The Community Blog for Business Analysts

Lee Grinberg, CBAP, PMP
Lee Grinberg, CBAP, PMP

How to convince stakeholders of BA value for the first time?

In my previous posts I outlined how I was able to succeed being the first and only BA at a company and the importance of establishing trust between you and the stakeholders.

 

So you're the first BA at a company.   All are looking at you and thinking what can this person do for me?

Good question.   What can you do for them?

Show them how your contribution will make their life easier!

I'll tell you how I handled this challenge.  I was brought in to write functional specs based on business requirements.  The business requirements were good but not complete.  The IT folks were afraid that key use cases were missing.

I took the following steps:

  1. Created a context diagram (first one in the company) to show them what scenarios may be missing
  2. Created use cases from the business requirements
  3. Reviewed both with the SMEs.  This uncovered many gaps not covered by business requirements

Once gaps were uncovered, the people writing the business requirments were relieved to know the gaps were identified early in the process and not in a later (embarassing) stage.   I made their life easier and this was appreciated.  

The next steps were around design:

  1. Wrote a detailed functional spec outlining database and functional changes
  2. Clearly wrote out testing scenarios

So what, you may be thinking.   After all, this is what BAs do.   True, but remember, I was the first and only one in the company so no one was convinced of the value of a BA.

The result of design was that developers were relieved to know they didn't have to have lengthy conversations with the end users about functionality.  

The key concept again is to make their life easier!

 

Once trust is established, however, you must prove that you can benefit the stakeholders.  

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