You are working in a high profile project. Your team has been working long hours for several months, including a good number of weekends, and doing a great job. Vacations have been put off until the project is done (another six months, if things go well). The project is on schedule and budget. Remaining activities are to finish the development work, perform quality assurance and roll out the product to its users.
The phone rings and it's your project sponsor. There has been a change at the highest levels; some political issues coupled with a new project that is in the wings and needs to be expedited makes it necessary for you to get done in three months instead of six.
What do you say?
- Yes sir
- Are you nuts? No way.
- Let me take a look at the options and I'll get back to you
- Nothing. You hang up on her and cry.
Clearly, your best choice is 3. You are smart and experienced. You know that a change like this needs some clear thinking and some quality time to do it.
Successful BAs position themselves in the eye of the project storm. They are the calm, center point of a complex group of interrelated people, roles and processes. BAs are in a prime position to ensure—when the project storm settles—that all pieces are connected and aligned to maximize value to the organization. In order to do this, BAs rely on strong relationships with many friends.
Last month, I set the stage for a series that describes the BA’s best friends. Each month, using the following questions, I will explore the relationship between the BA and one of their key stakeholders.
- How does this stakeholder benefit from the BA?
- What makes a top-notch BA from their perspective?
- What frustrates this stakeholder most regarding the role of the BA?
- How to say "no" to this stakeholder?
- How to influence this stakeholder to give you what you need?
- How to communicate the value of the BA to this stakeholder?
There is a lot going on in your organization, all sorts of things that you need to wrap your head around. The challenge is that you first need to truly understand the issues and determine how to address them.
This is where Issue-Based or Goal-Based strategic planning is used.
Issue-Based planning is probably the most common planning process for tactical managers to use. It starts with a review of the organization's mission, vision, values and guiding principles; this ensures that management is practicing aligned thinking and has the right mindset to dig deeper and solve business problems.