A day in the ‘new normal’ life of a: Business Analyst
Conversations regarding the changes impacting our Qual IT team due to the rise of remote-working, and the increasing number of situations where our consultants are being onboarded and working remotely, are increasing.
For a project’s duration, some consultants can now expect to have no personal, face-to-face interactions. Their work has become an entirely remote digital transaction where they never go to an office or meet anyone in real life. Our team’s experience has included having a client laptop delivered to their home and engaging with stakeholders, SMEs and project team members only by video or phone calls. On completion, they’ve sent back their laptop via a courier. This way of working may be a lot for some to get their head around. However, while these can be very dramatic changes, they have also brought significant productivity, communication, and work-life balance benefits.
As a company where people are our greatest asset, the changes our team are experiencing are something we are very mindful of. As such, Qual IT is helping our team transition, navigate and grow with the adjustments working remotely is bringing.
Sameer Singh, part of the Northern BA team based in Auckland, knows first-hand what this situation can be like. Read about his experience below.
What does a Business Analyst's 'new normal' look like in 2021?
Q. Tell me briefly what project you're working on and your role?
"The project is an application upgrade project of a DHB's Payroll system to cater for updated compliance requirements. It is divided into review, remediate and rectification phases to ensure systems and configuration changes for future payroll will identify instances of non-compliance areas and corresponding rectification payments in the future.
The client recently kicked off the project by organising a workshop at their office. The aim of the workshop was to onboard the team with the project agenda. The breadth of the discussion included appraising team members of the project intent with a high-level project plan, and the meeting concluded with identifying, formulating, and prioritising key questions across different workstreams and non-compliant areas.
My role on the project spans across various disciplines of Business Analysis, Assurance and Consultancy work. I am leading the functional stream of work, where I am responsible for understanding, analysing and documenting the current functional behaviour of the enterprise systems which support as-is business cross-functional process workflows. Developing these foundational processes will assist with compliance requirements and enhance Quality Assurance procedures.”
Q. How are you adapting to working remotely?
"I have been able to adapt and transition to working remotely with ease which helps to strike the right balance between personal and professional life and saving time on travel is a plus."
Q. What challenges are you experiencing in comparison to working in a client office?
"At times, it does pose some challenges when the ability to collaborate becomes restricted. For instance, when your client is more of a visual person, and they would prefer to meet you in person once in a while to strengthen that professional bond and relationship. In those circumstances, a catch up would definitely help in breaking down that barrier.”
Q. Are there certain BA activities that have been easier/harder to complete remotely? How have you adapted to this?
"One situation that comes to mind is when stakeholders have to collaborate on documentation work on Zoom calls. Switching screens, handing off control, and trying to attain a consistent pace of completing documentation does become a challenge in terms of breaking the rhythm and pace of work. With time though, we acknowledge such challenges and identify a workaround based on how we delegate and breakdown the work involved based on skills, role, convenience and ease with which a person can carry out a certain task.”
Q. What do you like best about working remotely?
"The best thing is the flexibility that you’re afforded striking the balance of personal and professional life. Another is it has highlighted how we virtually communicate and the importance of this, exploring different options as a Team which best fits. Turning around perceived challenges, collaborating with your team to break down silos, build confidence and assurance which enables the creation of a shared understanding and a common goal clearly understood by all.”
Q. What advice would you give to those who aspire to work as a Business Analyst?
"When entering the field of Business Analysis, my advice is to try and develop a mindset of becoming a ‘Jack of all trades’ as analysis cuts across multiple domains, concepts, technologies, and industries.
Great Business Analysts thrive in ambiguous situations. So, over time, you should also look to develop critical consulting, problem-solving and thought leadership capabilities to deal with the ambiguity and frequent changes you will encounter.”
Q. Is there anything else you would like to add about your role at Qual IT that makes it interesting/special?
"Working for Qual IT, the nature of the projects and the varied array of clients you get to partner with means that some days are not the same. Due to the nature of my remote current engagement, one day I may be working from home, the next at our Qual IT office and the following on a flight to lead a workshop in a different city.
I’m thankful for these opportunities and the room I’ve been given to grow, test, hone and apply my skills at Qual IT."
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