I have consistently strived to improve my English in presentations, conferences, meetings, and classes. However, despite my intense dedication, my Brazilian accent persists. I was born and raised in Brazil, and Portuguese is my native language. Anyone listening to me speak English immediately recognizes that I come from a different background. Similarly, business analysis carries its distinct roots.
The Origin of Business Analysis
Originating from the Information Technology (IT) environment, specifically software development, business analysis evolved from the challenges faced by software experts: creating something of quality through a structured process. This necessity gave rise to software engineering, incorporating principles from traditional engineering into the software realm.
As time progressed, it became apparent that understanding the real needs of users was one of the most complex aspects of software development. Requirements engineering emerged as a specialization, addressing these needs in a more structured manner by eliciting, analyzing, documenting, and managing requirements.
Although these disciplines significantly propelled software development, it became clear that software development lacked a clearer definition of what the business expected as outcomes. Developing software is just one part of something more complex: business development. The shift from technology to business focus led to the emergence of business analysis.
Blend of Accents in Business Analysis
In addition to techniques and concepts from software and requirements engineering, business analysis incorporated knowledge from various areas such as process reengineering, management, finance, and marketing. However, the IT accent still resonates strongly in the language we use to present business analysis.
This IT accent can, in some situations, hinder the understanding of business analysis for professionals from other areas, limiting its application to the software engineering domain from which it originated. This should be avoided.
Care for Those with an Accent
In my case, I am not ashamed to be Brazilian, and I understand that my accent is part of the characteristics that form my personality. That’s why I present myself internationally as The Brazilian BA. Still, I always take care to speak in a way that can be understood by anyone, avoiding my accent becoming a barrier to communication.
Similarly, we should be concerned with presenting business analysis in a way that is understood by everyone, preventing the IT accent from becoming a communication barrier.
Communication for a Broader Audience
Fortunately, business analysis is much more diverse and plural than I am, able to draw contributions from authors, speakers, and enthusiasts from various backgrounds. The collective contribution to the development of this discipline will make it broader and more comprehensive, fulfilling its original mission of providing better business outcomes for organizations.
As a discipline, business analysis is still very young. The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) has just celebrated its 20th anniversary. Our language can be adjusted to welcome more professionals, allowing them to benefit from the practices we use. Let’s join forces to build a more diverse and global business analysis capable of transcending borders and positively transforming organizations.