John Kotter, a Harvard Business School professor, wrote a book that details how to tackle a leadership role and conquer all of the many objectives involved. He did the smart thing and simplified the process.
In business analysis, no matter if you’re working in Waterfall or Agile methodologies, you will complete a before-to-after transformative process. The trouble is that process might have some major roadblocks that curb the desired outcomes.
Enter Professor Kotter. When you use his process of project completion, you will satisfy your stakeholders and create sustainable resolutions for every business analysis initiative you tackle.
This system can be boiled down to eight words: create, build, form, enlist, enable, generate, sustain, and institute. I encourage you memorize these eight words and use them as a guiding light as you work to satisfy your clients and bosses.
Since there is so much to cover (though I promise you that this process is simple), we’ll split the process into two blog articles. Be sure to tune in later this month so that you gain all the information you need.
Step 1: Create a sense of urgency.
Business analysis involves change. Even when change is positive and welcomed, there will still be some resistance. Stakeholders, end users, and even fellow business analysts may seem reluctant to create a new dynamic.
You beat this resistance by creating urgency. Only if you provide a compelling reason to make a transition will you build a cavalry behind you. Create a sense of urgency so that people understand they need to join the cause sooner rather than later.
Spotlight the principal goals of the plan, and show how those milestones create benefits.
Step 2: Build a guiding coalition.
Though business analysis requires a leader to spearhead the process, it’s not easy to do this job alone. You’ll need a coalition of the willing who will advocate for the change. If you sway the top stakeholders, they will act as your most persuasive ambassadors.
Think of it as trickle-down business analysis. You get the leaders on board, and then they do the heavy lifting with persuading other stakeholders. After that point, you’ll work toward getting everyone else on board.
Step 3: Form the strategic vision and initiatives.
People won’t jump to your campaign simply because you and its supporters say that it’s awesome. There will be more than a few stakeholders who require additional information before rallying to the cause.
Develop the detailed strategy that will need to be communicated to the larger group—those who are not necessarily in leadership positions.
This big-picture strategy will not only be detailed but also defined in a clear-cut way. If you can describe the initiatives and the benefits in bullet points, then these bite-sized aspects will speed up the project.
In addition to big-picture benefits, outline nitty-gritty points for reaching small milestones that direct the organization toward its end goal.
Don’t miss the follow-up.
Now that you know how to build a base that propels you forward, you’ll soon discover how to make transformational change in your business analysis career.