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The Results that Really Matter for Business Analysts

Feature 38567030 XSI am not here to comment on the leadership ability or motivational prowess of one of the greatest leaders of our time, Vince Lombardi. I am here to dissect one of his famous quotes; “Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will all be judged by only one thing: the result.” What is the result Vince Lombardi is talking about? This can easily be interpreted to judging each person by their individual results. That interpretation is where I find the flaw in the quote. If the result is solely based on individual actions, when is the individual judged by the result of the whole? In sports are individuals judged by the team winning their sports championship or just judged on how well they did in their own position?

The same questions need to be applied to business analysis professionals. In an early blog post, No One Wants to Work with a Jerk, I touched on this concept. Teams are not effective when one or more people are solely focused on their results at the detriment to the results of the team. Does this mean individuals should not be rewarded for individual results? Absolutely they should. They should be rewarded when their results bring the team closer to the overall result.
In the development world you are probably well aware of situations when a developer thinks about their results over the results of the project. This is often referred to as “Gold Plating”. This is when a developer adds features to a system that were not needed or requested for the project. That addition is all about the individual, not the team. The same applies to business analysts and how you spend your time. Are you spending your time on activities that make you look good or activities that make the project team look good?

When business analysts are rewarded their behaviors should be taken into account. Should a BA be rewarded for the strong relationship that they have with the business stakeholder when they disregard the relationship with their project team? In the end individuals need to be rewarded for their efforts that work towards team results. That’s why I like this Lombardi quote the best; “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”

To the Results,

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