Client-Focused Value Creation: A Strategic Approach
As business analysts and consultants, how do we set ourselves up for success to create and deliver optimal value for our clients? This can be especially challenging when drinking from a proverbial firehose, as we navigate unfamiliar territory, like new client environments and lines of business.
This requires a methodical, organized and strategic approach that focuses on the following:
- Scope – Scale your scope for organization, enterprise & industry
- Vision – Develop your client’s business motivation model
- Focus – Validate risks, efficiencies, outcomes & continuity
The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge defines Strategy Analysis as “business analysis work that must be performed to collaborate with stakeholders in order to identify a need of strategic or tactical importance, enable the enterprise to address that need, and align the resulting strategy for the change with higher- and lower-level strategies.”
A more succinct way of thinking of this is to employ a focused investment in understanding the internal and external influencers that impact and motivate an enterprise into action.
No one ever achieved greatness by thinking small. This does not mean you have to conquer and solve the world’s problems but, by simply upscaling your scope to consider organization, enterprise and industry, you can instantly leverage new opportunities and trends which may immediately align with your initiative and identify key partnerships to help your client achieve larger returns on investment.
You can rest assured that if your client has identified a problem or need, it probably is not unique to them. Most business and technical domains now have a body of knowledge, standard, framework and/or methodology designed by a consortium of professionals to mitigate risk and add value. Leverage these as tools to facilitate discussion and assess maturity levels for compliance-related standards and best practices to address key compliance concerns such as privacy, access, records and/or financial management.
Developing a vision for any initiative is essential to ensure that everyone has alignment with common objectives and goals. Expand your vision to include a Business Motivation Model which BABOK defines as “a formalization of the business motivation in terms of mission, vision, strategies, tactics, goals, objectives, policies, rules and influencers”. Developing a business motivation model will provide direction and increase client engagement.
Compliance is a great place to start, driven by legislation, regulations, policies and standards that already exist to mitigate risk and add value. Invest in understanding your client’s compliance obligations and expand the discussion to explore opportunities within the enterprise and industry.
At this point, you have researched bodies of knowledge, frameworks, standards and/or methodologies that can be leveraged, and you have developed a strong business motivation model to understand your client and their respective stakeholder concerns from an organization, enterprise and industry perspective.
Apply and infuse this newly acquired knowledge into discussions to improve client engagement by identifying and mitigating risk and quantifying improvements in efficiency and effectiveness from a people, process and tools perspective. Use the business motivation model to play to speak to the concerns of stakeholders and influence change and drive value.