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Strategy & The Business Analyst

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Written by Guest Blogger, Paula Bell, CEO at Paula A Bell Consulting.

In my last article, we talked about how the key to strategy execution is to ensure the strategy is communicated, accepted and supported by executive team.  In addition, we discussed how you must ensure individuals are held accountable to the strategy. This month I would like to focus on how, as a Business Analyst, you can help in the execution of the strategy.

  1. Understand the strategy in your organization – if you do not know the strategy of your organization then ask for it. Your leader in the organization should know what the strategy is. If you cannot find it on your internal websites, nor can your leader articulate the strategy, then you have red flags. You are playing in a field of ambiguity, with lack of accountability, lack of clear vision, and goals. If you can influence defining the strategy, I highly encourage you to do so. Again, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. Organizations are in the business of making profits by servicing customers.  I can guarantee they would prefer to not achieve their goals on a wish.
  2. Understand how the work you are doing links to the strategy of the organization – if your organization has a clear strategy ensure you understand how the work you are doing aligns with that strategy. This will provide you with empowerment and engagement, despite any challenges that may come your way. You are helping with the execution of the strategy.  You are making a difference and you are achieving company goals and objectives.
  3. Understand your role and expectations – it’s important to understand expectations. I have been in a few roles in my career where expectations were not clearly set, and it caused enormous amounts of confusion.  It also slowed down execution.  If you don’t understand your role, or that of others involved in the initiative, I would highly recommend you leverage your skill of influence to communicate the importance of defined roles, responsibilities and expectations.
  4. Hold people accountable – this not only applies internally but also with business partners.  Unfortunately, there are many experiences where, instead of holding him/her/them accountable, someone else takes on their work. This sets a precedence that will not help in execution in the long run. It is imperative people are held accountable in the organization. This may take some influence on your end, but this is where the leadership of the project manager, sponsor and other leaders in the organization needs to ensure individuals are held accountable to complete their piece of the execution.

As business analysts, you will need to leverage a lot of influence, collaboration, relationship building, communication and teamwork to execute the strategy.  And as business analysts, you have the skill set necessary to drive and execute on the strategy.

My next article will discuss how leaders and entrepreneurs can help to execute strategy as well.  As stated we need ALL parties to help in execution of strategy.

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