Product Owner – The Unsung Giant

The product owner job role is a fast-emerging powerhouse profession in the tech business space. The Product owner is one of the major players in the agile workspace. The product owner is very similar to the Business analyst role in that both are the bridge or liaison between the business people or customers and the technology team. They typically understand the business needs, translate them into business requirements and communicate them to the tech team for development or creation. Regarding the complexity of functions, the PO job functions are like the BA’s. Some believe the PO role is more tasking than the BA role. Well, it depends on from which angle you are viewing it. Because the PO role seems to manage a product, it may be more prone to making decisions and carrying some accountability around it. On the other hand, the BA might do less of the above but may be involved in executing more tasks. From my own experience and that of others, both sides of the same coin are different. The only slight variation in these two roles is that a Product owner will predominantly work within an agile environment. In contrast, a Business Analyst could work on waterfall and agile projects.  Also, the PO is considered more like a managerial role as it oversees the scrum team and the Scrum master, though with minimal or no control as is obtainable in agile.

The Product Owner role is in the top bracket of earners in the tech space- higher than most job roles, including Business analysts. It attracts a healthy average salary ranging between $80k to 140 Canadian dollars depending on location, experience, and company profile.

The question you are obviously asking now is, “Why are people not talking much about it then?” My simple answer is ignorance.

If you are considering pursuing a rewarding career in tech and need more IT background, the Product owner role is an excellent option. 

Disregarding this monster of a career, considering the minimal effort you require to jumpstart the profession, you will not only be leaving money on the table, but you will also be leaving a lot out.

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How To Get a Job Faster 

Some people spend a lifetime trying to get a job. Many more might take a relatively long time to land their dream job. However, a few people don’t mess around when looking for their dream job – they hit the nail on the head, and bang, until they are there.

How can you land your dream job in the shortest possible time? Here are a few proven tips you can apply to achieve that:

 Package your Resume Professionally – Resumes are the first point of contact between you and the employer. Ensure you sell yourself well and ensure the resume covers what they are looking for. The inclusion of relevant certifications in your resume may increase your chances. Also, ensure that your resume shows work experience in your current country, e.g., Canadian experience.

Apply for jobs like it’s a job – Even though there are many jobs out there, many other people are also applying. You must apply for as many jobs as possible daily. Give yourself a short timeframe and concentrate much effort on sending in your application. Use both approaches; Spray your generically written resume for that role randomly everywhere, while in some cases, if you see a high potential with a job role, then tailor your resume to match the job description. The combination of both methods is highly recommended.

 Prepare Interview Contents Ahead – For any job role, find out all the possible types of questions that could be asked and prepare a template or model answer for each. Then practice them until they become part of you. Conduct a couple of interview demos with a mentor and correct your weaknesses. You may also need to write down acronyms and definitions on sticky notes that may come in handy during an online interview. Some things that employers use to eliminate candidates during interviews are.

Communication – You must demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively while answering the questions. How you present your speech, content, and sound is very important.

Energy Level – Ensure to show positive, friendly, and high energy levels throughout the interview. Never allow your emotions to get the better of you.

Nervousness – Do everything to avoid being nervous. Be very confident, or at least pretend to be confident. The antidote is more interviews or interview prep demos.

Cultural Fit – Research the organization’s culture and try to put yourself into that mold before the interview to be considered a fit by the employer. Try to portray your personality as fit for the role.

Fit For the Job – The fact that you were invited for an interview proves that they think you fit the job. The onus now rests on you to prove them right. The way you can do this is to answer the questions professionally as someone who knows what he or she is saying. Use the job description as a guide to prepare thoroughly to answer questions. Convince them you have done it before; even if it is something new, you can handle it. Tell them how you will use your skills and experience to add value to the organization.

Genuine Interest – Endeavour to make the employers feel that you are genuinely interested in the job but do not sound too enthusiastic anyway. The quickest way to put an employer off is not to show that you are excited about the job.

Since employers often interview many people, these are the little things they use to drop or hire candidates. If you do all these things religiously, you will land your dream job in a much shorter time.   

