One of the most common perceptions of being a successful business analyst when entering an industry is they need to have in-depth knowledge and expertise in that industry. Although it is beneficial, it is not the key criteria to delivering a successful project. Broadly speaking, Business Analyst encompasses a wide range of expertise that adds value to the role but narrows down to a specialized skill set to excel in the responsibilities. Let’s look at the fundamentals of a business analyst needed to succeed in any industry.
Big Picture, Small Picture
As a business, the ability to appreciate the fine line between the stakeholder’s “Big Picture” and “Small Picture” plays a major part in the stakeholder engagement strategy. Requirements are often stated with a combination of features that are “nice to have” but are perceived as mandatory to achieve the solution. A business analyst is best positioned to challenge these requirements with questions that delve into the root-cause of these statements. This is important when analyzing and validating the business requirements and objectives that influence decision making at every stage of the project.
It’s All About The Details
Improper communication of requirements is a major factor that leads to failure of projects. Many times, we “Hear” to respond, rather than “Listen” to understand. A simple yet unquestionable skill to establish a strong perspective of the stakeholders’ expectations is to listen with intent or ‘Actively Listen’. Actively listening to stakeholders helps understand business needs, driving factors, processes, challenges, risks as well as analyze individual stakeholder goals. As a result of a good understanding of relevant perspectives, a business analyst can prioritize requirements during elicitation and engage the stakeholders.
Building Strong Stakeholder Relationships
The next factor that highlights successful projects in a Business Analyst’s career is building strong stakeholder relationships. To understand your stakeholders, start by performing a stakeholder analysis. A stakeholder analysis identifies the champions of change and how they may influence the delivery of these changes. It prepares you to establish the appropriate level of communication that relates to the stakeholder’s needs and interests, thereby increasing the likelihood of influencing them with the proposed solutions. Building good relationships with stakeholders not only makes navigating through challenging situations easier, but also conveys the real emotions in the individual conversations.
Being a Trusted Advisor
As a trusted advisor to your stakeholders, a holistic view of the impacts of change on them can be leveraged to effectively communicate the value of the solution or services. Information is the armor of a business analyst, enabling us to make impactful decisions that adds value to the organization’s growth. To gain insight, it is vital to build relationships that gradually evolve based on trust to ensure stakeholders become confident on your capability of delivering high quality results. Working closely with various individuals in an organization demands a good rapport that assists in garnering trust needed to gather the knowledge to help them perform their tasks.
Often, a one-size-fits-all strategy is most sought after. Every business analyst varies in personality which can be displayed in their style of work. The adopted strategies may vary, but the fundamental factors that ensure effectiveness in the success as a Business Analyst remains the same. Thereafter, don’t be intimidated if you are entering an unfamiliar industry. Embrace the unfamiliarity and focus on these fundamentals to grow and succeed in your role.
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