With Bridges Consulting we understand that Business Analysts (BA) are put in a role to develop requirements to build a solution to satisfy the needs of their customers. Often, it seems as if the Business Analysis has to guess what the customers want and then figure out what to do to satisfy the customers.
This brings to mind a story about a King who had dreams that he did not understand, so he gathered all the wise men and sages of his kingdom and gave them an order to interpret his dreams. They could not interpret the dreams and this made the King furious. The King gave them a very short time frame to interpret the dreams by any means or else.
Business Analysts (BA) are put in a role to develop requirements to build a solution to satisfy the needs of their customers.
There was a young prisoner who found out about this and he convinced the wise men and sages to let him see the King. When the young prisoner saw the King, he interpreted the dreams. The young man was immediately promoted and given rule over the kingdom, being only second in command to the King.
Perhaps you will not be as successful as this young prisoner when you are trying to figure out the problem(s) your stakeholders face and how to fix the problem(s), but you have access to your stakeholders to get information about what they do want and to be able to find their problem. You have to build, grow, and nurture a trusting relationship with your customers and key stakeholders. The customers, users, and key stakeholders hold the information you need to help you in your analysis of a problem and the design of a solution. Don’t put yourself in a position where you are guessing what problems they are concerned with; ASK THEM. Don’t put yourself in a position where you as a BA own the problem and the solution, because they will not get involved in supplying you with the information you need for the project. When you the BA try to guess the problem, then you would also be guessing the solution which makes you the owner of the problem
You must get them involved with you by asking questions, or else you will not get their commitment to work with you to develop a solution.
Once you know the problem, you can work with the stakeholders to develop a solution that will have a positive impact on the organization. Your chances of promotion are increased when you can solve problems for your stakeholders that others cannot. Get in a position to ask the right questions. Analyze the information they give you and go forward to generate value for your customers. Don’t take the position of being the expert in your customer domain. You are empowered to ask questions and elicit the information needed to define the problem and create a blueprint of the solution that will solve the problem.