14 West | Business Analyst - Technical.ly

Business Analyst

14 West | Baltimore, MD 21201 | Other

Job Description
Company Culture
Technical.ly Coverage

Would you describe yourself as a self-managed go-getter who is creative and can ask the right questions?  Are you obsessed with details with the ability to absorb and retain mass amounts of information?  Would people describe you as a relationship builder, leader and one that always represents the team with integrity?  Are you passionate about your work and desire to be a part of a team that fundamentally loves what they do?

14 West, an Agora Company, is looking for a Business Analyst to work within a fast-paced, newly created team supporting our new Agile and Portfolio Management team.  In this role, you will report to the Director of Agile and Portfolio Management and be a critical part of the team as you help work with the various units in implementing/optimizing best practices while building out a PMO.  To do this well, it will take a self-learning, self-managed, creative person who loves what they do.  As a bonus this will help you build a concrete foundation should you desire to grow into a Scrum Master or Project Management role.

Being a part of this team means having an attitude of excitement around the work you do and what you have done in the past.  The Business Analyst will be someone who loves to work hard, is obsessed with Quality and very skilled at communicating both verbally and in written format. The first step to success in this role is working hard for your teammates and earning their trust. They expect all members of the team to display initiative, take responsibility for managing their work, and be open to guidance and insight from those around them.

You can learn more about life at 14 West by checking out our WestWord blog.

A Typical Day

On any given day, a business analyst can be found deep in research, conducting team interviews and observation, eliciting and writing requirements, and any other of a slew of revolving duties. To support these central job functions, a business analyst employs masterful time and task management, constantly balancing overlapping timelines.

Business analysts are skilled practitioners of agile development methodology. Though the particular framework evolves over time, business analysts are ever in sync in with the rhythm of agile development, working to the hum of iterations of the software development life cycle. Throughout each incarnation, the business analyst curates an ongoing feedback loop between the solution teams and executives, confirming the course and adjusting it where necessary.

While juggling the mélange of tasks business analysts handle, they are also accountable for providing visibility into their work, tracking the status of all projects under their care, and updating tracking tools and supporting documents to reflect progress and new decisions.

Responsibilities

  • Work with teams to standardize their practices both within tools and their processes/governances.
  • Actively building a rapport with teams to help remove impediments and track active projects.
  • Develop and manage project reporting and understanding the value of the projects.
  • Researching “new” items coming through the portfolio intake and following their status through completion.
  • Assist in centralizing development practices through reporting, rapport building, and training.
  • Build and maintain reports and have a command of the data to be able to speak to the value of them and the value of the projects.
  • Elicit, analyze, validate, and manage the true needs of the organizational project management team.

Qualifications

  • BA or BS in Communication, Business Management, Information Technology, Computer Science, Software Engineering or related, or equivalent experience.
  • 3+ years of previous experience in technology-based business analysis role.
  • Previous experience in related software development life cycle activities or support.
  • A fundamental understanding of Agile (Kanban, Scrum, XP, or other frameworks a plus).

Skills & Abilities

  • Innate curiosity about processes, systems and change management.
  • Self-managed go-getter who is creative and skilled as asking the right questions.
  • Detail oriented with strong written and verbal communications.
  • Ability to communicate to all levels of the organization and present status updates as needed.
  • A natural relationship builder who will be seen as the “go to” person for project updates – ready to report on projects formally and on-the-fly.
  • Understanding of tools such as Jira, Slack, Roadmunk, and others.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze problems and understand tactical steps that can be implemented through analysis, planning, evaluation, and reporting.

Performance Objectives

  • 30 days:  Onboard with each team to understand what they are doing and how they are doing it.  While at the same time, starting to take on some of the reporting and research projects that are in active development.
  • 90 days:  Understand the value that each tool brings to the table with a grasp on how they all fit together.  At this point you would be actively helping centralized teams’ processes and have started the process of building reports that allow us to govern how the teams are doing their work.
  • 180 days:  Acting as a thought leader in our processes with a good eye into why we do what we do.  Actively improving the reports and making sure they fit the need and are detail oriented around projects coming through the intake.
  • 365 days:  corralling people to stay on track and looking for areas for improvements on a regular basis while updating their ways of getting things done.  Analyzing work, prioritizing it, and creating wins with the teams, reports, governance and such.

If interested, please submit a resume to the link provided.

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What’s it like to work at 14 West in Baltimore?

Missing a day in the office at 14 West makes you feel as if you’ve missed out. We have a great group of really smart and motivated people that come up with truly brilliant solutions to the challenges we face in the publishing and subscription services we enable. This being said, the office is totally casual — people bring their dogs to work and there’s work/life balance in that you can work remotely if needed.

Our offices are beautiful. They make up a campus of 12 individual buildings in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore. In the summertime when we have interns working with us it starts to feel like a college campus as you see the interns going from building to building with their backpacks. The buildings are a mix of incredible historic homes and some modern construction. We sit in massive open offices that carry mixes of the functional roles; this enables cross collaboration. You can stand up and go talk to anybody, you don’t have to set up formal meetings. It’s open and easy, and that’s how we’re able to move so quickly to get things done each day.

Who is 14 West and what do you do?

14 West is the backbone of The Agora; a network for over forty companies in publishing and direct marketing that exist across 17 countries. The various companies span from Money Map Press to The Oxford Club and the very first of The Agora Companies, International Living (now based in Waterford, Ireland). At 14 West, we are a centralized service provider that enables the growth and innovation of all these different niche companies; internally we refer to them as affiliates. We are the technology, accounting, human resources, legal and facilities teams devoted to them.

What’s a common attribute amongst 14 West employees?

The preeminent traits seem to be a desire to learn and curiosity. If you are willing to work hard and want to understand how 14 West works, how The Agora Companies make their money, how things are done and how to contribute new ideas, you’ll be rewarded and will move up quickly. One thing that is expected of everyone that walks in here is you need to raise your hand and you better have high expectations for yourself. If you’re waiting for someone to tell you what to do, that gets noticed very quickly and not in a good way.

What is the team working on at the moment?

We handle all of our enterprise data. A lot of our focus right now is in optimization and building world class tools for our affiliates. One specific project our team is working is developing a set of new self-service applications where instead of Agora affiliates reaching out to our team directly for data and reports, they’ll be able to source what they need on their own. We are developing a series of new, cutting-edge feed applications where data can be loaded in, reports can be generated on the fly and our developers can understand exactly what the affiliates most want.

How do 14 West employees stay connected and engaged with each other?

A lot of us travel to different conferences to develop our skills and that’s always a great way to reconnect in a more personal way with your colleagues.

We do a lot of volunteer work within the community right around us here in Baltimore. Aside from this, we take pride in having the best holiday parties — there have been people caught trying to sneak into them! We also do a lot of happy hours in the office (employees enter their preferred beer or wine via their Drizly account). 

What can new employees expect?

New employees can expect extensive training through 14 West’s learning and development division, which features hands-on classroom learning and online guided courses that ensure new hires have been inducted into the company through a mentored program. Otherwise, get ready to run with your ideas. We like big ideas and if you bring them to the table you better be ready to act on them, we’ll provide the resources to drive it.

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