From task-based analysis to value-driven approach

by Nortal HQ, October 19, 2017

72% of CEOS believe the next three years will be more critical than the last 50 years in their industry, says Alaeddin Hallak, Senior Business Analyst at Solutions360. Hallak will give a keynote speech at Nortal’s Analysis Disruption Conference.

Ahead of the Analysis Disruption Conference on November 8, we picked Hallak’s brain on a BA’s role in this age of transformation, and how we need to address the changes happening now and in the future.

Alaeddin, your keynote is titled “A Mind for Value: How BAs Are Positioned to Help Organizations Create Real Business Value”. What can participants expect from your keynote and what ideas and discussions do you hope to prompt?

Business analysts are agents of change. For the most part, the way BA has been conducted has only scratched the surface of the full potential of this role. In 2016, a global survey commissioned by IIBA revealed that 72% of CEOs believe the next three years will be more critical than the last 50 years in their industry; 41% expect to be running significantly transformed companies three years from now (up from 29% the year before).

I believe these kinds of transformations present rewarding opportunities for us to step in and contribute to value-adding activities that go beyond what we’ve traditionally been tasked with performing as BAs. This belief is backed with data from the same study demonstrating heightened expectations from business leaders for the BA role.

My aim is to instill a change in mindset towards understanding the business value of our contributions as BAs. Armed with this understanding, I go on to describe three broad areas of contributions that motivated BAs will want to sharpen their knowledge and skills in. I’m talking about smart decision facilitation, lean or agile thinking, and organizational change management. These areas are well within the BA domain and have great value-adding potential towards an organization’s goals.

BAs have only scratched the surface of the full potential of their role.

How has the role of analyst changed in recent years and why?

We are seeing a demand for moving away from traditional “task-based” analysis to a more “value-driven” approach. Business leaders are expecting BAs to not only focus on the traditional goals of improving project success rates and enabling efficient use of time/resources, but to take on a consultative approach towards strategic goals. That includes identifying and prioritizing new opportunities and improving customer understanding, acquisition and retention.

How do the analysts and clients need to address that change to continue to deliver more value to customers?

This type of change calls for a joint effort among BA practitioners, business leaders, and the BA community at large. As BAs, we start by adopting a value-driven mindset, which encourages us to seek new avenues for creating value for our organization. This is the focus of my keynote. Beyond that, and to support it, the organization needs to look at different models for increasing value derived from BA (the cited IIBA research explores a couple of them). Finally, to expand its role and reach, the business analysis community needs to do a better job of communicating its value to organizational leaders.

Ahead of the Analysts Disruption Conference on Nov 8, 2017 – what are your expectations?

I’m looking forward to a lively event filled with interesting conversations and exchanges of ideas that collectively enable us to adapt and prosper as BAs in the years to come. This is what these types of events are excellent at facilitating. Personally, inspiring at least one BA and being inspired by a single profound idea would make this event a worthwhile experience.

On November 8, the business analysis conference Analysis Disruption will bring together 200 participants who want to gain a clear understanding of how to generate business value. The presentations and discussions will offer insights on how to engage end users and stakeholders, how to utilize data to the fullest and how to push for change.

BAs are expected to take a consultative approach towards strategic goals.

You can read about how and why Nortal started organizing events for analysts here.

Do you want to read more about how to create value with business analysis? Click here.

We also encourage you to come along to the Analysis Disruption conference. Please register here.

Analysis disruption, Alaeddin HallakAlaeddin Hallak, Senior Business Analyst at Solutions360, has accumulated a wealth of hands-on experience serving at large national and international organizations in sectors including IT, finance and e-government. He is an advocate of realizing the true value that BAs are capable of bringing to their organization. He has appeared as guest speaker on the Mastering Business Analysis and BA Coach podcasts. You can learn more about him through his website at LeanBA.me.