We are far from seeing all of the impacts of COVID-19 on the world of business. And, like so many of my business analyst (BA) peers, I have found myself brainstorming new ways that my skills can enable a more adaptive workforce—one that drives organizations forward in periods of marketplace uncertainty. While the future remains unknown, one thing is certain: we must be willing to transform both our perspectives on how we do business and how we can work on smaller, more productive teams to evolve for what’s ahead.
Over the past few months, many organizations have flexed quickly to preserve viability, gain stability, and promote economic recovery. For example, they have allowed teams to transition into new, remote ways of working, supported flexible hours for those home-schooling their children, or asked individuals to either decrease their hours or take on additional responsibilities. It can be challenging to adapt, both as an organization and as an individual. It’s critical to understand that the process will look different for everyone and won't be a one-time exercise.
Below are a few ways that leadership teams across industries are helping their organizations transform forward in the face of challenging marketplace conditions:
- Establishing and embracing change as a culture: Many of us have never lived through a pandemic, and when reacting to a new way of living and working, we may make mistakes and need to re-adjust along the way. Organizations that acknowledge that change is here to stay are fostering a focused, pragmatic culture that fuels adaptation.
- Building a greater focus on cross-team care: We are all greater collectively when working as a team, whether remotely, across time-zones, or (hopefully soon) in conference rooms and offices. We’ve found that the companies prioritizing team building and employee care have been able to navigate changes more effectively, driving productivity despite a challenging climate.
- Building mechanisms to scale effectively: With the global economy on a slow road to recovery, having the right measures in place to scale key roles across change functions is essential to managing a new economic landscape.
Building on these opportunities, we believe business analysis is one important key to adaptability. Business analysis involves taking a future state vision, often with a side helping of ambiguity, and working to build clarity, consensus, and a structured pathway to drive outcomes. Here are five reasons why the BA is uniquely positioned to help organizations become more adaptive:
- BAs are highly flexible. The BA's role is highly adaptable, often bringing experience in transformations that span the worlds of waterfall, agile, and product. Multi-skilled BAs who possess core soft-skills, such as stakeholder management, communications, and facilitation, allow organizations to minimize workforce costs through a streamlined, cost-effective resource.
- BAs bring a people-centric approach to landing new change. As we explored above, organizations that emphasize people-centric change can navigate ambiguity more effectively. With so much unknown about the economic recovery, having BAs at the core of your transformational journey can better ensure that people-centricity remains a core tenet.
- BAs bridge the technical and business gap. It's never been more essential for organizations to apply technology to transform for an always-changing set of customer needs. The BA liaises between business objectives and the technical delivery teams, providing insight, people focus, and assurance in achieving business outcomes. Tapping into BAs to accelerate your transformation journey ensures that business outcomes will drive technical change and adoption, not the other way around.
- BAs understand how to drive effective change. Future-forward BAs are adept in driving change and strengthen their skills in change management and leadership. The new economic outlook introduces a host of challenges, such as disruption to working patterns, new restrictions, and—perhaps most impactful of all—changes in customer behavior. In addressing these challenges, BAs have the essential competencies to define the operational changes to drive recovery, including an eye for detail, process design best practices, and people focus.
- BAs bring flexibility through Managed Services. Making the most of the BA’s skills helps drive transformation outcomes through your workforce. Given the economic and workforce disruptions created by the pandemic, many companies lack the flexibility or in-house team to remobilize with agility. Through Managed Services—a solution that encompasses the BA and other critical roles for transformation enablement—your organization can flex on-demand with the support it needs to achieve its aspirations.
As we embark on the course of economic recovery, skilled BAs are your key to adapting to the uncertainties ahead. With the added flexibility of our Managed Services model, you'll open the door to capability, capacity, adaptability, and transformative momentum through your workforce. Regardless of your organization’s recovery strategy, putting your BAs at the center of remobilization is a sure path towards successful and sustainable change.