Join Haydn Thomas for an in-depth discussion in this video Providing implementation support, part of Business Analysis Foundations.
- A good business analyst is like a tour guide for a camping trip. You start with the planning, making sure the destination is appropriate for the type of camping you want to experience. You then move on to the equipment, making sure you have the adequate shelter, gear to prepare food in a remote setting, the ingredients you will need to suite everyone's taste and cooking capability you will have. The most important role however, starts when the camping trip itself commences. The guide ensures that all will be well when taking city folk into the wilderness.
That important last piece is exactly what is needed when a new product or service is implemented. A guide to assist with what may seem to be new and unfamiliar territory. The implementation of new products and services typically provide challenges for your clients. The most frequent items I typically encounter are: People trying to make a system or service do what they think it does, versus what it actually is designed to do; Trouble because a new system or process looks different and people get lost as a result; Process Decisions are made differently with a new system and people do not understand and therefore don't trust those decisions; And lastly, people cannot tie the new system or process to the work they expected to perform and therefore, to how their own performance will be measured.
Although these common problems could be the sign of a lack of appropriate training, or changed management practices, they still surface when considerable effort has been put forth to prepare clients for change. So, like the camping tour guide, who has to hand-hold their clients through living in unfamiliar woods, here are a few best approaches for managing your clients' living through business change. First, listen to what all clients have to say. It's easy to jump to conclusions about what the client's issue is.
Even if you are correct, listening completely is likely needed to relieve your client's stress as they get used to the new experience, sleeping in a tent and the noises outside. Second, make sure you completely understand any new business processes before you answer a question. It is likely most of the changes that will disturb your clients will come about because of the transition to new processes. If you get answers to their questions wrong, even slightly, you can quickly erode confidence in the products of your project.
Keep documentation handy and reference it often to ensure you are all on the same page. Third, if something looks even slightly off what you believe should happen, verify the situation quickly and report it, before you try to find a correction. This ensures that all situations that surface with an implementation can be managed and solutions communicated, so anything impacting your business can be addressed holistically and quickly. By the same token, if you then find a correction, ensure that it is captured in detail and communicated widely as well.
Lastly, be appreciative of your business members that are reporting problems. It's easy to get caught up in the stress of handling issues. This will only further disturb your clients, who are dealing with the issues as well. Ensuring you are perceived as wanting to help, and wanting to understand perspectives, can help you through the implementation with a minimum of complaints and bad feelings about the changes you are trying to imbed in your organization. A patient, caring and experienced camping guide can make or break someone's camping experience.
You can help them hear the wildlife and see the stars in a cloudless sky versus getting stressed over the small bumps under their sleeping bag or the noises of the woods. In the same way, focusing on the good things with an implementation and patiently listening and addressing issues can make your implementation a new and favorable experience versus one your business regrets.
Discover where business analysis lives in the project life cycle, how to initiate a project, the best way to gather requirements, and smart strategies to monitor results and test outcomes.
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- Understanding what business analysts do
- Defining business opportunities and objectives
- Identifying stakeholders
- Gathering requirements through observation and brainstorming
- Validating requirements
- Developing project acceptance criteria
- Implementing, testing, and closing your project<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.