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How To Succeed in A New Career Role 

Change is the only permanent thing in life; the career world is not left out. Many people have transitioned from one career to another in recent times, and many more are on the verge of doing so. The technology space is one of the high-flying sectors globally today owing to its importance and huge financial rewards.  Many people are seeking to join highly rewarding and respectable career heights.

However, there are still many who are concerned about being able to succeed in a new job role.

They are bound by the fear of the unknown just like a -0s6al service will bind a vital parcel. 

The reality is that those fears are normal, but the good news is that you can overcome those fears and go ahead to succeed in your new job by following simple, practical steps. But before I go on, let me quickly remind you of your state before you knew how to drive. Aha! Just relive that picture of how you struggled initially until you got it.

Now, let’s get to the real business of this write-up. Here are some things you can do to help you quickly gain confidence, adapt, and eventually succeed in your new role

Create a checklist of what you must do within the first 2 to 3 weeks. You can add to it after you discover more upon resumption. Then start ticking off the list.

 Be as friendly as possible to everybody within and outside your team from the first day.

Ask all the questions you need to ask to get acquainted with the roles. Please ensure as much as possible that you ask relevant and meaningful questions only to avoid portraying your weaknesses or naivety. Ask questions on areas such as existing processes or procedures of doing things, tools used on the role, software/applications you will be working with, the templates used on this role, regulations guiding the team, if any, and most importantly, find out quickly what will be your responsibilities.

Start walking through everything. To make the most out of this, try and quickly identify a team member who is quite friendly and very open to sharing ideas. As you voraciously start learning the tools, software, and all other things, he or she can be your go-to person for clarifications. You must use the first 2 to 3 weeks to try and understand everything they do in the team and your role.

 Install a Screen recorder on your computer to record the early meeting conversations you have with various parties, then go back later to study them carefully.

 If the stuff you will be working with is different from what you have used and, for some reason, you are being rushed to deliver a result while you are still learning, always ask for time to provide the result. Then use that time to seek help or support from anywhere.

 Google is your friend has ceased being a cliché. It can save your career and even take you to greater heights. Please always ask Google and YouTube – practically everything on earth has an answer there.

Try as much as you can to watch them perform any of the activities you are unfamiliar with at least once before you get involved. This will allow you to learn firsthand how it is done, especially in that environment. Remember to take notes and record such activities.

After the first week, send a Thank you note to your colleagues for welcoming you heartily. Don’t underestimate what gratitude can do for you. Remember, in many organizational cultures, your attitude is as important as your aptitude.

One more piece of advice – never portray a lack of self-belief. Nobody knows it all, not even the people on the ground in your new team, as you will soon find out with time. Success is a thing of the mind, and since your mind is controlled by you alone, only you can create your success.

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How To Start a Business Analyst Career

The Business analyst profession is arguably one of the easiest roles to transition into or take up as a new career in technology. Most of the functions of a Business Analyst can pretty much be found in most professions in the world today. Suffice it to say that if you have worked in any professional capacity, the reality is that you may have performed Business Analysis functions, or you are doing so right now. The trouble is that you just may not know.

The truth is that most of the functions of the Business analyst are non-technical in nature, primarily based on a set of soft skills and knowledge of a few tools which can quickly be learned within a short time. This probably explains why it has become of the fastest routes to break into the lucrative tech industry.

So, how can you start your career path as a Business Analyst? 

Firstly, you need to have a positive mindset and a Can-Do spirit that if many others have succeeded, you will also succeed. Once the fear factor is out of the way, the next thing is to receive basic education in Business analyst functions. To be honest with you, if you are a curious and self-motivating personality, you can engage in self-help to educate or train yourself. The only challenge is that it will require more effort and time.

However, the quickest and most assured method is to receive professional training or education from established and experienced professionals. This can be achieved by attending a conventional course in college or through a short boot camp program. The latter, however, has more advantages, such as the short duration, the hands-on practical training, and a host of supporting activities to guide all through the way.

Though we recommend boot camp training for the most part, The caveat is that you should enlist only the service of those committed to providing you the relevant support throughout the journey because, trust me, you will need it. If you ever find anyone who failed to make something out of the Business analyst training program, that may be one of the main reasons.

