Just getting back from Building Business Capability 2014 and we had a great time meeting business analysts (BAs) from across the globe and other people who care about business transformation. It was the perfect opportunity to research workforce enablement solutions. Overall, the show was great, and it was really interesting to compare and contrast presentations; it was a great way to experience a slice of life of the BA across a wide range of verticals including insurance, pharma, finance and manufacturing.
One of my favorite presentations ended with a powerful statement: “Senior management in successful organizations give business analysts room to get the work done; they understand that BAs are in an excellent position to evaluate organizational strengths and weaknesses, and they trust the institutional knowledge that senior BAs bring to the table.” Imagine lots of applause, positive back slapping and smiles as the crowd exits the room.
The following presentation started late, the speaker was clearly uncomfortable, and the script was essentially a list of attempts to regain control as waterfall shifted to agile and key components were offshored mid-project. Paraphrasing the most telling comment: ”We ended up choosing the least ugly of many inaccurate workflows.” Survival appeared to be the only documented measure of success.
So what did I learn at BBC 2014? Many BAs have done an excellent job establishing their value — it’s likely that their organizations have a good understanding of roles and responsibilities and many organizations are seeing the payoff that comes with workforce transformation.
But there are probably more organizations in which BAs have a front-seat view to many challenges: shifting technologies, the knowledge transfers that come with a retiring workforces, the agility needed to compete in a global economy. We heard the stories that describe scenarios in which BAs can only “push a rope” a short distance before they have to run around and pull on the other end.
At Global Knowledge, we’ve been doing a lot of focused consulting, helping organizations change- analyzing organizational challenges, skill gaps, planning training and career paths. We’ve been building programs to develop competencies and optimizing onboarding, and we’re providing the education that’s needed to close the loop.
Because BAs see the good, the bad and the ugly across the organization, they did a wonderful job telling the stories that will help us better identify and serve their needs relating to business transformation and workforce services.
So thanks for a good show and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on business transformation.