A follower on LinkedIn recently asked MXA Solutions to comment on our experience collaborating with clients who have business analysts versus those that do not. The question was a terrific opportunity for us to examine the difference between having the right roles on a team versus having the right people.
We have worked with wonderful business analysts throughout the years and respect the role they played in helping make Salesforce successful in their organizations. Together, we collaborated to solve complex business problems, align key stakeholders on priorities, and delivered solutions that accelerated growth, reduced sales cycles, and improved ROI.
The most impressive analysts we have worked with had the ability to:
1. Lead and facilitate tough conversations with stakeholders
2. Synthesize information to identify gaps and solve the right problems
3. Provide clear prioritization and technical requirements
4. Establish a growth mindset with the entire team and enable business understanding
5. Act as a champion for both stakeholders and the technical team in communicating the value of the work to the organization
Though business analysts are great to have, not all business analysts are created equal. An inexperienced business analyst can create substantial amounts of confusion, useless documentation, and a misguided focus more on delivering than delivering the right thing. Business analysts who do not search for root causes, work in a vacuum without consulting the technical team, and put process over the customer experience can lead to project delays and even failures. In addition, teams who are working with an inexperienced business analyst often suffer from poor morale due to not moving things quickly in the right direction.
Now that we covered how business analysts can affect project success, can projects be successful without a business analyst? Absolutely. When experienced administrators, developers, and stakeholders exhibit the five skills mentioned above either as individuals or a collective team, projects can be successful without a business analyst. Success is not determined by the roles on the team, but is determined by having the right people, with the necessary skills, to drive successful collaboration and projects.
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