Leadership & Management

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Since 2009 we have enjoyed reflecting on what’s happened the previous year on projects and making predictions for the upcoming year. Here are some of the recent trends we have discussed: agile successes and challenges, recognize the importance of roles that help maximize value, Scaling Agile, Certification trends in business analysis, etc...

Here are the seven industry trends that we have chosen for 2018.

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In his classic book Flawless Consulting, Peter Block described three types of roles that consultants might take on: expert, pair-of-hands, and collaborator. Each of these represents a different kind of interaction when working with clients and a different source of satisfaction for the consultant. Business analysts can engage with clients in the same three modes. This article describes some of my experiences with these three modes of consulting engagements.

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Given the speed of change, it is really tricky to predict what trends will grow in popularity or relevance. I am sure whatever emerges will seem obvious in hindsight, even if it would have been difficult to foresee. Yet, I have always thought that making predictions has a useful place in that it creates a conversation and it creates debates. So, what follows is designed to provoke discussion, and is intended to represent ‘potential trends to watch’.

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Are we really trying to promote teamwork or is this nothing more than the latest corporate fad that is being implemented more for public relations than anything else? Let's hope for the former and not the latter. Teamwork is a powerful concept, particularly when there is anything of substance to be done.
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Enterprise Agility means the ability to adapt easily to change. In the business perspective, agility refers to a distinct quality that allows institutions and corporations to respond rapidly to change. It is the ability and capability of a system to respond rapidly to a certain modification by adapting its inceptive and stable configuration.  Agility is also viewed in relation to the results of organizational intelligence. It is the aptness to react successfully to the emergence of new competitors, abrupt shifts in the overall market conditions, and adaptation of industry-changing technologies that are based on the degree of agility in the organization.

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A BA walks into an elevator, is joined by an executive, and suddenly the executive asks the BA, “So, what are you working on these days?” (Sounds like the start of a joke ...)  Most business analysts, due to their project success focus, think of requirements management when questioned about their work. So the BA responds by describing the features of a business solution that the BA is currently working. The BA seldom mentions the associated business benefits with the work (i.e. why the work is vital to the business). Unfortunately, the BA ignores the first rule of conversation: know your audience. The executive asking the question is more likely to understand and be interested in the business value provided by the work, rather than the solution features.
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Estimating is one of the most controversial subjects in project management. There are some people who have turned the subject into a cryptic science involving esoteric techniques. Estimating is simply the process used to determine the amount of effort and cost required to implement a project, in part or in full. It is important to acknowledge that...
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There are some practices that can practically make our life much easier if we adopt them early in the project.  This fourth article of the series “ Business Analysts and Change Management - What we need to know” addresses the minimum that we - as Business Analysts - might need to know about change management, but this time at organizational level
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While BABOK and other sources include Behavioral Characteristics as an essential underlying competency for business analysts, many analysts may have only a vague idea of how it applies to their personal work environment, or even exactly what behavioral characteristics are, so let’s define those first.... The term behavioral characteristics simply refers to an analyst’s workplace ethics and character. 

 
Detect language » English
 
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We hit a challenge however when we attempt to promote the value of Business Analysis to IT Management or the Business...  The reality is that simply promoting “better requirements” does not sell our value-add in terms that management from an IT or Business perspective understands... So how do we do this? Let me share five lessons learned based on my experience as a senior requirements management consultant. 

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Through the use of contract terms and conditions, this article provides insight on managing risk on outsourced projects beyond just transferring work to a contractor. Training courses on risk management typically cover transferring risk at a high level, but that is just a start. Read this article for the follow-ups on managing risk via contract terms and conditions.
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This is the time for the BA community to expand its capabilities and provide critical value to the organization. With a massive 86% of global CEOs reporting a lack of time to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping their company’s future, businesses leaders must lean on the evolving capabilities of the business analysis community.
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The causes of chaos are unpredictable behaviors that arise from individuals, teams, or systems. Behaviors portrayed by the mentioned three components affect how an organization is able to handle challenges and problems. By allowing individuals and teams to portray their own behaviors in the working environment, different components of an organization may either work properly or experience failure. In the subsequent sections, we will elaborate on some mechanisms that trigger chaos in an organizational context.
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Every organization has some degree of “chaotic” culture. Some of them breed chaos and unconsciously operate in chaos. Project management is designed to operate with structure. However, reality has always contained a dose of “Wonderland” as well. Projects find themselves at odds with the environment that they operate within when the underlying organizational culture tends to be chaotic and less disciplinary and operates randomly. Project management methodologies and execution processes’ logic and convention are contradicted by the chaotic, shape-shifting setting of “Wonderland.” This conflict threatens a successful outcome for a project. The uncertainty that projects are confronted with throughout the execution process can be fatal. Chaos, by its very nature, is impossible to control completely, and so projects struggle to deliver as they fail to manage the conflict they find themselves in with the organization’s way of life.
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Business analysis is an indispensable function in all business organizations, performed at myriad forms and scales.  Maintaining high quality of business analysis consistently is a challenge to many organizations. Inconsistent business analysis output quality results in undesirable project outcomes, poor decisions, operational disjoints and missed opportunities.  This article uses an actual case to discuss how low quality business analysis impacts an organization and what improvement initiatives the organization implemented to address the problems.

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