Join Haydn Thomas for an in-depth discussion in this video On the role of business analysis in rescuing troubled projects, part of Insights from a Business Analyst.
Troubled projects normally have some common themes. The first one is that they really don't know what they're aiming for. So in other words, they [haven't had] predefined success criteria. The second thing is is that they haven't necessarily engaged the users throughout the project itself. And the third reason why most projects fail is because of the wrong assumptions being made, which basically has an impact on the scope of the project, the things you will do and you won't do. The thing with a business analyst, we spend a lot of time identifying stakeholders. We need to be able to work out what it is they want and what they bring into the organization. We then have to be involving them and getting them involved in discussions and workshops, so there is that user involvement. But then, more importantly, is we use the skills to elicit that information and be able to present it in such a way that it can help the organization, or more importantly, this troubled project get back on the right path. So one of things you really need to focus with when you're speaking with stakeholders, and really recovering the troubled projects, is work out the information that you do have. How does it align back to achieving one of the scope items in the project, so the things you will do, how did that scope item then align back to achieving the project objective? And then how does that project objective actually align back to achieving the organization's strategic objective? So this is where this alignment happens. And as a business analyst, if you cannot find how that is aligned, it's showing you the areas that you can focus on of making sure that you either get clarification or verification if it something that you're going to be delivering or not delivering. So that sort of brings it back to how you can actually help that definition of what's in scope and what's out of scope. So the key element that I'm coming back to with troubled projects, it's predominately people oriented. It's because we haven't identified the right people, we haven't gathered the right information, and it hasn't aligned to actually achieve what the organization's trying to deliver with that project.