I enjoy every aspect of being a Technology Business Management Analyst (TBMA). Over the past ten years, I have not only worked as a TBMA, but I have also had the privilege of interviewing, hiring, and training many TBMAs. I have also had the privilege of working with and becoming friends with some of the greatest TBMAs in the world.

When asked to write an article on the five traits a TBMA should have, I started by reflecting on my personal experience, and then I reached out to a few great TBMAs that I know and a few TBM executives to gather their opinions. I finally triangulated this information to develop five traits of a great TBMA, which will be discussed in this article.

In this article, I will refrain from discussing TBMA skills and domain knowledge as these are acquired through training and work experience. I will instead focus on the traits that will help identify individuals who have the potential of becoming excellent TBMAs.

One: Analytical Mind

Whether you are a Technology business Management, Human Resource, or Financial Analyst, the first and most important trait any analyst should have is an analytical mind. TBMAs spend most of their time working with data from various sources. They collect, clean, analyze, and build models and reports using financial, operational, and human resource data to help IT leaders prove the value of IT. To succeed in this role, they must understand the context in which the data is generated, evaluate the quality of the data, and identify relationships between datasets.

Two: Engaging

To successfully do their job, TBMAs heavily rely on people who are not full-time TBM professionals and do not see TBM as their top priority. They work with IT, HR, Finance, and Business partners to collect, map, validate and report data. Although these people may have a stake in TBM, they often have other priorities. They have to find various ways to inspire these stakeholders to take time out of their busy schedules and help them complete their tasks. This process is much easier if the TBMA is engaging.

Three: Effective Communicator

TBMAs often have the privilege to work with people at all levels of the organization, from analysts to C-level executives. These people have different needs in terms of information and detail. They can go from discussing allocation lines and model fallout with an analyst in one meeting to speaking with a director about chargeback methodologies in the next meeting. Therefore, the ability to adjust communication styles and level of detail to the audience is critical to their success.

In addition, they must be able to collect business requirements, translate those business requirements into technical requirements, implement technical solutions, and translate those solutions into business language before communicating to stakeholders. Every step in this process requires specific communication styles.

Four: Problem Solver

Most TBMAs I know enjoy this aspect of their work. Their work involves solving problems with missing, ambiguous, and incomplete information. From dealing with model issues related to data quality to responding to chargeback challenges related to consumption, every day may be different.

I once had a client who requested that we document every technical issue we encountered with the following information: How was the issue identified, the root cause, and the technical steps used to fix the issue. The purpose of the request was not to keep record, but so their team could use this documentation as a reference to solve problems in the future. The client quickly realized that the document was growing very fast, and interestingly, issues did not repeat often.

The point here is that although technical documents can help, a great TBMA must be able to figure things out on their own – Every issue may be unique.

Five: Continuous Learner

TBMAs should be inquisitive. All the great ones I know ask a lot of questions and try to learn more about what all their stakeholders do. One of the most important tasks of TBMAs is to serve as an intermediary between IT, Finance, and the business. Therefore, they must keep up to date on what is going on with IT, Finance, and their business partners, not just in their organizations but also in the industry. In addition, TBM processes and tools are evolving, so they must keep up with the evolution.

Being a good TBMA requires a person to be highly analytical and inquisitive while also being an excellent communicator. Technical skills can be taught, but these types of “skills” are often a facet of one’s character. When searching for a top-level candidate, consider these five traits. If you are thinking of becoming one yourself, ask yourself if you have these traits.

Let Rego Be Your Guide

Our Apptio consultants are senior-level Apptio users, experienced TBM strategists, PPM (Project Portfolio Management) experts, and implementation specialists. One thing that sets us apart from other consulting organizations is that we do not have designated entry- or junior-level associates. Every TBM consultant has over five years of experience working with Apptio and Fortune 20 and Fortune 100 companies.

We can help with technical configuration as well as implementation, adoption, and roadmap challenges. With our proven Agile approach, we deliver results you can see – fast – while reducing time-to-value. 

Rego offers webinars, half-day training classes, and white papers. For more information, see Managed Support for Apptio. 

About the Author: Rego Consulting

As the leading Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM), Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Technology Business Management (TBM), Agile and expert services provider, Rego Consulting has helped hundreds of organizations achieve a higher return on their software investment, including 60% of Fortune 100 and 70% of Fortune 20 companies.

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