Why do we need a BA?

This a question I’ve often been asked over the last 10 years. So I thought I’d give you an idea of what to expect when you bring in a business analyst.

When a client asks about business analyst support, they usually have an idea that something isn’t working. Maybe they tried to implement some changes, but it’s not quite working out how they had planned.

Or they know they need to do something, but ‘what’ feels like the golden question. Some business leaders may have heard from someone that a BA is what they need. But do they? 

BAs love asking questions

Well, there’s only one way to find out, let a BA ask some questions. We love questions, we love asking them. We even sometimes ask the same thing but three different ways to see if we are getting to the heart of what the problem is. 

Business analysts also love metaphorically looking through the office cupboards, looking for any documentation, or diagrams (we like these too). What are we looking for I hear you ask? 

What are we trying to do?

Well, we are trying to get to the root cause of the problem, often problems are only identified from the symptoms that staff suffer with. 

For example, a process of three steps let’s call them step A, B, and C.  

Step A is fine, step B things are going a little slow, but the business thinks its ok, there’s new staff in that area for example, so things take a little longer.  

Step C is slow, the business is not seeing the output come out regularly, some days lots of outputs occur, and others barely anything. The business thinks it’s ok because step C is really the most complicated part of the process and so can take more time than steps A and B. 

This is where the BA can bring the magic (I mean value). They observe steps A, B, and C and find that each task takes about the same amount of time. 

So why the delay at step 3? 

Well, the people who carry out step B also check that step A has been done properly and those people who do step C, these people check what happened at step A, AND step B!

The next question is why

Why do people at step C feel the need to check steps A and B? 

This is where we find the root cause of the problems (insert fanfare!) The people doing the steps can give us the reasons why they do the checks. A workshop or some interviews with those involved is one way to do this. 

BAs love problem-solving even more than questions

Once we have the root cause we can start with another one of our favourite things – problem-solving. Working with the client to create some solutions that the people can try, either do this on a small scale or go for a big change, depending on how the company feels about change.  

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