In this episode, Doug Goldberg help us to understand the true value that Business Analysts bring to a project and organizations.
After listening to this episode, you'll understand:
- Where Business Analysts can deliver value
- Why the value isn’t in the documentation (and where it really is)
- How to deliver value at every point in a project life-cycle
- How to change perceptions about business analysis
As Business Analysts, we traditionally create documentation and manage requirements, but is that the value we deliver? We need to realize that we provide more value than what is captured in document. Documentation is just a mechanism to capture the value that a Business Analyst creates.
Documentation is a means to an end and that end is a successful business outcome. Business Analysts contribute to that successful outcome by putting together relevant information to create a vision of the proper solution to a problem or opportunity. The value isn’t in the documentation, it’s in the analysis activities that help define the scope, vision, and solution.
What creates value in the end of an initiative is critically important. We also need to understand what creates value right now and how we can provide value right away. Figure out how you can show value early in the project (before documentation) through facilitation, creating a shared vision, or whatever else creates value for the organization.
The analysis effort needs to provide some sort of value proposition at any point throughout the lifecycle. How can you show people the value of your analytical capability early on?
In the end, the effort may result in higher revenue, a better customer experience, or solving an organizational problem. Helping people to understand the value that you will contribute to the organization can help you achieve small wins along the way to that end result. Communicating the value of your efforts at the beginning may increase your involvement throughout the project and allow you to add value incrementally.
Communicating the Value of Business Analysis
Before we can communicate the value that a Business Analyst brings to an initiative, we need to change the way we view ourselves. Think about the way in which you operate on a daily basis. If you’re the type of analyst who simply acts as a note taker, you’re cementing a lower perception of what you do. Think about how you can show the value in your analysis work. Produce something that people can use and that is valuable.
Next, take both a top-down and bottom-up approach in your organization to communicate the value you bring.
Get a sponsor to help shepherd the message. Show them evidence of your contribution to influence their perception. For a grass roots approach, take accountability for your message as an individual and start sharing and promoting that message with your peers.
Carry your message into a social setting by joining and participating in professional organizations to help bolster your message.
Shift your value emphasis to analysis work and make sure you aren’t caught in analysis paralysis. Don’t focus on the “what” and the “where”; focus on the “who” and the “when”. Think about who needs information and when they need it. This allows you to focus on the individual and their needs and constraints.
This approach keeps you aligned to what’s really important to your customer; the time, the scope, and end result.
Listen to the full episode to hear all of Doug’s advice and tips for understanding and increasing the value you bring to your organization.
At the beginning of an initiative, think about the value that you will produce. Consider the “who and when” and what you need to do to meet that value proposition. Allow the team to understand your capabilities and the value of your analytical capability.
Doug Goldberg is a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) with more than 22 years of experience. His background includes graphic design, printing, proofreading, typesetting, corporate communications, commercial kitchens, software support, online help development and training, J2EE/Java development, quality tester, and a few other sundry experiences. Doug mentors other business analysts and has a blog at DougGtheBA.com.
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