System Analyst: Part 3

Back to Part 2


Management skills are one of the most important skills that a system analyst should have as these are required when a systems analyst is going to lead a project team. System analyst needs to know the process of managing his own work and how to use organizational resources in the most productive ways possible. Self-management is important skill for an analyst. Management skills are categorized in to four parts which are as under:


Resource Management

Effectively managing the project's resources, including time, equipment, hardware, software, people, money, etc. and it is must for a systems analyst to know how to get the most out of a wide range of resources. A team leader must learn how to best utilize the particular talents of other team members. He must also be able to delegate responsibility, empower people to do the tasks they have been assigned.

Resource management includes the following capabilities:

  • Predicting resource usage (budgeting)
  • Tracking and accounting for resource consumption
  • Learning how to use resources effectively
  • Evaluating the quality of resources used
  • Securing resources from abusive use
  • Relinquishing resources when no longer needed and releasing the resources when they can no longer be useful.
Project Management

In Project management a system analyst should determine the tasks and resources needed for a project and how they are related to each other. A project is defined as a sequence of unique, complex and connected activities having one goal or purpose and that must be completed by a specific time, within budgets and according to specifications.
Project management is defined as the process of scoping, planning, staffing, organizing, directing and controlling the development of acceptable system at minimum cost within a specified time frame. In the role of project manager, he first needs to break down a project in to multiple independent tasks. The next step is to determine how the tasks are related to each other and then each task is assigned to a responsible person.

Risk Management: In the Risk management firstly a system analyst will identify the risk and then minimize it accordingly. A risk is any unfavorable event or circumstance that can occur while a project is underway. If a risk comes true, it can hamper the successful and timely completion of a project. Therefore, it is necessary to anticipate and identify different risks; a project is susceptible to. Once, risk to the project has been identified, project manager must be able to minimize the likelihood that those risks will actually occur. It also includes knowing where resources are to be placed where they can do the best and prioritizing activities to achieve better productivity.

Change Management: Introducing a new or improved information system into an organization is a change process. It manages the system transition from one state to another. In general people do not like change and tend to resist it. Therefore, any change in the way people perform their duties in an organization must be carefully managed. Change management is a very important skill for systems analyst. The systems analyst must know how to get people to make a smooth transition from one information system to another, giving up their old ways of doing things and accepting new ways. Change management also includes the ability to deal with technical issues related to change, such as obsolescence and reusability.


Systems analyst works extensively with staff in key positions in an organization. So, interpersonal skills are necessary for success of him/her. These skills can be classified as:


Communication Skills

A Systems analyst should be able to communicate clearly and effectively with others. He must establish a good relationship with clients early in the project and maintain it throughout the project. Communication takes many forms from written to verbal to visual. The analyst must be able to master as many forms of communication as possible.

Interpersonal communication subjects are:
  • Business speaking
  • Business writing
  • Interviewing
  • Listening
  • Technical discussion
  • Technical writing.

Working Alone as well as in a Team: As many people in the organization will depend on his individual performance therefore a systems analyst must be able to organize and manage his own schedule, commitments and deadlines. He must work with the team towards achieving project goals. To work together effectively and to ensure the quality of the product, the team must establish standards of cooperation and coordination that guide their work.
There are 12 characteristics of a high performance team that influence team work:

  • Shared and elevated vision
  • Sense of team identity: Result-driven structure
  • Competent team members
  • Commitment to the team
  • Mutual trust
  • Interdependency among team members
  • Effective communication
  • Sense of autonomy
  • Sense of empowerment
  • Small team size.

Facilitating Groups

While working in a Joint application development approach a system analyst require this skill. In this approach there is group of members and systems analyst works with that group during system development. Analysts use JAD sessions to gather systems requirements and to conduct design reviews. Systems analyst can be asked to work as a facilitator. The facilitator must guide the group without being a part of the group and must work to keep the effort on track by helping the group by resolving the differences.

Facilitator's guidelines are as follows:

  • Purpose should be made clear
  • Make sure that the group understands what is expected of them and of you
  • Use physical movement to focus on yourself or on the group
  • Reward group member participation with thanks and respect
  • Ask questions instead of making statement
  • Wait patiently for answers
  • Be a good listener
  • Encourage group members to feel ownership of the group's goal and of their attempts to reach those goals.

Managing Expectations

System development is a change process, and members of any organization greet any organizational change with anticipation and uncertainty. Organizational members will have certain ideas about what new information system will be able to do for them. Ginsberg found that successfully managing user expectations is related to successful systems implementation. The systems analyst needs to understand the technology. S/he must understand the work flows that the technology will support and how the new system will affect them. The important ability of systems analyst is to communicate a realistic picture of the new system and what it will do for users and managers. Managing expectations begins with the development of the business case for the system and extends all the way through training people to use the finished system.

The following requirements must be fulfilled by the system analyst:

  • Working knowledge of information technology
  • Computer programming experience and expertise
  • General business knowledge
  • Problem solving skills
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Thorough knowledge of analysis and design methodologies.