There is quite a bit of literature about how to be a great BA. Here is one that is a surefire way to make yourself a dumbass BA. Here are the top 8 points that I gathered from my professional BA experience over 2 decades.
1. Assuming that developers can read your mind
This is one sure way prove himself or herself that he or she is a dumbass business analyst. Developers are not there to read our mind. They're there to work on our documentation to get requirements complete. Assuming developers can read our mind is one of the stupidest things that any business analyst do.
2. Believing that stakeholders will think like the way you think
Stakeholders are a varied set of people. They have their own priorities, own backgrounds, own experiences and it's extremely unlikely that they would think as you think. Assuming that stakeholders are going to think in the same manner as you think is again another surefire way to land into the troubled territory.
3. Assuming that stakeholders are rational creatures and they always go by logic
Almost all human beings are irrational creatures. They have their own fears, likings, and dislikings. Assuming stakeholders to be logical creatures will be another disastrous assumption.
4. Considering oneself as a know-it-all
As business analysts, we are generally quite knowledgeable about the business. And we understand a fair bit of Technology as well. However, assuming that you know everything that should be known and not consulting other stakeholders to get your concepts and assumptions verified, is another surefire way to make yourself a dumbass business analyst.
5. Taking decisions on behalf of stakeholders
Remember we are a custodian of requirements. But we are not there to take decisions on behalf of stakeholders. Talk to them, advise them, but at the end of the day leave the decisions to the stakeholders. If you take decisions on behalf of stakeholders, please be prepared to shoulder the consequences that would come when something goes wrong.
6. Making unrealistic demand from the development team
We control requirements and its flow, but we do not control at what speed the development team can produce quality deliverables. If we force requirements which development team cannot handle, most likely they're going to take short cuts and compromise on the quality of the product.
7. Trusting only intuition to estimate BA work
Business analysis is not an exact science as it involves working with a lot of stakeholders. Exact mathematics can be difficult but completely relying on intuition can be another disaster in waiting. Not trusting data at all is again another surefire way to make the decisions pretty much wrong all the time.
8. Not investing time to improve oneself
Many BAs actually stop learning after they get into the role of BA. The world of technology and business is changing so rapidly that whatever we learnt and practiced a decade back is going to be obsolete. Business analysts who do not invest any time in improving themselves would most likely find themselves out of the job market very soon.
Hope we all strive our best NOT to be dumbass business analysts.