Tuesday, 16 January 2018 11:03

What I know for sure- Being a Business Analyst can be Tough

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Being a business analyst can be tough.

Being a business analyst can be tough because, at one point in your career, you'll have to deliver inputs or outputs for a project despite encountering many problems and roadblocks that make being a business analyst a tough job.

To help fellow business analysts perhaps new to the profession, I've listed just a few of the many common roadblocks and unpleasantries you're sure to encounter sometime in your career as a business analyst. My hope is, you'll take heed and prepare yourself in advance to successfully move forward and overcome these roadblocks. This article is to let you know, you're not the first BA to encounter these problems, and you don't have to go it alone to work through them. By the way, this is not a comprehensive list, by any means.

  1. The quality of work from someone on the team is not up to quality standards causing re-work, or work is constantly late, or the work is incomplete. When this problem comes up, and if it goes ignored, it can cause a huge decrease in moral to team members who must keep compensating for the person not pulling his/her weight. As a business analyst, you might be the person who is left to compensate for correcting the quality repeatedly to keep business end-users happy and wasting their time. 
    My recommendation is to look first for when and where the problem happens. Look for a pattern to see if it is consistently happening. Or, look to see if it’s only randomly happening every once and awhile. Then, look for reasons, why the problem is occurring. Look for any areas where systems needed in a process are failing, malfunctioning, or not being used properly by the user. These are some of the causes for a person's inability to produce quality outputs, or complete tasks on-time. If the issue is not being caused by a system or process problem, then ultimately a further review of determining whether the right resource is being tasked with the right tasks may need to be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.
  2. A project team member who doesn't want to work on the project and doesn't mind showing their displeasure. Now, this can be a business end-user stakeholder, an Information Technology developer/engineer stakeholder, a product owner, an account manager, or even another business analyst assigned to work with you. It doesn't matter. If someone on the project team doesn't really want to participate but is being forced or required to work on the team, you've got a problem that needs to be dealt with. My personal recommendation is to try to find out why the person is reluctant to work on the project and try to find out how much of a major player they are to the project's success. Find out how much of their time is going to be required. Perhaps if the time requirement is minimal, you can work with this as best you can. 
    If the person has personal problems going on, there's not much you can do except show empathy for them, but still stress the importance of meeting deadlines and participating. Allow them some breathing room to collect themselves and their actions on their own. Hopefully, they have resources available to help them do this. Be available to provide additional support if they need it. Make sure they know they can count on you to be a good listener, as you are working with people first and foremost.

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    If the person is showing their displeasure on being on the project due to being overworked from other tasks and responsibilities, you can help manage their time as efficiently as you can to accommodate work and timeframe deadlines that don't add to their workload stress. Ensure the person has the correct tools, accesses to systems, and knowledge to do their work with less stress and great productivity. 
    If the person is just naturally mean-spirited person, and yes there are some people like that, if their personality is not hurting the actual progress of the project, you will just have to grin and bear it. if the person's work attitude is seriously getting in the way of making progress to the work, or draining the moral and overall energy of the entire project, it may be up to you, as the lead business analyst to address this. You might need to speak to someone who has the authority to change the person on the team behaving badly behavior. Or, you might need to make a resource adjustment and replace the person with someone who has both the knowledge, skills and willingness to work on the project in a professional manner. 
    In summary, if possible, find the source of the reason for why someone on the project team is behaving in the manner they are. Remember the people aspect first when working on teams. Then, start with using your people skills to manage your next steps actions on how to address the problem to move forward with the project.
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