The Transparent BA

Do you ever ask yourself the following questions?

  • “What now?”
  • “Should I let my manager know what I am doing or just finish my work and then ask if I did it correctly?”
  • “Why should I let someone know what I am doing?”

You should not always assume people know what you are working on or what your expectations are for the project.

As a business analyst, you should be transparent with your work, goals, requirements, and communication. Why? If you explain to someone what you are doing then they will know what you are doing. There won’t be any guessing games or mind reading; they will know. They may forget but at least they were told.

This is where writing things down is important. Tell people what you are doing, write things down and email them so you have communicated to everyone involved what you have done or what you plan do to. You can even use your communications to create status and metrics.

Why communicate requirements? It is important to communicate requirements so that the developer, tester, and end-user will know what you are asking for, what they should develop, what they should test and how to use the product when it is complete. If you assume a developer is aware of the requirements but you do not document and present them to the developer you will often get a much different set of features than what your requirements asked for. Even if the developer added a great new feature, it was not in scope and can delay your project.

Why should I tell my manager what I am doing? (He should know, after all, he is the manager, right?) Most managers that I have worked work with do not realize the little things that a BA does. Letting the Manager or PM know up front what you plan to do and what you have done will let the boss/manager/PM know if the project is on track, if something needs to be adjusted if there will be any delays, and also to let them know just how valuable a resource you actually are. If you do not tell anyone what you do then it is hard for others to understand your role.

My best advice is to be transparent and let people know what you are working on. Don’t feel like you are loading people with TMI (too much information). It is better to have everyone in the know about what you are doing and what you expect from them. Otherwise, people may end up out of the loop. Remember that one annoying kid in class who was always talking, always bragging about the toys they had, or always bugging people for something? You always knew that kid was around and that they wanted something. Sometimes it is the one who bothers people the most that get what they want.

Be prepared. Be transparent. BA.

By Morgan

CBAP and PMI-ACP with over 20 years of Project management and Business Analysis experience.