Responsible for the evaluation, design and implementation of SAP software for businesses across many industries, this month in our ongoing blog series Bang Your Drum we investigate the essential qualities that make for great SAP Business Analysts.
WHAT TO KNOW
Like a good multi-purpose tool, SAP Business Analysts (BA) need to be able to perform several tasks. Whether it’s analysing the needs of ERP, CRM or financial and HR platforms, implementing upgrades programs or providing product support and training, they must have the ability to assess current needs, anticipate future requirements, and provide solutions for companies looking for greater integration of their business operations.
Read on to discover the core requirements employers are looking for when considering a new BA.
1. Sound technical chops
Let’s face it: if you’re going to be assessing and forecasting the needs of complex business operation software, you are going to need to have a sound technical understanding of SAP and the solution you are working on. Remember, you don’t need to be THE expert (you will have a project full of experts), but you are certainly going to need enough knowledge that you can talk the talk.
2. Relationship skills
You will be liaising with people from all levels of the business, and you’re going to need to be good at fitting in around their already busy work life. After all, you’ll be meeting with them and keeping them accountable for actions or deadlines given. That’s where your ability to build strong relationships and communicate effectively comes in, to keep the wheels turning on your project.
3. The confidence to say NO
When it really comes down to it, many requirements that business might ask for are “pie in the sky requests” and can usually be spotted a mile off. And while a healthy, encouraging optimism is a great asset to have, ensure that you’re realistic about what can be done. It’s really the only way to guide the business to requirements that can actually be implemented successfully.
4. It’s not what you know… it’s who and how you know.
A strong BA will ideally have the knowledge of whom they need to approach within the organisation, to get the information they need to get the job done… or at the least, the resourcefulness to uncover that information for themselves!
5. A degree of elasticity
There are many, many tasks that a BA does day to day. A good BA then is one who is flexible enough to jump in at any stage of a project’s lifecycle and lend a hand. Regardless of whether it’s testing, training staff or assisting with data activities, it pays to be that person who can effortlessly switch gears and pitch in wherever needed.
6. A little bit of MacGyver
Projects will always have unexpected challenges and roadblocks. The ability then to truly problem-solve – to think clearly and quickly to resolve issues – is therefore imperative to avoiding issues that risk delaying the projects. And if all else fails, knowing how to whip up a functioning parachute in mid air out of a shirt and your shoelaces is a neat skill to have in your back pocket.
7. A touch of Project Management magic
You’ll be working close with the Project Manager. The more understanding you have of the challenges a PM faces, such as project timelines etc., will help ensure you both succeed in getting the project over the line.
And there you have it. A good SAP Business Analyst will bring with them flexibility, reliability, and the quiet confidence necessary to steer with a firm hand when required – does that sound like you? If so, it may be time to closely analyse the options available to you…