Build a "career" traceability matrix
Filed Under: Career Advice
Once you start working as a Business Analyst, you quickly learn that business requirements (that you gather, elicit, and analyze) tend to balloon-up if left unchecked. Ballooning requirements can cause downstream impacts on cost, time, or quality of the end product or project outcome.
As a Business Analyst, aka the conduit between the business stakeholders and the product development team, it is your job to manage and groom these requirements. And one of the best things you can do to monitor this situation is to meticulously maintain a requirements traceability matrix, which helps you “identify and document the lineage of each requirement (A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge aka BABOK).
In a nutshell
This exercise of creating and maintaining a traceability matrix ensures that the end product always ties back to the original business goal. The intent here is to ensure that time, effort, and resources are not wasted on activities that provide little or no value in meeting business goals. The same is true for your career goals.
Now, let’s suppose that you’re looking to kickstart or progress your career in business analysis. Next, you discover way too many courses, workshops, seminars, meetups, and conferences that you could possibly engage with. You hope and pray that engaging in these activities will somehow help further your business analysis career. While I believe that no learning is ever wasted, I think a more focused and mindful approach in choosing career activities that directly tie back to your overarching career goals will be the best use of your time, effort, and energy. Build your own career traceability matrix!
What’s different about this approach is the tactical focus on planning, preparing, and meeting deadlines while still keeping the big picture in view. Sure, the article is rooted in academia, but the concept itself is readily applicable to any goal-setting project. And right now is the perfect time to hit the reset button. Clear out the mental cobwebs. Think hard about your personal and professional goals. Make and commit to your resolutions for the new year.
Hey! I know a lot is going on in the world today that we can’t control. But there should be nothing to stop us from rolling up our sleeves and get down to the serious business of “designing” our ideal lives and careers as best as we can by removing the clutter, confusion and noise that has likely built over time.