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Importance of Tacit Knowledge for Business Analysts

Knowledge Management is the key to being a successful Business Analyst. While talking about knowledge management, people generally work with explicit knowledge which can be transferred easily from one individual to other with proper understanding, also can be easily documented and studied. Though explicit knowledge is important, it is vital to possess and predict Tacit Knowledge for being a successful Business Analyst. Tacit knowledge cannot be documented or transferred or taught easily from one individual to another, it includes attitude, beliefs, capabilities and expertise possessed by an individual.

Being a Business Analyst understanding the untold requirements of clients by analysing their tacit knowledge will ensure the development of software to meet the client’s expectations. Though Business Analysts focus on eliciting, analysing, documenting, verifying and validating the requirements from an explicit knowledge base, there will be some inarticulate requirements which should be identified by understanding their tacit knowledge base for delivering the customisable product to the client.   

Eliciting the requirements of clients, both explicit and tacit knowledge base can be done by   applying some basic skills and techniques as follows:

  • Maintaining good rapport and teamwork – this helps in having a close collaboration and communication with the client so that we can understand their needs. Also, the rapport among the team (developers, testers, client and BA) provides a platform to discuss and understand others view.
  • Close observation of stakeholders – this helps to predict their workflow and suggest for alternatives if any.
  • Probing scenario based questions – this is an ingenious way to understand one’s perceptions from their response. Methods like “Five Why’s” helps to find the roots by extracting requirements from client’s tacit knowledge base. 

Tacit knowledge flow



As more projects are moving nowadays to the agile environment, where there is minimal documentation, the need for understanding client’s tacit knowledge is very important to save the efforts of the developers and to deliver the product with utmost satisfaction of customers.

It is important for all the organisations to have an understanding about Tacit Knowledgebase of all its employees for better utilisation of their skills and knowledge effectively for the growth and development of the organisation.


Kalaivani Sathish,
Business Analyst Team,
Mallow Technologies.


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