Using Positive Politics to Move Business Analysis Forward
Effective business analysts must be adept in a number of competencies and skills to accomplish their goals.
In my new book, Breakthrough Business Analysis: Implementing and Sustaining a Value-Based Practice, I examine one soft skill in particular that can make or break a successful business process implementation: using positive politics and influencing skills.
Here’s an excerpt:
Building a new business process such as business analysis is a challenging endeavor. First, you must gain executive sponsorship and organizational alignment. Do you have the power and influence skills to take a comprehensive view that is aligned with your organizational environment and decision-making practices?
Make no mistake: Organizational politics will influence your BA practice in multiple ways. Politics is really the collection of an organization’s internal structures that deal with power, influence, and decision-making. Politics is often thought of in negative terms, but positive politics can lead to positive power and influence. Things happen when politics works. Decisions are made. Projects move forward. Deals are cut. Goals are met. Things get done. Your power is directly related to how well you negotiate the politics of your organization.
Your ability to act as a positive politician will have beneficial results for your team, for your organization, and ultimately for you. People want to follow natural leaders. You as BA practice manager/lead need to be seen as a leader.
As a positive politician, use your influence rather than authority or manipulation to achieve goals. Ensure that you are operating from a positive position—a solid basis from which to influence. This will include:
- Status. Your role as BA practice manager/lead needs to be positioned high enough in the organization to command respect.
- Trust. Your colleagues, whether on a peer level or above or below you on the organization chart, must trust you. Trust is earned slowly through positive interactions.
- Integrity. Never sacrifice your integrity. Never.
- Consistency. Maintain a “steady as she goes” posture. Carefully craft your communications so that they tell a story and are consistently positive and strategically oriented.
- Knowledge. Become a quick study. Know what you are talking about, and know when to dive into the details and when to stay at the executive level. Know your audience and what type of communication is appropriate to them.
Excerpted with permission from Breakthrough Business Analysis: Implementing and Sustaining a Value-Based Practice by Kathleen B. Hass. © 2015 Management Concepts Inc. All rights reserved. www.ManagementConcepts.com.