A Business Process Analyst (BPA) is a speciality Business Analyst Role that involves “thinking processes”. BPAs draw inferences from process details and link these inferences to the big picture by considering business objectives in identifying process improvements. A Business Process Analyst typically has the ability to structure a large amount of information within a process framework.
The good news for anyone who likes variety at work is that this is a wide-ranging role that can see you immersed in a variety of different projects. In general, you will work with business teams and the IT Department to find the best way to design new processes and solve process-related problems. This will often involve mapping existing processes and designing improved ones. Let´s not forget that the different parts of a company often speak different languages, so one of the tasks of the Business Process Analyst is to interpret business requirements for IT staff. As a BPA, you will often find yourself holding meetings, researching processes, collecting data, analysing information and performing related tasks. It is generally an office-based job, though it may involve a reasonable amount of travel to meet with end users, observe processes in action and meet the key stakeholders of your project.
Business Process Analysts have knowledge of process mapping and business process reengineering. They analyse business processes and workflows with the objective of finding out how they can be improved or automated. They facilitate process workshops, after which they document any information elicited using process maps and business requirements documents. They may also be involved in documenting procedures and presenting new process designs to stakeholders for discussion.
Other activities Business Process Analysts get involved in include:
- Managing process change
- Leading process redesign workshops
- Educating business users responsible for managing and operating business processes
- Monitoring, measuring and providing feedback on process performance
- Facilitating process workshops that involve eliciting process requirements and liaising with users
- Applying their knowledge of business process modelling notations (BPMN, EPC, BPEL) to documenting processes.
Business Process Analysts are often required to understand how ERP, BPM, CRM and BI tools operate. An understanding of protocols like SOAP, WSDL, XML and other key protocols is also desirable.
Business Process Analysts must be able to see the big picture, understand project objectives and be able to apply their understanding of how processes should work to operational improvement initiatives.
Business Process Analysts may come from operations, computer science or a business background.
No matter how interesting or varied a role is, the salary is one of the main factors to take into account. These days, none of us can afford to work purely for pleasure. Thankfully, the Business Process Analyst role provides the chance to earn a good salary. In the last few months the average UK salary for this position is reported as being £37,500. Clearly some companies offer more than others, with salaries over £80,000 available but not very common.
QUALIFICATIONS, EXPERIENCE AND CERTIFICATIONS
As with most jobs, there are some qualifications and training courses that can help you land a good position. Having said that, it is more common for vacancies to list the specific skillset and experience sought rather than ask for certain qualifications, although a decent level of education is almost always expected. A good candidate will typically have a strong analytical background, be a problem solver and have excellent diagramming and communication skills. A proven ability to run workshops and meetings is also valued by employers. As the role involves dealing with clients and other business areas, it is expected that a BPA will have a good way of dealing with clients, selling ideas to them and delivering excellent customer service. As we can see from all of the above, it is the sort of role that is perfectly suited to someone with a wide range of different skills rather than a candidate that has simply studied a certain discipline.
Certifications a Business Process Analyst may consider pursuing include:
- Lean/Six Sigma Certification.
- BPM Certification (AIIM BPM Certificate, Certification from BPMInstitute.org, ABPMP’s Certified Business Process Professional (CBPP®)). See post from the Process Excellence Network on 8 Business Process Management (BPM) training providers.
- BA Certification (CBAP/CCBA, BCS BA Certification, PMI-PBA, etc).
Other skills that will come in useful in this job include an understanding of ERP, BPMS and statistical/data analysis skills.
Professional associations to consider joining include:
APPLYING FOR A POSITION
As we have seen, it takes quite a number of varied skills to make a successful Business Process Analyst. With this in mind, any job application you make should show how you are a well-rounded worker who meets the kind of profile that is needed. The more boxes you can tick from that list in terms of qualification, certification and experience, the better. It can be a smart move to get into the position by volunteering to work on a change project on a secondment basis from your current role. Otherwise, you could find it useful to take some courses on relevant subjects in order to fill out your CV well and adapt your skills more perfectly to the role.
The Business Process Analyst role offers a very rewarding way of working that is absolutely ideal for some professionals. If you currently meet the wide-ranging skillset required then it can give you the opportunity to use them all in a variety of projects. If you are lacking in some areas, enhancing your profile in those areas is a smart move.