In this episode, Kupe Kupersmith warns us that we may be replaced by robots, or if not by robots, how technology makes it possible to outsource your role and what you can do about it.

After listening to this episode, you'll understand:

  • How technology is changing the way we work
  • Why some tasks or even your entire role can be automated or outsourced
  • How technology can expand your career opportunities
  • How to become a more valuable member of your organization

Show Notes

Can a Business Analyst be replaced by a robot?  Machines are now able to solve problems and interact with humans.

Technology may get to the point where computers can take what a stakeholder says, scan through an incredible amount of data, and come up with a solution far faster than humans.  Until then, we need to have the ability to be that resource and have the knowledge to solve problems.

There are tasks we do today that machines can do.  IBM’s Watson was able to interact with people to the point that the users didn’t know they were interacting with a machine.  Watson was able to assist and answer questions from graduate students.

Robots are now able to read emotions and learn the way individuals react emotionally.  Kiosks in banks and restaurants are quickly replacing people.


It’s Not Just Robots

Other advances in technology make it possible to communicate effectively even if you’re not co-located.  This allows organizations to hire the best people regardless of location.

In effect, this means that the Business Analyst can be outsourced.

Candidates vying for the same position no longer need to be in the same location as the company.  While this means greater competition, it also means greater opportunity.  You can look outside your travel radius for careers with great organizations.


Don’t Just Survive, Thrive

For our own career survival, we need to get better at using remote communication tools and understand how to work with a geographically dispersed team.  Technology is removing the barrier of the need for face-to-face communication and we need to be able to adapt.

Work at being effective with remote technology, keeping people engaged, and connective at a personal level even when in another location.  In the virtual level, we don’t have the same opportunities for accidental hallway conversations to build relationships.  We need to be intentional about interacting with others and connect on a personal level.

Make it a priority to connect and develop relationships.  Often we are heads down and don’t focus on people.  We even email and send instant messages to people in the same building instead of getting up and talking to them.

Work is done through people and relationship power is the most effective means of getting things done.  When you build strong relationships, you can use your network to influence and gain knowledge that you can’t get by yourself.


Do What Machines Can’t Do

Focus on developing skills that a machine can’t do.  We need to think and work at a higher level.

Technology removed the need for face-to-face communication.  You now need to focus on how you can add value to your organization.  If robots can solve problems, we need to get better at understanding what the right problems to solve are.  Approaches such as Design Thinking allow you to understand the problem.

Elevate your thinking and work to understand what’s happening in the environment and organization to understand the pain points and opportunities (think SWOT analysis).

If you’re a note taker, a robot can take your job in a heartbeat.  We need to think at a higher level and get beyond a solution to implement.  Move in the direction of pulling back to understand the problem you’re intending to solve and whether or not it’s the right problem on which you need to focus.

Listen to the full episode to get all of Kupe’s advice on becoming more valuable and understanding the benefits of technology.



Your Homework

Facilitating Decision Making

Think of your company’s initiatives as a set of decisions to be made and facilitate that decision making.  Decisions are: What problem should we go after?  What are some solution options?  What features should we start with?  What should we prioritize?  Who needs to be involved?

This helps you get to the point of just enough analysis.  That’s because facilitating decision making helps is understand what work needs to be done (and what shouldn’t be done) and helps you get decisions quickly and move on.


Links mentioned in this episode:

Kupe Kupersmith

Kupe Kupersmith

President, B2T Training

Kupe is the President of B2T Training and has about 20 years of experience in the business analysis profession. He’s served as the lead Business Analyst and Project Manager on projects in the energy, television, sports management and marketing industries. Kupe is a trained improv actor, a mentor for business analysis professionals, and a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

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