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TBAC 008 | BA Interviews, Season 1 : Sakheb Alim – BA by coincidence

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo5

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In this episode of TheBACoach podcast I interview Sakheb Alim from Toronto, Canada. He is a Business Analyst and project management consultant. He describes his transition from a developer to BA as a pure ‘coincidence’. His transition was motivated by his company beginning to outsource the developer positions. At this point in his career he feels extremely blessed, and lucky to be a BA and has no regret that he asked his manager to move him to Business Analyst role.

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Why he likes being a BA?

“It is a very versatile field.  I am not limited to just one industry, such as IT or Finance, etc.  At times, it is a lot less stressful than being a developer! The field of Business Analysis is in it’s growth phase for now, so it’s a good time to be a BA.”

Here is a sneak peek of the episode:

  • How outsourcing motivated him to take up a BA role
  • His transition from being a developer to a BA
  • His tips on pitching yourself to transition from a developer to BA
  • How he deals with problems of scope as created by stakeholders
  • Stakeholders having conflicting views, and how he overcomes this challenge
  • The secret behind his impressive LinkedIn profile
  • His experience on introducing the BA role to his current organization

Insightful quotes from this episode:

“I spoke with the management, and I told them I want to give it a shot (to take up a BA role)”

“I am glad they took the chance, because it worked out for me, and I haven’t looked back since…”

“I think it would have been much difficult if I had gone from developer to BA in a completely new organization”

“I guess they thought its easier to replace a developer, than to find a BA”

” I like it because I am really not chained to my desk, like when I was a developer”

“Also as a BA, I am more versatile, I am not tied to one industry”

“A BA is a little harder to replace, not impossible, especially since they know a business inside out”

“Its harder to outsource BAs, but its happening though(esp for one-off projects, like migration)”

“People tend to dwell on the solution, more than understanding what their problem is”

“With experience you get better at anticipating the problems ”

“You have to keep clarifying, that seems to be the only way”

“The best way to deal with it, is just confront the issue”

“You shouldn’t just rely on experience, eventually with time everybody has experience”

“My benchmark is one big certification per year”

“Get certifications on not just BA related realm, but also in the industry where you want to work”

“Try and get involved in interesting projects at work”

“You got to socialize outside of your immediate working group”

“its never too early, the earlier the better (to have a document reviewed by stakeholders)”

“At the end of the day we are measured in dollars and cents”

“Keep studying”

Items mentioned in the show:

Sakheb Alim in brief:

10 years experience in IT; almost all of it in Finance / Insurance industry for Private and Crown corporations. Academic background: Degrees in Computer Science and in Management science.

If you have any comments or questions for this episode, please post them below.

Enjoy the show!


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I am a passionate and practicing business analyst, author, and blogger from Toronto, Canada. I host this blog, and podcast to help business analysts throughout the world, do analysis better, by providing educational, relevant, and inspiring content. Musically driven by Eagles, Lucky Ali, and Linkin Park. Huge fan of Colts, Leafs, and Indian cricket team. To be in the loop for latest member-only resources, and news from The BA Coach be sure to sign-up for our free eNewsletter. View more BA passion painted with digital ink by Yamo!    

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bharat July 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Yamo, This interview was really great. Very truly said, “Keep Studying” & “At the end of the day we are measured in dollars and cents”, the former one keeps us engaged and involved.

Thanks Yamo for such a great podcast, and Sakheb specially for sharing your experiences with The BA Coach.

Reply

Sakheb Alim July 27, 2011 at 12:21 am

Thanks again Yamo, I enjoyed doing the podcast. I think it’s really well presented here. I really like the sneak peek section…it summarizes the whole episode perfectly.

Reply

Katie Metcalfe August 16, 2011 at 1:48 am

Enjoyed this interview and the pointers included by Sakheb!! Keep studying is so important for us BA’s.

Reply

Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo August 16, 2011 at 2:46 am

yeah absolutely, Katie! Thanks for the comment, and echoing the essence of this episode!

Reply

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