Are you familiar with the term, ‘Requirements Analyst’?  It is sometimes used interchangeably with the term, Business Analyst (BA).  Granted, Business Analysts are the go-to project resources for in-depth requirements analysis, communication and tracking, but these same skills benefit far more activities within a project than only those centered on requirements.  According to Adrian Reed, Principal Consultant and Business Analyst at Blackmetric Business Solutions Ltd, the Five Top Trends in Business Analysis for 2018 are as follows:

  • Increased Focus on Organizational Agility
  • Recognition of the breadth of the Business Analyst’s Role
  • Early Engagement Becoming the Norm and Outcomes Matter Most
  • Focus on ‘T-Shaped’ BAs that have deep analytical and organizational understanding as well as a broad appreciation of a range of different disciplines
  • BA Activism in the Community

Let’s focus on trends 3 and 4 above.  Reed recognizes that the BA’s analytical and communications skills are transferrable – they don’t apply merely to one situation or one process group within a project.  In fact, Requirements Analysis is only one aspect of what an experienced Business Analyst can contribute to a project.  Just as BAs successfully work with stakeholders to identify requirements, they can work with stakeholders to identify and document, among other things, the Business Need and the project Goals and Objectives as well.  In addition, the analyst can take away essential knowledge from these endeavors to apply to later activities.

Having performed in a Business Analysis role for a variety of financial and insurance organizations over many (I’m hesitant to say how many!) years, I am excited that key stakeholders, as well as project managers, are recognizing the importance of the early onboarding of Business Analysts, with ‘early’ being defined as a point in the project prior to creating the Business Requirements Document.  As a BA, my first exposure to many projects was at the Kickoff meeting, after the Project Charter and much of the project planning activities had been completed.  I believe, without question, these projects would have benefitted from my analysis and documentation skills during Initiating and early Planning processes and I would have gained greater insight into the project to use in the Requirements documentation process and subsequent activities.

Because some leaders are still working to define the BA role within their organization, I would encourage the definition to reflect the variety of skills BAs can contribute to the entire project lifecycle.  For those organizations that have a clearly defined BA role, I would suggest you review your definition to ensure that you are fully utilizing your BA resources.  Both the Business Analyst and the project team will benefit from the BA’s expanded role.

If you are trying to decide when to bring your full-time or Business Analyst Consultant into a current project, NOW is the time to maximize results by taking advantage of the analytical, communication and leadership skills the BA has to offer.

So, to answer the question:  ARE YOU FULLY UTILIZING YOUR BUSINESS ANALYST? You are if you are enhancing project success if you are extending you BA’s analysis, communication and leadership skills to ‘early’ (pre-Requirements) project activities.

At iSeek, we can provide valuable business analysis support and guide you toward full utilization of your Business Analyst.


To learn more, contact us today; stay tuned to our blog for future insights.

Organizational Alignment? What does that mean?

Too often I’m asked to explain organizational alignment (OA). So, this is the first of a blog series to educate and enlighten readers on “Organizational Alignment” and its many disciplines. At its core, OA simply means ensuring your organization is performing at an optimum level. More specifically, ensuring all aspects of your organization, including business process, technology, workforce, and IT, are properly structured to meet the goals of your organization.

According to entrepreneur André Lavoie, Alignment should be thought of as a playbook for your entire company. This means that the company and all of its resources must work together, as a team, to achieve success. The most challenging part of the process of aligning your organization is knowing what needs the most attention and where to begin.

Alignment starts with communication. Your company’s vision, mission, and strategic goals must clearly be communicated to your employees, regularly and consistently, so they understand what you are trying to accomplish and their contribution. Start by asking yourself these questions:

Can your employees verbalize the vision and mission of your organization? Does your workforce know and understand the strategic growth goals of the company? Does each employee know exactly how his or her role contributes to the sustainability and growth of your business? Are your business processes consistent with your strategic goals?

If you answered no to any of the questions above, then your organization is not aligned for optimal success. Alignment is a necessary business strategy. The disciplines of Organizational Alignment are proven to greatly benefit organizations and significantly increase their value proposition.

To learn more about the benefits of Organizational Alignment and how iSeek Solutions can light your path to success, contact us today; subscribe to our blog and stay tuned for future insights.

Why is Project Failure Acceptable?

I often say that project management is in my DNA.  For me, it’s a lifeskill; not just a profession. That bit of insight might help you understand my passion in the pursuit of excellence.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines a project as “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.” Project management success is measured by the ability to deliver expected results while managing budget (money set aside for the endeavor), time (estimated time to complete the project) and scope (what must be done to produce the expected results with quality). While the project management process is considered a professional methodology, most of us operate under these same constraints in our personal endeavors as well. Hence, project management as a lifeskill.

The concept is simple and doable. Project management principles and disciplines are well-established and applicable to all types of endeavors, regardless of size and complexity. Success is obtainable. So why is project failure acceptable?

While pondering that question, here are a few statistics to consider:

  •  The United States economy loses $50-$150 billion per year due to failed IT projects. (Source: Gallup Business Review)
  • Fewer than a third of all projects were successfully completed on time and on budget over the past year. (Source: Standish Group)
  • 75% of business and IT executives believe their projects are “doomed from the start.” (Source: Geneca))
  • 80% of project management executives don’t know how their projects align with their company’s business strategy. (Source: Changepoint)

A few of the most common project challenges:

  • Poor Strategic Planning
  • No Business / Technology Alignment
  • Ineffective project sponsorship
  • Insufficient requirements gathering and scope definition
  • No formal Portfolio, Program and Project Management Methodology
  • Lack of “Industry Best Practice” tools and processes
  • Under-staffed and/or under-skilled resource pool
  • Inflexible technologies
    • Poor scalability
    • Lack of interoperability

Some of the mysteries behind Business and Technology MIS-alignment:

  • Insufficient visioning and planning
  • No “B/I” Governance
  • Poor communication between business and IT executives
  • Lack of flexibility and collaboration
  • No vendor management/oversight

So, why is project failure acceptable?  It is NOT!!!

At iSeek Solutions, we understand the complexities of today’s business and IT challenges. Our experts provide tools and facilitate processes you need to choose the best methodologies to meet your business and IT goals. We partner with you to:

  • Visualize, articulate and plan successfully
  • Manage multiple demands during times of change
  • Facilitate collaboration
  • Optimize resources

Project failure is not acceptable! Let iSeek Solutions help you ensure project success in 2017 and beyond.  Contact us today. Subscribe to our blog and stay tuned for future insights.