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My first week as a Business Analyst in Digital DWP

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Haley Goldthorpe, Business Analyst
Hi, my name is Hayley Goldthorpe and I've just joined DWP as a Business Analyst (BA). During my first week at DWP I had the opportunity to attend the BA Academy in Leeds. This gave me the perfect opportunity to find out a bit more about how DWP approaches business analysis and meet some of the other BAs across government services. People came from the DVLA, HM Treasury, and the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The role of a Business Analyst

The Academy kicked off with an overview of business analysis and working on digital projects. We discussed our own experiences within the role and what we thought were some of the key elements of being a BA.

Richard Knight, Head of Role for Business Analysts
Richard Knight, Head of Role for Business Analysts

This was followed by a presentation from Richard Knight, the head of role for BAs. It was interesting to learn more about the direction Richard wants to take the profession within DWP, with an aim to create a community across the Department sharing knowledge, experiences and learning. This is great news for me being new to the team – I think it will make it so much easier to connect with others.

Business Analysts reviewing user research

During the three-day Academy we had the chance to hear from a user researcher, technical architect, quality assurer and developer. They spoke about their roles within a project team and how they would interact with a BA. I learnt about the ‘three amigos’ process, which is a discussion between the BA, developer and quality assurer to ensure the user stories are well formed, provide context and also give the opportunity to clarify any points ready for sprint planning.

Learning by doing

Throughout the presentations we took part in activities, putting what we had learnt into practice. We were provided with some user research, based on a real-life project, which we discussed in groups to get a feel for the business and user needs. We then had a go at creating some user stories based on this information – our work has also been given back to the project team which I felt made the exercises more valuable.

After working on the user stories we identified our acceptance criteria using “Given, When, Then.” We also had a go at writing some code and test scripts, resulting in a web page.

 Business Analysts identifying acceptance criteria

Get involved

The BA Academy was great and I would definitely recommend it to other BAs or even those people that  want to find out more about business analysis and a career as a BA.

We would like to hear from BAs in other government departments or agencies. Get in touch with Jon Osborn or Rob Banathy and register your interest for a future BA Academy event.

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