Rummaging the net, you will stumble on many Articles about the qualities expected of an experienced Business Analyst (BA). Of course, it bears relevance to writing on habits as opposed to qualities. Why?
Qualities are mostly innate, while habits are acquired from outside. Doesn’t mean you cannot acquire a specific quality but that would be like modifying your core self. Habits, on the contrary, may be transformed with practice and conscious effort.
Why not categorize habits into two broad sets: “Standard” and “Advanced”? A standard habit is a usual Business Analysis practice you adhere to achieve uniformity and skip the regulatory hurdles to get your job done.
On the other hand, an advanced habit is something that reaches beyond the essentials, gives you a sense of how or what you do, and results in stakeholder satisfaction. Having said that, standard habits are what, you need to practice while advanced habits are something that distinguishes a great business analysis consulting firm from a good business analysis consulting provider.
Let’s run through the typical habits of a great BA, within the standard set.
Make oneself vocal
Business analysts should be ready to strain their vocal cords for no less than 4-5 hours on any given day while, trying to be heard. This habit covers specific basic concepts to keep in mind for ensuring effective verbal communication such as:
Discern Your Audience – One of the major tasks of an ICT Business Analyst is to ensure everyone is on the same page. The information requirements of every member of a project team are unique. For instance, the senior management will rather look to understand the business value and risks of a project. On the other side, a developer wants to know where to source the values for a dropdown. The ICT consultant needs to figure out the audience’s needs and tailor the communication accordingly.
Make Delivery Efficient – All the communication that a BA does will have no meaning if the audience doesn’t seem to follow along. Following are certain ways to ensure your audience understands your delivery:
- Speak unhurriedly giving pause after making a point to give others a chance for others to respond. This is a necessary trait for phone conversations.
- Make eye contact while making an in-person interaction.
- Ask whether your audience is clear on the message. When necessary, ask a member of the group to summarize.
Make meetings meaningful
Another habit entails doing certain actions to ensure that meetings are productive and meaningful.
Publish meeting agenda – An agenda need not be a formal document. Only a few lines in a meeting invite or an email will do the trick. The main idea is that every participant knows the context & what they are expected to achieve at the culmination of the meeting.
Put in meeting material – Relevant meeting material mailed in advance will save valuable meeting time. Invest effort in making your material print ready. Usually, the material created with tools like Word and PowerPoint (PPT) is print-ready, but Excel might require you to scale the content to fit one readable printout. The last thing you want is attendees rummaging through different sheets each, having a few columns of a bug report at the meeting.
Emphasize the objectives – Often meetings drift away from the main topic and one realizes at the end of the session that questions are unanswered and action items unclear. Bring to the audience’s mind the objectives. If a topic ends up as a sticky point, put it in the parking lot and move ahead to the next agenda item.
Outline – It’s vital to outline the main points made, and this needs to always be done when the meeting ends, to ensure there may be no miscommunication.
Declare action items – At the end of the meeting, announce the action items. Without an owner and a date, an action item carried no meaning. Declare the owner and ask for an estimated time of arrival (ETA) for each item. If an owner seems to evade the date, ask them for a date by which they will provide an ETA.
Communicate meeting Minutes – Minutes are effective when they are to the point; following an hour-long meeting, people hate to spend another hour going through heavy notes. Some bullets containing agreements, action items (with their owners), and next steps are enough for the most part.
What Can A Customer Experience Consultancy Do For You?
User-centric design and development need to always go hand in hand in order to deliver the ultimate online customer experience. A customer experience consultancy can offer solutions to achieve that, in the following 3 ways:
- Create a framework for your customer experience journey
- Draft out the touchpoints that comprise the CE journey
- Make a list of correct resources to correlate experiences with different methods of research, on what is valuable to customers
A business analysis consulting firm has to cultivate both standard and advanced habits in order to provide services effectively. Similarly, a business can use the services of a CE consultancy to build an ultimate online customer experience.