Join Haydn Thomas for an in-depth discussion in this video On influencing without authority, part of Insights from a Business Analyst.
As a business analyst, there will be a lot of times where you need to influence without authority. The quickest way to do that is by building trust and rapport with people. Now that's done by creating relationships and that is about spending time. Stephen Covey comes up with his seven steps of power or the different types of power that you can actually use; everything from positional power, informational power, technical power, coercive, etc. The key element that comes around to this is the business analyst spending the time getting to know the person even before you meet with them, understand who they report into, what sort of role they played, the importance they have within the organization and understanding the influence they also have in the organization, will help you set up when you actually have time to discuss.
It's like anything, people go out of their way to try and make people happy. In organizations we do that through key performance indicators and performance measurement. So, a lot of the time these key performance indicators and performance measurements are a subset of the strategic objectives or the operational objectives of the organization. So people want to make sure they're doing a good job, a good way to do it is actually work out how they are being recognized within the organization, or how the actual functional area or the department is being recognized and what results are expecting to deliver.
That way you'll have a better understanding of the type of decisions they are going to be making. Because at the end of the day if you can provide people with the right information to actually help them achieve their results and outcomes, you've got a better chance of being able to influence without the authority.