The BAs are Coming! The BAs are Coming!

BA Fire Alert!  How will the new Administration impact Business Analysis?  Please go to http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/ideas/viewIdea.apexp?id=087800000004t42&srPos=2&srKp=087 ASAP and vote!  There is a nationwide “brainstorming elicitation” being performed by the Obama transition team, and the idea in the link above is a BA clarion call!  This is your chance to be heard in an important new way, using a state of the art elicitation technique.

If you don’t like the idea you see, add your own, but PLEASE get involved – this is important.  It is a unique chance to lobby on a level playing field.  Tell your friends, your bosses, your professional colleagues, your government employee friends, spread the link by email, use your Linked In contacts, Facebook, the works!

The inspiration for the above initiative is that a different kind of Story from the Front has come to my attention. We are so consumed with our experience of BA (or its lack of practice in our immediate environment) that we don’t think about what this means for people’s lives.  Thinking about this is important; it keeps us in other people’s shoes, and is good practice in learning how to “say” things to be heard, supported, and gain consensus.

Check these samples out, and send me an email ([email protected]) letting me know which one(s) you relate to the most, and sharing YOUR story.

Story 1

“I certainly agree that business analysis has real value in the government sector. It may be interesting to note that I am currently engaged as a consultant in a Feasibility Study and Cost/Benefit Analysis for a state government project. I am proud of the techniques and skills that I, as a BA, can bring to the team performing the Feasibility Study and to the client who is fully committed to supporting the effort.  

“The business problem goes well beyond abstract notions of IT and process. It impacts thousands of children who are subject to abuse and neglect, foster and adoptive parents who take them under their care, case workers who become their advocates, and community organizations and private providers who deliver vital services.”

Story 2

“I recently was asked to join a government project for a federal government web service that was struggling with requirements.  With the support of another CBAP, we were able to help improve the requirements somewhat, but only with incredible resistance from the project management itself.  This resistance came in spite of the fact that CBAPs were hired specifically to satisfy the government that the requirements were being handled well.

“While the project will go on to “succeed”, there were cheap, powerful opportunities missed, all because project management had better ideas than stakeholders. I saw this as a direct “violation” of BA values, and did what I could to encourage stakeholder ideas. 

 “When you realize that the project would be a great benefit to this agency’s “clients”, it is a shame that these opportunities were missed. But I am confident that they will be  implemented in time – requirements get “paid now or paid later”, as always.

“As BA is increasingly better understood, I am guessing that this resistance will diminish.  The government clients were pleased enough with the CBAPs’ work, and felt they had been heard well when we were done.  The project management contract was not renewed, and one of the CBAPs was brought back to follow up with requirements on the development side.

“Like life, this was imperfect and messy, yet there is a positive trend in the outcome.  Clients ultimately love the integrity of the BA values and approach, and I love being a CBAP, and I love that the government “clients” in this case will get a better service from my contribution.”

Keep sending me your stories, and remember the people that we ultimately serve!

Thanks to my gentle readers for their frankness and willingness to share.

More shall be revealed.

Have fun!