Whilst BABOK clearly defined the areas of BA’s job: the planning & monitoring, elicitation, requirements gathering, solution assessment and validation….so on and so forth, ensuring that the success of all these activities culminates into successfully transforming the requirement into “adaptability” by the users.
The word “change” has more often than not, been perceived with a negative connotation. The idea of a business analyst being a change catalyst has more advantages whether the change is “business oriented” or “system oriented” for the following reasons:
- As a Business Analyst, you have a 360° view of the requirement as provided by the Business
- BA has been through many iterations of fine tuning them to elicit the actual underlying need
- The solution has been assessed and ensured is in line with the requirement as defined by Business
- BA’s do play a vital role in ensuring that the user acceptance validation is done
- In preparation for the roll out, all necessary materials, handouts and posters are worked through with the “Communications and Training Team”
- An unbiased opinion is readily available whether a particular business feature is aligned to user needs or is completely off-track
- Feedback as received by the end-users is refined and worked on by the BA
Step 5 coupled with advance planning is where the “catalyst hat” of the BA plays a crucial role in ensuring that the change has a positive impact to the end user and influences the degree of the success!
Change happens every single day of everyone’s life, but it is the perspective that has an impact of how a person view and becomes receptive of the change. To a certain extent, BA works on re-tuning the perspective of the users. Business definitely identifies the need/want, it is the BA that helps in analyzing, in identifying “potential pitfalls”, foresees the future whether it is in the form of a system change or communication change, validate that the change in fact does meet the underlying need. Last but not the least that the change is not implemented in “isolation” - all tentacles as we all call as “dependencies” are caught upfront by the Business Analyst as part of their “solution assessment and validation” thinking hat!
The whole concept of “Agile” is changing the behavioral pattern of users’ adoption to change. Earlier, change management was discussed during the project as an end phase just before the launch, which was considerably a long time from inception. With Agile, it is getting the customers acquainted to the adopting change with open arms and with less resistance. As an example, mobile operators update their Operating System frequently. We are now adapted to a pattern and do not really have a problem with it! The same scenario when applied to an organization for any upgrade of a system/new change, is perceived as something that might slow us down and not help- this is exactly where a BA can help prepare the organization as well as the mindset of the users to be better equipped for the change.
Understanding the organization’s culture helps the BA work with the “Communications & Training” team to work on a tailored “change communication” in advance rather than “manage”.
Subtle communication mechanics might do the trick!! While we do not notice, it is not about “MANAGING”, it is more about “COMMUNICATING THE RIGHT WAY” to strike the right chord!
Let all BA’s be the torch- bearers of change- iteratively ensure that the requirements are refined to best equip the users and help Business communicate effectively- system or otherwise that helps them redefine processes, systems and efficiencies that lead to a more strategic vision and better employee experience besides just “customer” experience!
One of the many synonyms to change is “innovation”- then why not display the same innovation to the mechanism of communicating that change? Why do we as Business Analysts think deep and communicate better than word documents, power point slides or user manuals just because that has been the norm?
- How about a poster that turns into a notebook when flipped over?
- How about a highlight of each area of change to the strategic goals of the organization?
- How about alignment of the change to employee’s goals?
- Do we have encapsulating tools that helps them?
It clearly cannot be the sole responsibility of the Communications & Trainings team without a galore of input from the Business Analysts, let us allow free flow of ideas from the BA’s to make this better and better with every step!
Change communicator in a better way than change management!