In my last business analysis blog, I detailed Harvard Professor John Kotter’s process for completing successful projects. In case you missed it, read the first installment before you continue learning this simple but powerful business analyst tool.
By now, you’ve already learned how to build a coalition of the willing—industry leaders and stakeholders who help everyone else get on board with your project initiatives. Now it’s time to take that one step further.
In the final steps, you will discover how you can easily satisfy all stakeholders. But there’s something more at stake—the trajectory of your business analyst career. As the Analyst Coach, I help professionals move up and up.
Each success story builds your portfolio. Use these projects as case studies as you make the case for a higher salary.
Step 4: Enlist a volunteer army.
When you read the first installment of John Kotter’s project process, you discovered how to build a guiding coalition. These are the stakeholders who will communicate the benefits, overarching strategy, and smaller milestones to others.
Think of it as a testimonial—your social proof. You can spout off benefits all day, but until an outsider backs up your claims, you won’t gain much traction.
The major goal for your volunteer army is to communicate the plan’s ideas and get more people on board. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; the more people who join the cause, the easier it is to reap the benefits of a 100% coalition.
Step 5: Enable action by removing barriers.
Progress silences all doubt. When you lose momentum, you encounter unnecessary obstacles that deter full support.
When you place the focus on a continuation of action, you won’t have to tackle as many stumbling blocks. Once you get people to agree to your plan, prove yourself right. The best course of action is to start the milestone completion immediately so that you show people they made the right decision.
Step 6: Generate short-term wins.
Small wins start to build the big picture of transformation. If you can start completing successful milestones quickly, you will not lose momentum and will get people excited about the final results.
Continuous motivation is pretty important as business analyst projects tend to be mentally and emotionally taxing during the whole process.
Step 7: Sustain acceleration.
Keep swimming. Short-term wins are a big plus, so show stakeholders that you know what progress looks like. However, the big-picture goal is a sustainable process, so keep the focus on repeated wins.
Step 8: Institute change.
Once you make change, make said transformation permanent. Here’s the way to do this: anchor the change with the culture of the organization, and make it an integral part of everyday working life.
As you make continuous efforts to ensure that change is accepted and communicate with stakeholders, they will see the project as a saving grace, not to mention an opportunity for further growth in a more agile environment.