Your Organization Needs You to Step Up

Business analysts create positive change, make our organizations more efficient, and help us add more value to our customers. If you’ve been frustrated by your lack of opportunity in your business analysis career, this is the message you’ve been waiting for.

 

For those who like to read instead of watch, here’s the full text of the video:

I’m Laura Brandenburg with Bridging the Gap, and this video is all about what to do when you’re frustrated with your career opportunities because your organization needs YOU.

Let’s talk about why organizations need business analysis.

Organizations Need Business Analysis

Business analysts create positive change. They make our organizations more effective, and they help us add value to our customers. We solve business problems. Every organization is concerned about their bottom line, adding value, keeping customers on board, making their companies more efficient.

This is what we do as business analysts. We do this through creative active problem-solving. We make sure that everybody understands the problem to be solved and isn’t trying to solve a non-issue or a symptom of the true problem.

We analyze. We figure things out. What does that real solution look like? We collaborate with all kinds of people across the organization to make that happen, both business stakeholders and technology stakeholders, to make sure everyone is onboard with that solution and understands what that problem is why we’re solving it.

Part of this is just communicate, communicate, communicate. We cannot communicate enough, and this is part of what accelerates our skillset, when we’re able to combine the analysis that we do, the way we solve a problem with that collaboration and that communication. All these skills together, make us what I like to call “problem-solving engines of change.”

How Business Analysis Solves Problems

Here is what happens. Being a problem-solving engine of change isn’t always easy. It’s not like somebody comes to you and be like, “Will you be my problem-solving engine of change?” It requires us to step up. It requires us to do work in a new way, especially if you’re not in a business analyst career today. It requires you to start doing this and start solving these problems and getting involved and making the change happen.

Resistance is Normal

Along the path, you’re going to face resistance because change is hard. It’s hard for you. You’re going to have that internal resistance of, “What am I doing?” You’re going to have resistance from your stakeholders. Maybe it’s not even resistance against you. Maybe it’s resistance against the change itself.

And, so, learning to separate that, “What’s resistance to how I’m doing my job?” And what’s resistance to the job, the work, the change, and the problem itself, can be a useful tool to navigate some of these. Let’s talk about some quick tips for getting started and stepping up.

Some Tips for Getting Started

One of the ways is just to focus on quick wins. Quick wins allow you to get credibility quickly. It allows you to make a positive impact quickly. You might be seeing this huge project. What small slice of it can you take that would be a win? Not a win, always, for you. You want it to be a win for you because you’re involved in the project, but what is the piece that people care about? The piece that the people that are in the decision-making realm who have the authority to drive the change, what is urgent and important for them? Get involved in that piece and help see that piece through. That’s going to open up more doors for you. Focus on those quick wins.

Here is another thing. It might sound a like a bit of heresy, but don’t always talk about business analysis. People don’t really care that you’re going to create a use case, or you’re going to analyze their business process, or you’re going to do their data modeling. Oh my gosh, that sounds so scary and icky. Like, “Oh, I’m going to model your data for you.” Like no, don’t do that.

They want you to solve their problem. They want you to be a part of the positive change. They want to get the right people involved. Talk about that part and don’t feel like…your stakeholders don’t have to be bought in to the terms and technologies, and techniques of business analysis to get bought in to the process of business analysis. Just focus on talking about the work that you’re doing in the terms that they care about, and go from there.

Step Around the Roadblocks

Finally, there are some roadblocks that you could face. I’m going to go through a few of those and some strategies that you could take to work around them.

First, you don’t have authority as a business analyst, especially, as someone who’s looking to get into business analysis. You don’t have to have authority to get started. You just start from where you are, and you make change up. Expand your container of the role that you’re filling inch by inch, by inch. And your authority comes with that.

You might not have a training budget. You might feel like you need to learn new skills. Go to your local chapter meetings. Start a peer learning network. Invest in your own development because you know you’re worth it.

You might have management or stakeholder apathy. People might not really care in your organization. This is a tricky one because you can’t always make them care. You can’t force somebody to care about something that they don’t care about. You can, when you focus on quick wins and letting go of the business analysis, you can (business analysis terms, not the actual skills), you can circumvent that non-caring. But if they’re truly apathetic, maybe it’s your time to go into a different organization, or a different situation, a different part of your organization where you do find people that care, that have that passion, and that are trying to solve problems. Those are where the opportunities are going to come for you.

Your Organization Needs YOU

The final message I want to leave you with is your organization needs you. If your organization doesn’t, there are organizations in the world that need you. The business analysis profession is growing by leaps and bounds. There are hundreds of thousands of new business analysis job openings projected in the coming years. This is a skill set. People need you and it starts with you stepping up. It starts with you doing that bit of work. It starts with you taking action in a different way.

Just look at what problem can you help solve. How can you be that positive change agent in your organization? How can you take one step forward today that’s going to make a huge impact in your organization, and a huge impact in your career?

We’re so honored, at Bridging the Gap, to be part of this path for you. We have lots of resources that can help you out. We just want to inspire you to take that next step.

Again, my name is Laura Brandenburg, at Bridging the Gap, and we help you start your business analysis career.

>>Ready to Step Up? Download Your Free Business Process Template

Get started analyzing a business process today, with our complimentary business process template.

  • Help business users from multiple departments clarify their actual step-by-step workflow;
  • Avoid wasting money on software solutions that don’t solve the right business problems;
  • And even helping new business analysts figure out what questions to ask when starting on a new project or domain.

Business process analysis is often the very first technique used by business analysts when we start learning a new domain or analyze the scope of a project. Your organization needs you doing more of this work today!

Click here to download your free business process template today

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Comments

  1. Kim Hartwig says:

    Hi Laura:

    I am a technical writer and ERP trainer/turned business analyst. Completing my first full year in this position this year, I was anxious to find a good resource on how to improve myself in this position..
    .
    After reading some of what you wrote and watching your video, I bought your book Professional Development for Business Analysts, and am eager to get my hands on it. I look forward to future words of wisdom from you as I learn how to become not just an experienced BA, but one that fits well within my business culture.

    • Welcome Kim. It sounds like you are being proactive and looking for ways to expand your value and role. Your background is perfect for a shift into business analysis! Let us know how we can help.

  2. Hi Laura, this piece makes a lot of sense. Small wins by focusing on what is important and urgent to the stakeholders in the decision making realm and also keeping aside BA speak and just talking to them in plain terms go a long way to carry the project forward!! Thanks for this heads up!

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