I know some of you are probably saying “are you nuts, I have way to much on my plate, I definitely do not need more work”. But maybe you have too many small or short tasks when what you really want is something with more meat to it, but you don’t know how to get it.
I had a coaching call last night where this situation came up and I thought others may be struggling with the same thing so I’m going to share some of the content from that coaching session.
This client, we’ll call him Daniel, has assignments, but nothing that took more than a few days to do. He did not have a specific project assigned to him at this point (he recently finished doing the analysis for a project). He was going through an enhancement request log and making sure everything had a ticket and all the documentation was there for the enhancement.
He wanted another project, but wasn’t sure how to get it. I suggested he do the following things:
- Go to his manager and tell her “I’m finished with the BA work for the XYZ project. I’m currently focusing on going through the enhancement request log, but I definitely have the bandwidth to take on another project. Do you have a timeline for when the next projects will start up?”
Two things will happen here – Daniel is letting his manager know that he is ready and willing to take on more work and he may get some information on what’s coming next so that he can do some research and be prepared.
- If the answer from his manager is something along the lines of “I’m not sure when the next projects are coming, I’ll let you know something when I know”, then he can try this for some work while he’s waiting: go to the development manager (I suggest you do this only if you already have a working relationship with the dev manager) and let them know that he has some time available so if any of the projects they are currently working on need any follow-up BA work, he would be glad to assist with that.
- The other thing I told him to do is look at the processes for his group to see if they need updating. When I suggested this to Daniel he said that was actually a great idea because the BA team was mostly new BAs and they didn’t actually have a business analysis approach documented. This would be an excellent way to show management that he is taking a leadership role and helping to formally document a process that can be used by the current team and by new business analysts during the on-boarding process.
- Daniel also said they have lunch-and-learn sessions and I suggested that he speak at one of those about the approach to business analysis. This will help to position him as an expert in his field. Daniel has 17 years of BA experience and he needs to let people know that he has considerable experience and knowledge by sharing that knowledge with other people in his organization.
If your management team recognizes you as an expert, or at the very least an experienced solid BA, you will be the person they come to for the larger, more complex projects.