During the BA & Beyond 2023 conference in Leuven, Belgium, I was able to lead a Fishbowl-style session on High-Impact Business Analysis. This article is a summary of the main ideas developed by the participants.
What is a High-Impact Business Analysis?
Measuring the impact of business analysis is essential to assess the value it delivers to stakeholders in a specific context. During the session, participants highlighted three main results that can be achieved through this practice:
- Alignment between strategy and operation
- Shared understanding
- Enabling change
Alignment between strategy and operation
More important than working right is ensuring that the organization is working on the right things, that is, investing its resources in actions that will bring the expected strategic outcomes. Although, many times these goals are not clearly defined or are unknown to the people who are in the operation or in the delivery of organizational transformation projects.
The practice of Business Analysis makes it possible to articulate goals and desired outcomes in a clearer and more explicit way and to assess the impact of each initiative to achieve these results.
Each stakeholder perceives a situation from their individual and specific perspective. Many organizational transformation projects fail because the stakeholders do not share the same vision. Speaking the same language becomes an even greater challenge when several areas of expertise and different origins participate in the transformation with their personal agendas, not always explicit.
Business analysis concepts and techniques can build an environment of collaboration and clear communication, where everyone express their points of view and build a shared vision of understanding about the change to be carried out.
Strategic alignment and shared understanding won’t generate any results without organization transformation. It is in organizational transformation that the impact of business analysis is perceived by stakeholders and business indicators can be measured. The transformation does not depend only on BA, but on a set of aligned disciplines that are supported and guided by those results described above.
What is needed to perform a high-impact Business Analysis?
During the session, the debaters listed several techniques that are used by business analysts to achieve the aforementioned results. The BABOK Guide lists 50 techniques and dozens more can be found in additional IIBA publications for specific contexts such as Agile Analysis, Product Ownership Analysis, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, and Business Architecture.
Mastering the use of techniques and knowing how to apply them appropriately in a context is what enables a professional to carry out a high-impact Business Analysis, but the skills alone are not enough. It is also necessary to have a mindset that is committed to worthwhile results. The Business Analysis Mindset sets the motivation to act in favor of understanding the real needs and look for the most valuable solutions for stakeholders within their specific context.
How to Develop a Business Analysis Skills and Mindset?
For an organization to truly achieve the transformative impacts of business analysis, it is essential to invest in developing the necessary skills and knowledge within its team. An effective way to achieve this goal is through the study and consistent practice of the techniques and concepts presented in the BABOK Guide.
By mastering these techniques and concepts, business analysis professionals gain an in-depth understanding of the best practices and approaches to addressing organizational challenges. This expert knowledge is critical to identifying stakeholder needs, articulating clear goals, and defining effective strategies to achieve them.
Constant practice of business analysis techniques enable the development of the business analysis mindset. This mindset represents a specific way of understanding reality, shaping attitudes and behaviors that generate the motivation needed to generate real business impact.
The business analysis mindset drives the continuous search for understanding the real needs of stakeholders and the exploration of innovative and effective solutions. It encourages collaboration and clear communication between stakeholders, facilitating the creation of a shared vision and strategic alignment.
By developing the business analysis mindset and combining it with the technical skills gained through the study and consistent practice of the BABOK guide techniques, teams can play a key role in conducting high-impact business analysis making organizations nimble. This will result in successful organizational transformations, effective strategic alignment, and meaningful results for all stakeholders involved.
Therefore, when investing in professional development empowering the team with the BABOK Guide tools and concepts, organizations will be prepared to face the challenges of the current market, driving innovation and sustainable growth, and achieving the expected positive results. Business analysis is an essential capability of organizational excellence, enabling you to achieve transformative impact.