Finally, always remember that there is a large community of Business analysts out there who share ideas and support each other and from where you can also draw inspiration when you need some.

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Why Become a Business Analyst?

Building a successful career has increasingly become more important in recent years. The demands and expectations of modern society have made it even more expedient to achieve career success and financial freedom.

There are so many careers to choose from, each with its distinct features. Choosing which career path to follow is a major challenge for many today. 

The information technology space is one of the most vital sectors today owing to its massively important role in the world. The IT sector has many roles – some technical and others nontechnical. The nontechnical IT roles require little or no technical skills, and Business Analysis is one of the front runners in that category. 

Globally, in recent years, Business analysts have become extremely popular and dominant, a phenomenon which has led to a steep rise in the number of prospective Business analysts year on year. 

But is there any other catch in becoming a Business Analyst? Of course, yes! 

There is a long list of reasons, and here are some of them.

  1. It Is Lucrative – The BA role is quite lucrative as the salary is competitive worldwide. After all, who doesn’t want financial freedom and stability? 
  1. Non-Technical – Even though the Business analyst role is largely classified as an IT role, the good news for those who want to transition into the role from a profession without technical background is that the functions of a Business Analyst are largely non-technical. Most of the responsibilities are based on soft skills you probably already have. 

One eye-catching point is that most of this role’s functions use soft and transferable skills. Luckily, research has shown that most professionals, regardless of their background, have at one time or the other used most of these skills in performing their jobs and other tasks. These include skills like communication, facilitation, documentation, time management, etc.

  1. Work-Life Balance – The BA profession is big on work-life balance. If you are looking for a profession where you can plan your work schedule effectively and still have quality time for family and other activities, then this is for you.
  2. Relevance – Well if the technology revolution continues, Business analysts will continue to be in high demand. Right now, I dare say that it is one of the most in-demand professions globally today. At the time of this write-up, the U.S. Bureau of Labor projects that the Business analyst role will grow by about 14% in the next decade, which is higher than any other role.

Still, trying to figure it out? Well, people from all walks of life – health workers, nurses, teachers, financial and customer advisors, janitors, and business owners – have taken a stroll into the Business Analysis profession and changed their lives for the better. 

The question is this: if these people can do it, who can’t do it? Well, as I love to say, the only people who cannot become Business Analysts are those who don’t want to.

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Who Is a Business Analyst?

A Business Analyst (BA) is a person who analyses, evaluates, and documents business processes and systems along with their associated data with the aim of improving those business processes and systems.

 In a nutshell, I want you to see a Business Analyst as someone who helps a business to perform better in any given area. These areas may include revenue increase, cost reduction, service improvement, process improvement, operations time around improvement, or even achieving basic organizational strategies. 

The BA is the liaison between the business/ customers and the technology team. The BA does not work in a silo, but typically, they work with the project team or any other team within the technology and business units and the scrum team in an agile environment. 

A Business Analyst will typically collaborate with other business and technology stakeholders to implement any software change or business improvement initiative. The following are the basic functions a Business Analyst may perform typically:

Communication: –  One of the main skills of a BA is communication.  In clarifying what the business needs and requirements are required to achieve a business goal or initiative, the BA will need to be able to ask questions, which is called elicitation. The major means of obtaining relevant information or requirements apart from your own experience is by asking questions and asking questions and asking questions. As long as a BA can ask the right questions, a large percentage of your job has been done

Documentation: – A Business Analyst must be ready to carry out documentation. The role involves documenting business requirements, business processes, and any other related information

Facilitation: Business analysts organize and coordinate different kinds of meetings, such as requirements gathering meetings, defect resolution meetings, and review meetings where relevant stakeholders are invited to agree on common decisions

Follow-Up: One other activity that a Business Analyst performs is to follow up with relevant stakeholders to ensure that they are delivering their responsibilities in line with the business needs, employee data, or transaction data to come up with useful information, expectations, or requirements

Data Analysis: – A Business analyst may need to analyze data related to a particular initiative, software, or organization. This might be sales data or transaction data etc. and usually, such analysis intends to provide useful information and feedback 

Usage Basic Tools: – A Business Analyst may be required to use basic tools to perform some of their functions.

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