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Understanding complexity through business analysis

Understanding complexity through business analysis

The need for understanding complexity in business is on the rise. This is a driving force in the growing demand for professional business analysts.

The world is becoming more complex

Understanding complexity is becoming more important for business.  As the problems of organisations become more complex, so do the solutions. This creates a demand for people who are able to describe issues in new ways. Business analysts are the people who are filling this demand.

In Jan 2016, Modern analyst reported that the top trends in business analysis profession included:

  • The shifting role of BA toward communicating, instead of documenting.
  • Wider adoption of a professional business analysis approaches to increase an organizations’ agility.

This reminded me of the quote by American journalist, Henry Menchen who wrote: “for every complex problem there is a solution that is concise, clear, simple, and wrong.” Overcoming this is a key role for the modern business analyst and is achieved by defining, modeling and measuring business problems. By understanding complexity in new and insightful ways, decision makers gain more clarity and confidence. As a result, a business analyst empowers solutions that align with the needs of the business.

In other words, when you understand your problem, the solution becomes much easier.

A professional approach to understanding complexity

The core purpose of business analysis is to model, measure and monitor a change that must occur in a business. To do this, the business analyst needs to understand the entire business, its’ technologies, culture and history. An experienced professional will hold a broad toolkit to examine the platforms, people and purpose of an organisation. These tools help to remove barriers and hence open the pathway towards effective decision making and improved customer service.

Information technology projects have many parts including data, software, process and people. Changing the systems of a business is therefore always difficult and can easily go wrong. The context of a business is often too big and nuanced for one person to understand without some level investigation. As time goes on, our past experience becomes less relevant. Furthermore, our bias as individuals and teams can blind us from obvious improvements. People need to keep an open and curious mindset in order to understand complexity. These are therefore, key quality for any business analyst. An open mind is core to walking the journey of business transformation without getting lost.

Business analysis brings to an organisation a strategic and professional approach to understanding complexity. It is a profession that takes dedication, skill and an open mind. As a result, every organisation can benefit from the skills and talents of a professional business analyst.