Every January, people take time and look into the coming year to make resolutions for themselves and predictions on what they think is in store for the year. I, like most people, do this personally but also inevitably end up doing the same for life in the business analysis community. Kent McDonald, in his predictions, covered a lot of ground and hit on many areas that I fully agree with. Instead of duplicating his efforts with my own similar predications, I would like to add one additional prediction: effective remote communication with stakeholders will be even more critical to facilitate the decision making process and move projects forward.
As a BA, one of the greatest values you bring to your team is the ability to facilitate sessions, draw out ideas, gather information, and help groups make decisions. The best facilitators have an uncanny ability to engage stakeholders and inspire a cohesive, positive collaborative environment. When groups are co-located, key factors to successful collaboration, like building trusting relationships, are simpler. Opportunities for the casual chat while getting coffee or passing by in the hallway happen naturally. Some trends may indicate that remote working will become less prevalent, such as the Yahoo CEO instituted a policy where employees could work remotely only under specific circumstances. Also, Gallup’s employee engagement research presented in its State of the American Workplace report suggests that the ability to work remotely corresponds with higher engagement, but primarily among those who spend less than 20% of their total working time doing so.
Regardless of a company’s remote working policies, large organizations frequently have many offices in the city of the headquarters and around the world. Even if you do not work remotely you are working in a virtual world.
This year, make a resolution to improve your engagement with others remotely. I recently wrote an article with Nancy Settle-Murphy, 7 Ways to Keep Stakeholders Close in a Virtual World. I am partial, but take a look, there are some good tips to get you started! You want to be valued so help your company fit into the virtual world and feel like everyone is in the same room.
All the best,