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Is it best for Business Analysts to reside in business units or in IT? That is a question NOREX member organizations discussed during a recent BA best-practices WebForum.

Organizational considerations

Much of the session was devoted to organizational issues including the question of having dedicated BAs versus BAs who perform other tasks, and whether BAs should reside in IT or in the business units. (Some organizations refer to them as BSAs…Business System Analysts)


Michelle T.: Our BAs do not do technical support/help disk issues.  Our BAs are responsible for business changes not M&O.

Shawn P.: We try to separate technical support from BSA's.   Agree that sometimes BSA is the first point of contact for the applications they support.

Holly S.: BSAs should serve as an escalation point when needed but not directly managing help desk tickets

Curtis H.: To the extent that the BA gets involved in actual project implementation then they may be called on to provide technical support

Donna B.: BA should be part of the hand-off, knowledge transfer to the help desk; this needs to be a transition to allow them to move forward with the next project.

Curtis H.: We are moving to a new process where the BAs are supposed to be involved with project planning but not involved with project execution.  Whether or not that holds will depend on resources.


Kelli G.: Part of the IT department, it allows a fluid conversation between developers and the business units, the liaison so to speak.

Miguel O.: We have BAs in both but the BAs in embedded in depts. are more like administers instead of analysts.

Shawn P.: By having BSA in IT, it is their job to get the work done.  If in the business they wouldn’t be able to dedicate the time to get their work done because they’d have their "real" jobs to do.

James P.: In some cases, BAs could be "owners" of specific products and could reside in business or in IT.

Dennis A.: I think a good BA can go from project to project and do a great job as long as they have good BA skills.  They can do their research to become familiar with the business itself.

Eric S.: Our BAs are technically part of IT, but detached from our Infrastructure team.  This unfortunately leaves us in a sort of limbo where we don't completely know all of IT's capabilities, but also do  not know all of the Business's application uses.

The session also included discussion on optimal project volume, the development of a PM “Center of Excellence” and usage of the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge framework. (BABOK)

Members may download the Business Analyst Role & Best Practices notes any time. For more information, please contact NOREX.