In this Lightning Cast, I share common problems Business Analysts face and what you can do about them.
A Lightning Cast is a shorter form episode modeled after lightning talks. You’ll get valuable content in 8 minutes or less.
I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media lately about the problems that we face as Business Analysts in today’s environment. In this episode, I’ll summarize the main issues and help you understand what to do about them.
A vast majority of the issues we face can be broken down into five categories:
- Stakeholder issues
- Requirements challenges
- Solution related problems
- Challenges with implementing change
- Role related difficulties
The most common problems related to stakeholders are: they don’t know what they want, we can’t get time from subject matter experts, people have hidden agendas, and we often don’t have the level of support from sponsors that we’d like.
When we face these issues, it’s difficult to elicit and discover appropriate requirements and potential solutions.
The biggest challenges with requirements are frequently changing requirements and scope creep. We also often have organizational barriers that prevent us from talking with the end users of the solution.
With some of the stakeholder problems mentioned above, it’s no wonder that requirements constantly change and there’s scope creep. When stakeholders don’t have clarity into the underlying problem or they aren’t available to collaborate, we make assumptions that are often invalid.
Projects are often plagued by the problem of premature solutioning. We’re handed a solution to implement instead of a problem to solve. How do we know if the solution is the right solution or if it’s addressing the right problem? We may not even know if the solution has a good market fit.
Without clear linking of projects and initiatives to organizational goals, it’s difficult to ensure that there’s alignment between the solution and organizational strategy.
Some of this uncertainty leads us to make assumptions about the solution, our customers, and how we will develop and maintain the solution. Without validation, those assumptions can cause your efforts to fail.
Even if we have great stakeholder engagement, the right requirements, and a solution with good problem/solution fit and product/market fit, we can still fail if we forget to consider how to implement the change.
Over coming resistance to change and the transition requirements to take us from the “as is” state to the “to be” state are critical.
With the adoption of Agile practices, many organizations are under the impression that they don’t need Business Analysts or Project Managers. Trying to find your place where you can bring value to an Agile organization can be difficult if you’re facing this perception.
Even in traditional organizations, there’s often a misunderstanding about the role of the Business Analyst. We’re sometimes perceived as note takers, scribes, or simple liaisons between business and technology.
Overcoming these challenges is essential to your success. Listen to the full episode to discover how to address these problems and more.
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