We’ve been hiring like Gangbusters this year at ArgonDigital. In order to hire talented people, we need to be competitive with our compensation packages but we also need to map out our professional development for those who may be unfamiliar with the field. Our model of positions and promotions is fairly simple:
When one is formally introduced to the company, we try to elucidate the differences between positions as well as distinguish expectations between each. The requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to progress to the next level are cut and dry, there is no ambiguity about it.
There are different skills necessary to be competent in each of the positions, and one needs to have shown some professional development prior to advancing to the next stage. As one gains more experience and her knowledge increases, she is more likely to advance.
There are many ways one can gain experience. The first is the most simple: time. The more time you spend doing something, the more experience you have with it. Malcolm Gladwell argues that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. Another way is to become involved with your local IIBA chapter. There are countless books and articles online on professional development for BAs. With a bit of effort, everyone can advance.
Business Analysts don’t yet have a formal, widely accepted professional development program available. However, the CBAP is gaining ground and may become to the Business Analyst community what the PMP is to the project management profession.