A tough challenge for our profession is getting true management support for business analysis work. Many BAs are caught in a “catch-22” where their management does not understand the value of business analysis and as such, don’t give BAs time to analyze. When we don’t have time to analyze, management doesn’t see the value of the profession.

In talking with managers in many organizations, the problem is often caused because the managers have never seen good business analysis work and its value on their projects. As we all know, reading about business analysis work or listening to a lecture on it, doesn’t really give a person a true understanding. We have to experience it. Our managers need to have the experience of being involved with a project where strong analysis work is done and the project success is demonstrated.

As a BA working for a manager who doesn’t understand your value, what can you do? Remember that change happens slowly but it does happen when people see how they benefit from the change. Take any opportunity to show your manager the value of performing analysis. Schedule a meeting to talk about your project where you develop a list of probing questions and have your manager help strategize about where to find the answers. Have him or her talk with you about the business risks and response options. Use a few minutes in a team meeting to discuss stakeholder issues and brainstorm about tactics. People learn by doing, so actively involve your manager in analysis tasks whenever possible and he or she will start to understand the value.

Other suggestions?

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