Thursday, November 28, 2013

In the Spirit of Giving Thanks…Several Things for Which Business Analysts are Grateful

So, let’s be real here…The list of things for which we have to be thankful is endless.  Furthermore, there are a number of items on this list (like life, health, family, freedom, and so forth) that precede the particulars of our profession.  In this season (and dare I say in any season), however, we should give thanks in all areas of our lives.  Accordingly, here are just a few things for which business analysis practitioners can be grateful. 

1.       A more solidified discipline - Thanks in large part to the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), business analysis practitioners now reap the benefits of a defined (and commonly agreed upon) discipline.  This more solidified discipline facilitates many of the other items on the list.  Thank you IIBA (and all supporting business analysis practitioners) for helping to move our profession forward!

2.       Companies that understand the value of business analysis – Even well-seasoned practitioners face certain obstacles in organizations where there is no fundamental understanding (and support) of the business analysis discipline.  While the seasoned practitioner may find ways to overcome these obstacles, it is truly a pleasure to work with organizations who do understand business analysis and the value it can bring. Thank you organizations (profit and non-profit alike) who understand and support our discipline!

3.       Business stakeholders who want to be involved - Of course it is part of the practitioner’s responsibility to find ways to engage stakeholders.  However, it sure is nice to work with stakeholders who are not only passionate about what they do, but are motivated to give the input necessary to help us help them.   Thank you passionate stakeholders!

4.       Collaborative teams – Although a skilled practitioner may find a way to get the job done in spite of a team not working well together, it is far better to work in a collaborative environment.  Recall a previous article called “Marshmallow, Spaghetti Sticks and String…Oh My! How to Encourage BA and PM Collaboration.”  The article recapped some of the keys to collaboration between business analysis and project management practitioners, as originally shared by Paula Bell in her interactive conference session “Let’s Collaborate Not Tolerate…”  Although the session (and subsequent article) focused on the BA and PM relationship, collaboration with others on the team is also very important.  Thank you collaborative team members!

5.       The opportunity to learn and grow as a professional - It may be hard to imagine, but there was a time when business analysis training (as we now know it) was scarce.   Now, there are numerous courses, webinars, conferences and more to help all levels of practitioners - from the neophyte who is trying to grasp the basics to the seasoned professional who desires to explore more advanced concepts and techniques.  Thank you training providers for supporting us in continually improving!

These are just a few of the things for which business analysis practitioners can be thankful.  Certainly this list could be longer.  So, as a practitioner, for what things are you thankful?  In the spirit of the season, feel free to share items from your list here in the comments.  Happy Thanksgiving! 

Belinda Henderson, CBAP, PSM
Blogger, Project World & World Congress for Business Analysts

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