘thing’? Or did I just meet a non-representative sample?