WBISCT Pty Ltd – Enterprise Architecture Consulting and Training

The difference between business architect and business analyst

Extract from Nick Malik (6th April 2012)

Definitions

Business Architect – A role within various types of enterprises (business, government, non-profit) that is focused on collecting information on the strategic positioning of an area of activity (line of business, business unit, department, team, etc.) and creating a clear picture of the capability gaps that may impede that area from reaching it’s full and required potential.

Business Analyst – A role either within an information technology division of an enterprise, or within a non-IT team serving as a key point of contact with an IT division.  This role is focused on understanding the root cause of a specific business problem in order to develop the IT requirements needed to address that problem.

(Inevitably, someone will ask me where I got those definitions.  I made them up.  I reserve the right to be wrong.)

Comparison

Both of these fields analyze the business… but that is where their similarities end.  Let me repeat that: Business Architects analyze the business.  Business analysts analyze the business.

Business ArchitectBusiness Analyst
WhyTo uncover the gaps between strategic needs of a business unit, and their abilities to meet those needs, and to charter initiatives to fill those gaps.To develop and document the detailed knowledge of a business problem that an initiative has been chartered to address.
HowAnalysis of future-looking strategies, capturing of capabilities, and modelling of inter- and intra- business relationships needed to discover the key capability gaps that a business must be prepared to face, along with the development of cross-functional roadmaps to address them.  System requirements are NOT captured.Interviews with existing business stakeholders and SMEs to elicit business rules, understand processes, information, and systems in use, and detailing the consequences (intentional or not) of making a business change to address a specific issue.  The primary result of this activity is the document of System Requirements.
WhenOngoing process that is triggered by periodic strategy cycles within a businessAs-needed activity that is triggered AFTER a problem has been identified and requirements for a solution are needed.
WhoBusiness or IT Generalists with a strong understanding of business functional issues, interdependencies, and business structural concerns.  Must be excellent at capability analysis.  Must leverage modelling and rigorous analysis skills.Business or IT Generalists with a strong understanding of information and application interdependencies, requirements analysis, and system development methodologies.  Must be excellent at IT requirements elicitation.  Must leverage modelling and rigorous analysis skills.
WhatBusiness motivational models, Value Streams, Scenarios, Capability models, Heat Maps, Funding Maps, Risk mapsBusiness Requirements, Business Rules, Use Cases, and Detailed Business Process descriptions

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