Following on from the moving from being a software engineer to data engineer blog series, I thought it would be useful to follow a similar pattern looking at how business analysts migrate to the role of delivery lead.
The hope is that people who are considering becoming a delivery lead use these blog posts to make a more informed choice, by identifying the skills required to make the transition, and highlighting the similarities in the two roles.
Today I am interviewing Martin Noble.
What inspired you to make the move from being a BA to a DL?
I spent a large part of my career as a BA and over time found myself more and more stepping into the delivery side of things. I have a passion for ownership and moving things forward.
I got a buzz from seeing how requirements actually turn into actual delivery and seeing something going live to production with the end user.
I always felt that a business analyst should really care about what they are delivering and its outcome, rather than just thinking about the requirements/tickets that they may throw over the fence. I often found myself accidentally stepping up into the DL role, and helping to make sure that the team got the project over the line.
This meant that more often than not, I was inadvertently doing bits of a DL role as part of my day-to-day BA role and started to enjoy that extra responsibility.
What are the key skills you have gained as a BA that has helped you as a DL?
I love working with people, teams, clients and stakeholders. I think that my BA background helped me realise how important it is to build solid relationships with both the team and stakeholders.
What do you see as the major differences between the two roles?
I feel that a big part of being a DL is to understand the bigger picture rather than just the lower level detail that a BA may focus on.
The DL role tries to keep everyone connected and informed. It’s all about knowing the right level of information for everyone and moving towards the same goal.
I think that as a BA I was very focused on organising people and tasks, whether that was in sprint planning or in other ceremonies. Now my focus tends to be fostering the right culture for the team to self-organise and take ownership of something. It’s nice to see people in your team grow and go that extra mile for the client.
In terms of my job satisfaction as a DL, it feels good to build solid relationships and trust with both the client and team. It’s really nice to hear feedback on something that the team has done particularly well or delivered. It feels good to me when I share that positive feedback with the team and we all pull together in the same direction.
Any advice for prospective DLs out there?
I think my main piece of advice is to not be afraid that you don’t have all the answers.
I really like the phrase that there is “no I in team”!
It’s nice as a DL to try to build a team of people that you really trust and depend on. Try to remember that your team can always help provide the answers that you may not know.
Do you have any regrets about making the move?
I don’t actually. I love being a DL and see my time as a BA as being part of that journey.
I have worked with some great people and clients in my time at Equal Experts and I would certainly recommend any BA to consider a DL role in the future.