What does it take to be a successful BA?
Congratulations! You have been promoted as a Lead Business Analyst in your organization. This great opportunity is the result of your great business analysis performances in the past.
Working as a lead business analyst is going to bring new opportunities for you to make a larger impact on your organization or your clients. At the same time, the new role will bring in its own share of challenges as well. You are most likely to face some nervousness and anxiety at the beginning of this new role. But if you follow some expert tips to handle the responsibilities at this new profile, you can definitely create an amazing career success story.
Below are the top 5 tips for a lead business analyst from our experts. Once you start following this strategy, you will find a way to grow collaboratively among your colleagues:
#1- Understand the role from your organization’s perspective:
First of all, you need to spend some time figuring out the responsibilities as a lead business analyst. Do not make any assumptions regarding expected outcomes. In fact, there is no universally accepted definition of the lead business analyst role. For many people, the formal role is to handle people management related responsibilities, where you need to act like an expert business analyst and support business analysts in lower expertise. In some cases, the responsibility could be to create a business analysis center of excellence (BACoE). It could be a formal way of directing team members to achieve a common goal. It is better to work with your manager and understand the expectations. Share your views and capture the outcome by meeting different people associated with the business analysis organization.
#2- Set team expectations:
Now that you are a Lead Business Analyst, some of your past colleagues will perceive you as their superior. It’s good to inculcate the principle of servant leadership and communicate to the team that you are going to support the team to succeed in their efforts. Spend more time with your team to help them understand their roles and responsibilities. Many business analysts take their journey as independent role players and they are always busy steering their personal ship. However, successful business analysts spare more time to improve the performance of their teams. Instead of describing responsibilities by words, it is better to contribute and participate with them. Your team members may have different experiences, skills, and viewpoints. It is important to bring them all on the same grounds and use their abilities in the most effective manner.
In order to lead your business with a greater outcome, it is important to follow transparent and open communication. Good leaders are believed to be good communicators. You must be able to inspire and motivate your teams by initiating clear communications. It is better to build trust by following direct communication tactics; it will encourage your team members also to share their viewpoints openly. The flow of information must be maintained very well from bottom to top and top to bottom as well. If lead business analysts fail to communicate properly, they may poison the surrounding environment and colleagues.
# 3- Lead by setting an example:
When you lead by example, there is no need to explain the same thing ten times to the team. Playing the role of a lead business analyst means you need to be an active participant in the project. It will help people follow your approach during the entire journey. As a leader, you have to set standards by your actions, and they must lead excellent returns for other team members as well. Spare some time to share your experiences and expectations with your teams. The active collaboration will help you to create a solid game plan. Be open to listening to your team members, engage directly, and share accountability in the project.
No matter what age, experience, and background you have, when you desire to be successful, you can definitely play your role really well. Successful lead business analysts are known for holding more patience, a thoughtful mindset, and their ability to follow a proactive approach. Even if you are new to this role, follow the above-mentioned tips, and soon you will be able to lead your project with outstanding outcomes.
# 4- Establish your credibility
It is important to establish your credibility as a business analyst with your peers and stakeholders. One of the most effective ways to achieve credibility is to get oneself certified as a business analyst. The most popular standard for business analysis certification is the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) from IIBA, Canada.
# 5- Seek professional mentoring
Don’t be shy to seek professional mentoring. Professional mentors can assist you to be better skilled, handle difficult situations, and make you a star business analyst in your organization.
LN has 25 years of professional experience. He is the Co-Founder of Adaptive US, the World's #1 IIBA Training Provider. He has authored 20+ books on business analysis.