This is from an article I recently posted on LinkedIn. One of the problems I hear about frequently from clients is related to trust and credibility with the technical team – you can have it if you follow these tips.
As the liaison between the business and IT department of an organization, all eyes are on the BA when each side needs answers. But trust is not given outright with the BA title. Instead, a BA must earn the project team’s faith and prove their credibility.
Consider the development team. To them, the BA is the voice of the customer–if they trust what he or she says. Ideally, the team should be able to ask any question regarding the process and functionality and they should believe in the answers that BAs provide.
If they start having doubts on the answers BAs provide they may get tempted to develop something that is not needed by the business or spend extra time in clarifying the doubt from various sources.
To build a foundation of credibility with the development team, try these tips:
- Interact with the developers regularly and ask them regularly if you can clarify anything for them. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it–they might think you are trying to micromanage their work. Instead, keep it simple and friendly so they know they can turn to you if they need any explanation about the requirements.
- Be sure to talk the development team through the requirements before they begin the implementation. Do it on module-to-module basis, and plan with the Project Managers and Team Leads. The goal here will be to help them understand the business pain points rather than leading them by the nose with instructions.
- When team members approach you and it’s an issue outside of your department, direct them to the correct person to consult. The main idea is to be helpful and knowledgeable whenever possible.
- It is a good idea to explain the business side to the developers and also let them know about the domain, as you have that knowledge. The more informal these conversations, the better. You want to make sure you don’t come across as a person bragging about their knowledge. Rather, you want to be seen as the person who is genuinely interested in helping others out.
- The best rule of thumb is to keep all your interactions honest and always come from a place of being helpful.
Learn more ways to build your credibility with your team and to communicate effectively. Contact The Analyst Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can support you and/or your team of business analysts.