When traveling on business or I make it a point to meet with business leaders and get their thoughts on a topic. I was in eastern Canada and had the opportunity to have dinner with the CEO of Junior Achievement in Newfoundland and Labrador. This particular CEO is very supportive of Business Analysis, strategic planning and professional development. She recognized the importance of investing in the success of people and the economic environment.
During our conversation I mentioned that I was thinking about writing an article on the “E” words of Business Analysis and professional development. So I asked, “If you could only use ‘E’ words to determine the needs of your organization and the expected outcomes, what words would you use?”
Here this CEO’s response to my question:
- Exploration: You need to investigate and analyze your findings to determine what the needs of the organization, especially when you are considering any of solution kind of change. There are areas where Business Analysis should be used to determine decision impacts, especially where people and culture are important.
- Expedient: The ability to plan and propose a desired objective and outcome is an important part of the process. It means that your need to ensure that it is appropriate under the present and potential circumstances. Knowing what you want to achieve, the outcomes needed to be successful is what it is all about, a means to an end, if you wish.
- Engagement: We all hear this word a lot. In creating change and transition or providing education (another E word) it is a matter of getting people involved. The most successful programs begin before they start. In Business Analysis that means knowing your pre-program and have people participate. Connect people early and you have a chance at greater success. This is part of the whole engagement process that often gets missed.
- Educate: This is a word we must include here. It is at the heart of many things we all do. That holds true whether it is to educate ourselves or others. It is a matter of providing training for professionals and leaders to build business brainpower so everyone succeeds. A good Business Analyst learns, understands and uses the principles of adult learning in their work. They do so to positively impact change and achieve outcomes.
- Enthusiasm: Lively interest or passion in a topic is contagious. If you have ever been around someone who is enthusiastic in their work you feel it. It rubs off on you. So make yourself contagious in a good way. People will notice and become more engaged.
- Experience: People like to feel something when they are engaging with you whether it is through one on one contact, in a meeting, or a group workshop. For example, in requirement gathering workshops don’t be afraid to get people into experiential requirements generation, especially diverse groups. There are many tactics that will allow you to do this.
- Experiment: This covers a lot of territory from formal testing to creative thinking. As a Business Analyst, it is important that you try new things and new methods to get people engaged from the beginning to the end. This even applies to testing for quality or for reviewing implementation success. It should be all right to experiment a bit with solutions within certain parameters and guidelines. In change events where training is involved getting people to creatively test a new procedure or system makes a big difference. So find ways to experiment for better solutions.
- Entertainment: This one comes from the entertaining model of learning. This is one of those items considered debatable. When you are working with people in a workshop or training session do you provide entertainment. It is important for people to have fun when working through their plans, generating requirements, learning something new or making a change. I have occasionally met someone who said that there’s too much fun during a session and never understood that comment. Often engagement, enthusiasm and entertainment go together. It is fine art of being practical while providing an experience to generate solutions and results.
- Excellence: Where would we be without this word in the mix? It is the fact of creating something of quality that can be articulated or measured. It is like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure brought to you in a performance package, service excellence. Every business leader or team wants excellence as part of the mix. It is the outcome of creating a fact or state where excelling in superiority is required. In Business Analysis it’s a must to strive for excellence. It is just part of providing solutions to business problems or finding opportunities. But it is also part of developing the people around you when you step into facilitation, training and development and transition programming.
A Final Thought:
This article came from the input of a CEO who is out in the world working with business leaders and professionals to build a successful economy. When asked the CEO provided you incredible expectation insight. In this case, we had a discussion of words and how they apply to business, Business Analysis, and training & development. Any good professional and leadership team knows that investing in people pays dividends when it comes to improving the organization. The next time you are involved in an initiative pull out an E word and use it. You never know.
Do Your Best, Invest in the Success of Others, and Make Your Journey Count.