‘CHANGE’ through the eyes of a Business Analyst
By Mary Ann Kizhakechethipuza
“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”
– Niccolò Machiavelli
The Business Analyst Body of Knowledge (BABOK) describes Business Analysis as the “practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders”. The major focus for a business analyst during the lifetime of a project is ensuring that the team is equipped with the necessary tools required to propel forward the positive progress of the project. The ability of a business analyst to understand, communicate, model and navigate “change” is instrumental in being able to channel the team’s efforts towards project success.
In the organizational context, change can be planned and modelled. But, it is usually associated with higher unpredictability, risk and ambiguity. The impact created by pursuing the change can be positive and negative, the latter of which may not become evident until the later stages of implementation. Hence, this raises the question as to why so much importance is given to being able to change or adapt?
The author Braden Kelley, in his book “Charting Change” observes that “while there is risk to change, just like with innovation, there is often potentially more risk associated with doing nothing.” Progress in technology, shifts in consumer behaviour and even political movements have created a rate of external change which has in turn triggered internal change in organizations and fuelled the speed of innovation in many businesses, across industries and over the globe. Although it could be argued that the intention behind participating in this race as a means to stay ahead of the competition and the changing environment is “survival”, it is also worth noting that, propelled by innovation, the same rate of change has brought several improvements to the general quality of life and the quality of services provided by industries like Healthcare and Information Technology.
Twenty years ago, “work from home” was a term uncommon among the workforce, but today, amidst the pandemic, it is the new norm. The latest developments in pharmaceuticals and drug discovery have enabled companies to formulate and bring to market highly potent vaccines against the vicious COVID-19 virus, all in record time. Other organizations like the Canadian Centre for Computational Genomics (C3G) are one step ahead and have adopted the mission of providing cutting edge support in bioinformatics analysis and high performance computing services for the life science research community through “leveraging innovation”.
One good example in this case would be COVID19 Resources Canada, which is an online platform to coordinate pandemic response efforts at a national level. The idea for this platform started as a casual conversation in Twitter between two great minds which quickly evolved into a website with the aim to serve the public and the research community as an information hub, a platform to coordinate research efforts and as a tool for COVID-19 public health capacity building.
Another project worth mentioning in this regard is the Bento platform. Compliant with GA4GH standards, it allows users to ingest, organize, store, retrieve and navigate genetic -omics datasets and associated clinical/phenotypical metadata. I have been fortunate to work on both of these projects and have had the opportunity to understand and witness first hand the positive impact these projects brought to the expert & non-expert community through their approach of catering and adapting to the changing needs of the external environment.
Recent trends in the external environment have reinforced the fact that the future holds change and that it is inevitable. Companies with financial and organizational agility have a better chance to quickly adapt to changing market conditions. The same applies at an individual level where in addition to agility, the attitude and ability to embrace change shall prove as a necessary foundation for navigating through the chaos.
- Kelley, Braden. (2016). Charting Change: A Visual Toolkit for Making Change Stick (2016). Palgrave Macmillian
- International Institute of Business Analysis. (2015). Business Analysis Body of Knowledge(BABOK V3)
Published: June 21 2021