Should a business analyst troubleshoot technical problems?

Is it a common practice for BAs to be the last level of support in today’s e commerce world?

It seems that a BA wears many hats where I work, not only taking on the role of a BA, but helping with QA, support, and documentation.

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2 Responses to "Should a business analyst troubleshoot technical problems?"

  1. Vrtigo1   January 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    There are varying definitions of ‘business analyst’. I assume you mean someone that does programming – that’s what it means where I work. If so, yes, it’s common for them to perform all the roles you listed. In very large corporations, those roles are handled by individual groups, but in smaller organizations, the lines tend to blur somewhat and you end up wearing many hats like you’ve indicated you do.

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  2. LoverOfWine   January 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    With due respect to the other answerer, a BA should never be doing any significant amount of programming expect in the smallest of companies.

    If a BA is doing a BA just then they are not necessarily technical in nature so they wouldn’t be able to assist in troubleshooting technical issues. Their job is to understand and translate business needs to requirements for architects and developers. That, for the most part, should be technology agnostic.

    Not to mention that the technology in eCommerce can change so rapidly they wouldn’t be able to keep up.

    That said, depending on the company and the person, everyone can wear many hats. I’m a System (Infrastructure) architect but I play PM, BA, developer, tester, etc. depending on the circumstances.

    Ideally, the answer is no. Practically the answer is the probably can’t or shouldn’t. Pragmatically maybe.

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