With the boom in outsourcing and the attention of firms shifting to include efficacy at lesser cost, more BA roles are being created offshore. Not to say that all jobs are being shipped offshore, but we definitely see companies becoming more receptive to not restricting a business analyst function being only a customer facing role. The world of outsourcing has now evolved to the hybrid model (on site / offshore model of outsourcing and in some cases near coast for tactical reasons). In fact I know a good deal of companies that have as a mandate for bargains a 40:60 rule in regards to projects. 40% onsite and 60% offshore to better leverage the capacities offshore and of course manage the project margins better. Organizations, project managers and prospects frequently struggle to grow the offshore amounts and lessen the onsite number (70:30) or so in the interest of margins.
Traditionally from the IT and the ITES sector, the offshore roles were limited to growth.
How does it affect you as a business analyst?
If you are a programmer or a developer, then this could be your golden opportunity to scale up into a BA role. Today there’s a major gap between the requirement for BA and the supply of superior BA candidates in market. While organizations are searching for quality resources which can scale up from being mere developers and software programmers or testers to take up the roles of solution designers and alternative providers. While requirement gathering may be one part of your job, BA functions are expanding to add more responsibilities from the name of optimization.
If you are a developer or a developer seeking to scale up to this function of a BA, bear in mind, the task isn’t straightforward. I have in the past had emails from readers, who only send me their profile and request me to perform a magic to get them in a BA role. With an Alastair Majury business analyst role, this is really a “no-no.”
Should you wish to become a business analyst, you need to be happy to spend the efforts to scale up from the present role and enlarge your area of responsibilities with restricted to no oversight. You’ll have to think from the box (Think outside the bun as it says in Taco Bell ads) and look at adding value to the project and business. All these are sure shot ways to success. I’d rather adhere to these time-tested methods than attempting my feet onto short cuts.
Simple – Scale-up. Take on more responsibilities in your offshore function. I know it is easier said the done. But that is your only solution to move up the chain for a company analyst. Please also bear in mind that a business advisor role includes its own challenges, duties and of course benefits. If you are seeking to be an offshore company analyst or are currently in an offshore company advisor function, then some pointers below may help you.
Communication Challenges – An offshore business analyst frequently gets struck in the web of communication. Being abroad is both an advantage and a drawback. It’s an advantage because you are more affordable distributing to more options and opportunities. It is a dis-advantage since you never really know exactly what the client is thinking, just how he/she is reacting to your comments and what’s lost in translation and interpretation over the telephone.
So you as an offshore company analyst will have to put in double the amount of effort to handle client perception than an onshore company analyst. Make no mistake – Onsite business advisor functions are equally hard if not much harder at times. I could be an ideal example. As somebody who has been the surface of the project for the client, being chewed and crushed in handling perceptions yet swimming through to preserve, I had the chance of being an onsite and an offshore business analyst / management consultant. Listening and communicating is your heart to be good at an offshore function.
The power of the practice is obviously in question based on the intricacy of the business requirement but with effort and time we could evolve to be better in the offshore business advisor role.
Standardization of processes – Traditionally it’s merely the testing and development phase of the projects that were typically done offshore. However, things are changing progressively. Now customers require that even the requirement collecting be done offshore through telephone and other modes of digital communication. Though a large challenge, it is well accommodated by the industry.If you are an offshore company analyst, consider standardizing your requirement gathering process. According to your business and past project experience, come up with powerful survey’s which could assist the client answer as many questions as possible to provide clarity on scope and requirements. If you do not understand an answer, ensure you do what’s needed to get clarity from the client on the question. Never assume a response no matter how plausible the response might appear.