Business process modeling is used by BAs and non-BAs alike to create lasting change in organizations. It’s how we actually make our ripple effect as business analysts.
Today we get specific as I’m sharing 3 examples of some of our business analysts and to-be business analysts, and exactly how they applied business process modeling to change not only their organizations, but also the forward trajectory of their careers.
For those who like to read instead of watch, here’s the full text of the video:
This is Laura Brandenburg from Bridging the Gap. Our theme, recently, has been about how you create a ripple effect as a business analyst. What’s your ripple effect as a business analyst?
Today, I want to go a little bit deeper and share three examples of ways that some of our course participants have used business process analysis and improvement activities to really transform their careers. They’ve had that ripple effect in their organizations and created drastic change for their organizations. But they also received a personal transformation, either in terms of more respect, or moving into the business analysis role for the first time.
Archana Uses Business Process Modeling to Discover Requirements
Let me jump right in here. Our first story is Archana.
Archana was a practicing business analyst when she started the business process course. But she had this frustration where she wasn’t getting all the requirements that she needed. She kind of communicated out to the stakeholders and was waiting for them to bring the requirements to her. She didn’t have a strategy for reaching out and getting the requirements from them.
When she took the course, she started doing the techniques right away in the projects that she was actively involved in as a BA, and it was like a switch flipped. She went from people not being super engaged with her work, maybe not responding to her emails, not showing up for her meetings, or just being kind of, “I don’t know all the answers to all these questions that you’re asking,” to having a strategy to reach out and find the questions to ask and walk them through a structured approach to giving her, essentially, what became the requirements.
All your functional requirements in the software, they just kind of fall out of the business process. When you start to talk at that level, often, it’s so much easier for your stakeholders to give you the information you need and that you can then pull the requirements out of as a business analyst.
So, fast forward – within a year or two of participating in the course, Archana is thriving in her business analyst role. She’s been promoted to a Senior Business Analyst and is in charge of updating and improving the practice in her organization. She went from, “I’m not sure if this is right for me. Things are going well. I’m not getting great feedback on my work,” to promoted as a Senior BA and seen as a leader and a trusted, respected leader within her organization.
First story. For those of you who are practicing BAs, if you’re not doing this kind of thing, that’s the kind of shift it could have for you.
Let’s talk next about Adam.
Adam Uses Business Process Modeling to Gain Confidence in His BA Skills
Adam was in customer service when he did Business Process Analysis. He wasn’t even a business analyst yet, but he took our course and he went to his manager and said,
“You know, I’d love to help you improve a process or analyze a process. Is there anything that is troublesome? Anything bothering you? Anywhere I could be of service?”
And his manager was like,
“Yes, we have all this stuff that’s supposed to show up at these trade shows and it’s always a mess and we don’t have the things that we need. We get there, and we’re scrambling. Let’s sit down and map this out.”
Adam led that session and walked through all the steps that we talk about in the free training that you can get to discover the process, analyze the process, and improve the process.
I got to interview Adam a while back and he talked to me about this experience. One of the pieces I remember so clearly is he said,
“I really thought that I needed to have this list of questions to ask or I needed to be super prepared going into the first session. But I decided to trust you.”
One of the techniques we teach in the course is you are basically just like, here is the starting point in the process; here’s the ending point of the process. You map that out for your stakeholders. Not the stuff in between. Then you say, “You know, if we’re starting here and ending here, tell me what happens in between.”
Not every stakeholder is going to come in and start telling you everything, but probably 75% – 80% of them will at least give you something to go from. At least three steps that fit in between that start point and end point – something to start to analyze and ask questions around. It’s a great way when you don’t know what questions to ask, to just ask the question, “What happens in between the start point and this end point?” It worked for Adam. I know that’s a quick tip that you can apply if you’re like, “Where do I start on a project?” Just, “Hey, here is the start point, end point, tell me what happens in between. Let’s draw it out together.”
Wendy Uses Business Process Modeling to Improve a Software Configuration and Deployment Process
What I want to close with is Wendy’s story. Wendy was also not in business analysis when she took our course. She was a software developer. Wendy really wanted to become a business analyst.
I forgot to mention, Adam, about a year after that, also transitioned into his first business analyst role. The same is true for Wendy.
She went through the course. She documented a process, actually, in her technology organization. We don’t think of technology as a business process. Technology and business – aren’t those two separate things? But she documented the process that her tech team went through to customize, release, and deploy updated software for a client. It was a process that software developers wanted to automate and management wanted to understand better. She went and said,
“I’d love to use some of the techniques that I’m learning about in this course to do this a little bit better, or to analyze it and bring some clarity to it.”
She ended up getting to present that business process in a manager-level meeting (so very high-level stakeholders), and talk to some of the improvements that they could make right away. Then she started getting invited to customer meetings. Then she started to talk more openly about her goals to become a business analyst.
A year or so later (and that seems to be the key here), you do these things and then a year or so later, this awesome stuff happens. A year or so later, she was promoted into a business analyst role that was created specifically for her.
Those are three examples from the hundreds of participants we’ve had in this course. There have been so many business processes that we’ve seen come through. It’s just absolutely amazing the variety.