10 Definite Ways BAs Can Add Value to Their Organizations
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An old friend from my college days called me a few days back. We generally talked about life and how are things going, the professional life discussions came up. She was looking for a job change and was checking if I could help her with appropriate openings in my network. She had built a great professional career as a business analyst over the last 10 years, before which she was in a technical role.
She took a couple of interviews with prospective organizations. Each time, the organizations perceived the BA role as an additional cost in the project. They had to staff the position as the clients mandated the positions.
She was clearly upset with this mindset.
"Tell me, how do I show the value add of a BA in the project?
How do I prove my worth to the organization?
How do we change this mindset?"
Unfortunately, many organizations still believe that BAs are only for project documentation. They perceive that BAs spend most of their time in meetings and thus delay the project. They feel real work lies in only writing code and nothing more.
That's when I realized that as business analysts, we constantly need to prove our value to the project sponsor/client. Business analyst as a role exists to solve business problems, create a positive change, design and describe solutions that deliver value, and enhance the return on investment.
Following are 10 definite ways Business Analysts add value to their organizations.
- Enhancing organizational performance by adopting new technologies
- Increasing organizational revenue through technology
- Cost reduction through automation
- Delivering business value quickly through correct prioritization
- Enhance customer satisfaction through better product quality
- Saving organizational resources through requirements validation
- Saving organizational resources through requirements reuse
- Enhancing probability of solution success
- Protecting solution from malicious elements
- Delivering projects on time with complete requirements
Let's take a brief look at each of the value adds-
Enhancing organizational performance by adopting new technologies
Technology is changing at a very rapid pace and providing unthinkable opportunities to organizations. Things that were considered near impossible even a decade back are now possible today because of technology. Organizations can reach out to customers throughout the world, serve customers around the globe, use resources from around the world, and the possibilities are endless. As business analysts, we have the advantage of scanning the environment for new technologies and understanding how the new technologies can be leveraged to improve business outcomes.
Increasing organizational revenue through technology
A couple of decades back, technology did not play a significant role in an organization's sales process. With digital marketing, an organization's sales process will probably be primarily driven by digital technologies than traditional advertisement media. Business analysts have an advantage in that they understand business and understand the technology. They can make the organization take advantage of advances in digital marketing technologies to enhance its sales and revenue.
Cost reduction through automation
Traditionally, most business analysts have focused on cost reduction through automation, which is valuable to the organization. Any repeatable and predictable process should be automated so that valuable human resources can be released to perform tasks that are higher in terms of value.
Many of our customers at Adaptive US write to us about how they have been able to save a lot of manual effort in testing/data entry and customer communication by simple automation in tools such as Google, MS Excel, Data Load, etc.
Delivering business value quickly through correct prioritization
Business analysts focus on requirements prioritization. This ensures that requirements with a higher value are implemented first, and the business gets the benefit of the solution as early as possible.
Enhance customer satisfaction through better product quality
Multiple studies have proven that close to 50% of customers reported defects origin in the requirements phase. Good BAs coupled with a good BA process ensures high-quality requirements and subsequently a high-quality product as well.
Saving organizational resources through requirements validation
Business analysts ensure that any requirement getting implemented in the project adds significant value to the organization. They evaluate requirements, having taken a close look at the return on the investment.
This ensures that the organizational resources are conserved and not spent on features that do not add value.
Saving organizational resources through requirements reuse
Requirement reuse can save a significant amount of money for organizations. In most organizations, it's often observed that multiple teams have developed the same features multiple times. Any feature developed consumes significant resources as it is maintained over a long period of time. Focusing on requirements reuse by Business analysts can reduce the amount of development that needs to be done by the organization. At the same time, reused components tend to be of better quality than components being developed again and again from scratch.
Enhancing solution success probability
The primary customer for the business analysts are the stakeholders and the users of the system. Thus their critical success factor is the satisfaction index of the users and the usability metrics of the system. Hence it's natural for business analysts to try to make the solution as user-friendly as possible. They also try to increase stakeholders' support for the proposed solutions. This ensures that the chance of the solution delivering better value is higher.
Protecting solution from malicious elements
In today's interconnected world, systems can be attacked by both internal and external elements. Business analysts ensure that the information security aspect for the applications is taken care of in non-functional requirements. Hence, they ensure the system is protected against malicious attacks.
Delivering projects on time with correct and complete requirements
Business analysts strive to collect requirements that are correct and complete. This reduces the number of requirement changes one would see when the system is rolled out. This way, we get the system up and running with high stakeholder satisfaction for the very first time.
To summarize, as a business analyst, you are improving the bottom line and ROI of the organization.
Having a business analyst is in the project is in the best interest of the project and the organization.
Like it's rightly said, "A penny saved is a penny earned" each small saving in effort and budget is adding its effect to the bottom line.