2009 was a tough year in many ways.  If you were not personally impacted by losing your job or being furloughed, you most likely knew one or more close family and friends that were impacted.  In the wake of the economic crisis companies have received a huge wake-up call, and if they are still in business, are much more diligent on what and how they spend their money.  Executives around the world are developing strategies to survive during these times and be in a position for growth as the economy rebounds.  The positive in all of this is we, Business Analysts, are in a place where we can have a direct impact on the successful implementation of the company’s strategies and goals.  In life there are things you can and cannot control.  The collapse of the economy happened.  There is nothing we can do about that now.  The future success of the companies we work for is something we can definitely control.  Let me explain.

Executives develop strategies and overall goals for success.  These strategies and goals get realized through implementing projects.  Business Analysts have the critical role and responsibility to ensure the solution implemented via the project meets the company’s goals.  Are you feeling it?

Besides having a good grasp of the techniques available to you as a BA there are two strategies of your own you should employ to make a positive impact.

1)      Lift your head out of the details and look where you are going.  Every now and then make sure your project is still aligned with the company goal(s) it is supporting.  If it is not, raise a flag to make the PM, your manager, and the business sponsor(s) aware.  You and your team should make adjustments to get the project re-aligned or push to have it canceled.  Stopping a project that no longer supports a company goal is a success, not a failure.

2)      Use the support network around you.  In the fast paced environment we work in there is not enough time for you to come up with solutions to the challenges you will encounter on your own. You do not have to do this alone.  At your company you are surrounded by an endless number of subject matter experts, other BAs, project managers, and a wealth of technical knowledge.  That is just the beginning. Look outside of your company and join and participate in local professional organizations like the IIBA.  There is no need to stop there.  Why stay local, when you can go global?  There are so many online communities where you can connect, interact, and learn from like minded people around the world.  Communities like BA Times, Modern Analyst, and a number of LinkedIn groups are great place to get answers to the business analysis questions you need answered.  Think about how valuable you are to a company by not only bringing your knowledge and expertise, but also bringing expertise from around the world.

Being a part of the future success of your company is wonderful.  Even though there is a lot of pessimism with the current economy it is an exciting time to be a business analyst.

To our success,

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