All Day Designs For The Edge

How do you make sure you are maximizing value


Mar 18


First, you’ve got to understand that real problem to be solved. You’ve probably heard me say that before and you’re going to hear me say it again. It’s so important to what we do.

Then you’ve got to help the business prioritize what they want.  If they come to you with a list of 10 things, not all 10 things are equal. Let’s rank them. Let’s sort them into three groups of high, medium, and low. Let’s do something so that we know what’s most important and then help them advocate for the things that are truly, truly important in their business to solve that problem.

But you can’t advocate for everything that they may want or desire or think would be a good idea. If you do that, that’s where that “too business oriented” comes from. You’re not helping us add more value; you’re just telling us all the things that the business wants.

You’ve got to realize that there are technology constraints and project constraints here as well. We can’t do everything for everyone. We’ve got to focus on the most valuable pieces. That’s where the BA starts to become part of the negotiation and the facilitation process. Really helping your stakeholders prioritize is a big part of it.

Next, you’ve got to get in the middle of facilitating those discussions between the business and the technology team.

In my last video, I talked about what to do when a developer pushes back or when the tech team pushes back on you. It’s kind of the same thing. Part of it is understanding their constraints. There are legitimate true constraints around the project.

  • What’s feasible?
  • What is possible?
  • What are some of the possible solutions to this problem?

When you start to do that and you start to be on both sides of the conversation, not just the voice of the business – jamming the requests down the throats of IT – that’s when the magic happens and that’s when we really start to show up and add a lot of value as business analysts. Now we’re part of all the conversations, not just the business side of the conversation, but the business, the project, the tech team, the QA team. We’re facilitating that and we’re making sure the most valuable work gets done with the limited time and resources that we have.

If you’ve received that feedback, I hope this video helps you understand why you might have received that feedback and what actions you can take going forward to be both business-oriented and solution-oriented.