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Being Flexible as a Business Analyst

by D. Lawton

Category: Career Management

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Sometimes the business analyst can be so caught up in a project he or she forgets tried and true methods do not always work.  The analysis team is trying to get done what the customer has scoped out and sets up a plan of action.  The plan of action requires certain fundamentals.  There are times when these rudimentary ideas just do not work for the client.  The client can not understand why these steps may be so important.  This is when the business analyst needs to step back and ask the same questions as the client.  It is all in communication.

The professional business analyst must understand success of the project is not only about requirements documentations it is about how those requirements are handled.  The business analyst is the acting liaison between the client and IT.  The documentation may be required for the IT team to do their job.  Certain explanations may be necessary for everyone to understand what is needed.  Yet the client may not understand the documentation or have no need for it to begin with.  Communication skills are what is required. The business analyst may get further and move faster with just a simple meeting to explain the methods and procedures being used.  The client can ask questions and the business analyst can explain.  The case studies and other documentation would not in any way assure the client of progress.  There are those who need to hear it because to them it may look good on paper, but how is it supposed to work?  A good business analyst can explain the intricacies of what is taking place.  The client can sign off.  The work can continue.  The goal is being met.

This is where the business analyst must be flexible.  Just because he or she has done this a thousand times with other clients does not mean this client is like the other thousand.  The job of the business analyst is to determine what the client wants.  Paperwork may be a burden to the client.  The business analyst should comprehend how information is delivered.  He or she must be flexible enough to deliver what the customer is requesting.  The business analyst must ensure the client is comfortable with how information is delivered.  Not the other way around. There will be times the business analyst must learn to be flexible when it comes to dealing with information.  Not everyone can do the job of a business analyst.  This is why he or she was hired in the first place.  However, there may be no documentation for certain things the analyst is normally made privy to.  The business analyst must be flexible in knowing how to work around this barrier.  He or she must know how to gather the information needed to perform the task.  Flexibility comes in handy at this point.  The business analyst may have to do what he or she can at present and wait for statistics to be gathered.  Instead of getting a concise written report from the team, the analyst may have to interview each member to gather what he or she needs. The key is to work within the boundaries of the client.  Do what the client feels comfortable with.  The business analyst may not be as comfortable.  Being flexible in any situation will do away with this unease.  The task at hand can be accomplished.


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