Interview with Kerstin Janina Ruch

How did you become interested in business analysis?

Literally by accident. I happened into this role with my previous employer because I was always very progressively interested in change. So I was offered the opportunity and I enjoyed it so much that I am still enthusiastic about it today.

What is the most interesting aspect of your job?

That there is no patent remedy. Every problem, every challenge is different. In this job, you need an alert mind and open eyes. And eloquence 🙂

And the most challenging aspect?

To get all stakeholders on the same page. At a large company like Raiffeisen, this is definitely a Herculean task.

How do you manage your time wearing several “hats” at once?

In my view, this is a basic requirement in business analysis. One-dimensional thinking is simply no longer enough. It is important to be able to reconcile the different perspectives to make progress in development as efficiently as possible.

How does business transformation affect the roles of business analyst, requirements engineers and product owners?

I see the fast pace of life in the project business as a major driver. In addition to the technical possibilities, customer expectations are also constantly changing and becoming more demanding and diverse. Project scope is constantly being expanded or scaled back. Today, you no longer have the time to shut yourself away in a room for several months or even years and specify what you want. This ad hoc way of working shapes our new self-image as BAs, REs and POs.

What do you think will be important for Business Analyst in the next 5-10 years? What are some trends you see?

One word: flexibility! Here at Raiffeisen, projects are very differentiated and in some cases have almost nothing to do with traditional banking topics. In other words, it depends on how well you can adapt to new situations, processes, products, and so on. As I see it, those BAs, REs and POs that can think in terms of the matrix have a decisive competitive advantage. In other words, those who can link new and existing products and processes in such a way as to create completely efficient paths through the organization will remain relevant in the future.

Can you pinpoint one moment or person that was instrumental in your decision to pick this career path?

Definitely my current superiors at Raiffeisen Switzerland. About a year ago, when I headed the largest business analyst team at Raiffeisen, they opened up new opportunities for me to have a major influence on the development of the BA, RE and PO roles.

You’ll be speaking at European PO&RE Day on what requirements engineering means. Why did you choose this topic?

I consider the roles of the BA, RE and PO as essential for the future development of the project business. Unfortunately, I have often found that the respective role owners are not as dominant as other project stakeholders. It is crucial that we take advantage of platforms like European PO & RE Day to demonstrate our relevance.