A lot of business analysts face challenges getting recognized for their value, and as a result, get cut out of important project work. Instead of doing the critical work to solve bigger problems for their organization, they end up fighting just to stay involved, begging to get stakeholders to show up for their meetings, or, in the worst case, cut out of the loop so severely that their role becomes irrelevant.
This video addresses how to deal with this challenge by looking at a specific scenario from one of our community members – in this case, a new central business analyst team has been created, along with each development team having their own business systems analyst. And the team leader’s concern was advancing the central business analyst role in the department and getting recognized for their value.
For those who like to read instead of watch, here’s the full text of the video:
Today, I want to talk to you about a common challenge that business analysts face, and that’s getting their value recognized, or the value of their business analysts team recognized.
Today’s question comes to us from Jeff who has a specific take on this challenge. Jeff is part of a centralized business analyst team that just got formed within his IT department. Now, there’s a centralized business analyst role as well as a business systems analyst role. His question is, “How do I get this central role that I’m a part of recognized within my department, and how do I make sure our value is truly seen and appreciated?”
Well, Jeff, I have five suggestions for you. These apply to anyone who’s ever struggled with getting the value of business analysis recognized within their organization, which I know from my experience, there are a lot of you.
#1 – Create a team charter
The first thing to do, Jeff, is to create a team charter. What you want to do is look back at why your team was formed in the first place. Why is there this new centralized business analyst role? What problem was this team designed to solve?
Put that down on paper clearly so that you know what your main pain point is, your main problem that you’re here to solve so you can share that, effectively, within your organization. You can spread that message and talk to other team members about that as well. So, that’s the first thing; get your team charter in place so it’s clear why you’re here and what that team is here to do.
#2 – Assess your team’s skills
Next, you want to assess your team’s business analysis skills.
- What are the unique value, unique skills, unique qualifications that put people onto the centralized BA team vs. one of the other teams in your department?
- What is unique to the people on this team?
- What kinds of challenges can you and your team solve for the organization?
You want to make sure that’s reflected in your charter and that people are really set up to capitalize on their unique strengths. That’s how you’re going to add the most value to your organization.
#3 – Deliver immediate value
That leads to the third suggestion which is to deliver immediate value. Most likely you have this big idea in your head about what this team is going to be and the value that you’re going to provide for the organization and some newer expansive ways that you want to deliver value to the business, and the responsibilities that you want to take on. That is all fine and well. We will get to that with suggestion #5.
Before you get the license to do that, you need to make sure that you don’t get your feet cut out from under you before you ever get started. The way you do that is by delivering immediate value.
- So, look at the projects that are on your plate right now.
- Make sure that your BAs are assigned to the most important, high impact projects in your organization, and make sure that you’re using your unique skills to accomplish the goals laid out in your team charter, and to solve some problems on projects right now.
- Help those projects get moving quickly, get moving effectively, and solve any challenges that are coming up.
You might look at the intersection between the business process and the functional requirements making sure that the new functional requirements that your systems analyst might be creating are reflected in the business process. Or meeting with those stakeholders to understand the problems in the business process and make sure they are reflected in the more detailed system or technical requirements. Just an idea. It depends on how those roles are defined in your organization, but make sure you’re adding value.
#4 – Share wins
As you do this, suggestion #4: share your wins. Make sure the BAs within your team are sharing wins with each other. Provide suggestions for how they can share wins within their project teams, so if they solve a problem, identify a missed requirement, get a new stakeholder involved, or save somebody some time, make sure that win is shared and people are starting to recognize the value your team is bringing to your organization.
Share those internally, have little celebrations, maybe team lunches or cupcakes or whatever it is that would reward the people inside your team. Share them within those project teams. Share them up to your manager as well of your IT department. And share them beyond, if you can, on the company intranet or however it is that you can share it within your organization.
That’s how you start to get your value seen and noticed so that people are more open and understanding of what your role is and what kind of contribution to expect from that centralized BA team.
#5 – Expand value
Finally, you want to look at expanding your value. Now you’ve dug in. You’ve made an impact, you’ve shared those wins, you’re using your unique skills.
What can you do next? This is probably the idea you had when you formed the centralized IT team or centralized BA team in the first place. This could be things that are outside the project like business case work, evaluating ROI between different projects, or helping look at a program of projects and how these are going to deliver value for the organization. Thinking about that next level of expanding the value.
Essentially, you go through these same five suggestions again where you’re expanding your team charter to account for those new ideas, assessing your team skills, making an impact, and sharing those wins. You’re continuing the cycle so that you’re continually expanding your value, which is also going to expand the career potential for you and everyone else on your centralized BA team and really getting you into doing some of the more cutting-edge, advanced level business analyst work that we see out there.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. Please leave a comment and let me know how they work for you. I’d love to hear from you regarding any challenges that are coming up for you, specifically, around getting your value as a business analyst or your business analyst team recognized in your organization.