Business analysts should always be looking for new techniques, new methods of examining sections of a business. Business doesn’t stand still with new technologies being implemented almost constantly. And this means analysts must get with the program and stay ahead of such changes. Here are some techniques which business analysts would do well to consider.
When making an analysis of the staff, start with the leaders. First they need to be examined like everyone else and second, it will do the team members good to see the spotlight on their bosses before them. And if instructions come from on high, then an improved leadership team will mean better guidance throughout the project.
Consider the human element. Making a detailed analysis of a company will have some sort of an impact on the staff. Staff members are human and have feelings. It is better to establish and announce a procedure which you will follow when investigating people and their work. This means staff members are aware, to some extent at least, as to what will happen. It is self-defeating to make recommendations which are designed to improve the efficiency of a team if the members feel intimidated and lose enthusiasm because of the analysis procedure. Always remember you are dealing with people.
Adopt a professional and formal presentation to your recommendations. Certainly any major changes being recommended should be treated with respect and your findings set out in a manner appropriate to the importance of the case.
‘Involve everyone’ means just that. If your analysis suggests certain steps being taken, structure the implementation to involve all layers of the staff. It could be that a few leaders undertake a certain program but the end result is that they then pass on their new knowledge to a group above or below. These groups then in turn are required to conduct classes or educate others within the company or team. Everyone must have a firsthand experience of dealing with the changes. Do not have staff working on a project without having had a session or sessions on the changes.
Make the changes personal. They are not the analyst’s changes even if he or she has created or initiated them. The changes must become ‘owned’ by the staff usually the leaders. Only once the leaders take on the changes as their own can the rest of the staff feel the changes are from the inside and not something supplanted on them from outside or above. The changes become ‘ours’ and never ‘theirs’.
Monitor the impact of change. Because the change has been widely accepted at certain levels, there may be confusion and thus conflict on the work floor. Have in place a system of monitoring the progress of the change so that as it continues to be used there is a constant watch on how it is travelling.
Being frank is a good tool for business analysts. Your clients will appreciate such frankness and your message of what is wrong and how it can be fixed will be clearly understood.
As a business analyst you are the eyes and ears out in the company. You have an intimate knowledge of the business and the people who work within it so keep an ear out for the rumour mill and jump on negative whispers as you hear them to avoid confusion and chaos. One unsettled person can cause widespread discomfort if left to their own devices.
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