To be really good in the Business Process Analyst role, there are key skills you must have. Most of these skills can be learned. But where do you start if your dream is to do this type of work?

Trying to nail down where to focus your efforts so you can snag a key role in a company you love can be a challenge. Just doing a simple search can turn into a complicated and convoluted activity because there are so many varieties of Business Process Analyst jobs within the business landscape.

But aside from specific industry knowledge, there are core skills that will help you be successful. Here are five of the most critical skills that will help you bring value to a company while working in this role.

Critical Skill #1: Communication

One of the best parts of working in this role is that you’ll typically have an opportunity to work with people from across the company – from those people on the frontline all the way to the C-suite. That means you need to have the ability to communicate in a way that will be meaningful to whatever segment of the organization’s population you’re working with at the moment. And that doesn’t just mean face-to-face communication. You’ll be doing a good bit of written communication too. It also means you need to be an excellent listener. Your active listening skills should be top notch so you not only hear what’s being said, but are also in tune with what’s not being said by observing both verbal and nonverbal messages.

Critical Skill #2: Analytical Thinking

Since you’ll likely be working in areas of your company that you’re less than familiar with, you’ll need to be able to take complex information and break it down into a series of data that will be useful for the task you are tackling at the moment. This normally involves using a step-by-step method to analyze an issue, then determine the solution. Key to this skill is your ability to use a cause (why something happens) and effect (what happens) process to determine an outcome or answer.

Critical Skill #3: Critical Thinking

Critical thinking allows you to work with people to dig deep into business issues that can provide the best outcome. When improving business processes, it’s important to use critical thinking to get to the “why” behind an action. That means rather than accepting information provided at face value, you’ll explore the implications and ultimately the consequences of a specific task. This is best done by asking open ended questions such as “Why do you do that?, or “What is the reason behind that step?”

Critical Skill #4: Group Facilitation

Most business processes involve more than one person or department so you’ll probably be working with groups of people on a regular basis. That can be a prescription for disaster if you don’t have strong facilitation skills. A good facilitator is an unbiased guide who helps the group move through the meeting process. The facilitator is there to help get information, opinions and ideas from the meeting participants, and make the process meaningful, effective and efficient. You’ll be the neutral person in the room who helps them channel their ideas and opinions into a useful outcome.

Critical Skill #5: Relationship Building

You should be able to hit the ground running when it comes to building relationships with anyone in the organization. You need to be perceived as trustworthy, genuine and friendly. The success of your role will be the result of your ability to forge strong relationships across the company. This won’t happen overnight. It takes time to build relationships. But the best way to do that is to do what you say you’ll do, be clear in your communication and expectations, and focus on helping others shine.

Now you might have noticed that all of these critical skills are “soft” skills and you would be right. High five! They’re the skills that will help you be successful in the Business Process Analyst role.

But it’s also important to note you’ll need to make sure your technical skills are in good shape too. That means you’ll need to understand whatever process methodology your company embraces and you’ll need to be really good at documenting your company’s processes in their tool of choice.