Communication skills in business analysis

Communication is the act of transmitting information to a person or a group of people in a way that delivers the intended meaning.

Communication may be achieved using a range of delivery methods including verbal, non-verbal, physical, and written.

Most communication methods deal with words, while others use movements and expressions. Words, motions, and phrases may mean different things to different people.

When information is effectively communicated both parties involved should have the same understanding of the information being communicated.

Effective communication includes modifying communication styles and techniques to suite the audience.

Effective communicators understand how body language, timbre and context can change the meaning of words.

A glossary can help clarify any ambiguous terms and prevent misunderstandings.

When the business analyst is preparing for effective communication they have to review the information that the stakeholders already know.

Active listening skills which is defined as when the receiver concentrates, understands, responds and then remembers what was said, helps to build understanding and trust between the sender and the receiver of the information.

The business analyst has to consider factors such as native language, culture, motivations, priorities, communication, learning, and thinking styles when communicating with the stakeholders because it may influence the way they process information.

When the business analyst is drafting the information to be communicated, they should consider the following factors:

  • Review what the receiver knows or does not know.
  • Construct the information in a logical, understandable manner.
  • Determine how to communicate the information with intended meanings e.g. using visual aids, graphs, diagrams, or bullet points.
  • Understand the hopes of the recipients.

The four core competencies communication skills are:

  1. Verbal Communication.
  2. Non-Verbal Communication.
  3. Written Communication.
  4. Listening.