Put your startup on the road to success: hire a Business Analyst!

Business Analysts, with their unique capability to bridge the Business departments with the IT department, are essential resources in any organization. If you’re reading this blog, I shouldn’t have to convince you of that 🙂

Most of the time, BAs are only seen in bigger organizations, where the complexity of business processes and systems is supposed to justify their presence.

However, Business Analysts can bring value to any size of organization, from the small 10-employees startup to the international corporation. They won’t perform the same tasks everywhere, but they can help your organization grow in a better and more sustainable way.

In the first of two posts about Business Analysis involvement in organizations, here are 3 reasons why you should hire a Business Analyst in your startup or in your small company to get on the road to success.

1. Even startups have business processes; let your BA bring them to life

Why should your startup care about business processes? Isn’t agility one of the key feature of a startup, which would obviously be reduced by implementing business processes?

Well, whether you want it or not, your startup is full of business processes (even your personal life is full of processes). An organization vision is nothing when you don’t have business processes to support it. You might not be aware of them at worst, or they might be informal and unstructured, but they are guiding your employees so they can deliver value to your customers. The problem is that they are often not strong enough to support your growth, which might make you lose clients (consciously or not).

A BA would be able to identify your business processes (through the use of various techniques and standards such as the Process Classification Framework from the American Productivity and Quality Center) and make them visible. This will not only allow everyone to understand what they’re doing, but also ease the integration of your new employees. It will also provide a starting point for improvement and automation (see below).

The end result? A strong foundation that will allow your organization to grow faster and better.

2. Unleashing the power of business processes through your BA

Having a good knowledge of your business processes is the first step to being an efficient organization; even just being aware of them can create miracles!

With this knowledge, a good Business Analyst will be able to quickly understand problems and find growth and improvement opportunities in your organization.

He will be able to go to the root of a problem (whether it’s coming from your processes, your systems or your organizational context), or to build a business case for an opportunity.

He will be able to identify quick wins before implementing a full-fledged solution (that might not even be required after all).

Thanks to him (or her), your business processes will be alive!

3. Put needs in the front row, not solutions

Systems can be great to improve business processes, but they should not be the primary focus of a startup; you don’t need a complete CRM solution to manage 25 customers (but you still need good processes). A good BA will help your organization to find process-oriented solutions to your problems, and he will be able to propose system-based solutions when your requirements call for it.

The key benefit here is that the BA will know precisely when your startup needs (in it’s truest sense, not because your competitor has one) a new system-based solution, and will be able to guide it through its implementation.

Enjoy IT benefits without an IT department!

Whether you need a website or a new [insert specialized field here] system, a good Business Analyst will be able to build a business case for it, as well as document requirements for the solution.

How can this be useful for your startup when you don’t have an IT department? That’s the whole point! With this information in hands, your BA will be able to identify possible external IT partners & solutions (whether it’s an off-the-shelf, custom, or cloud-bases one), and make a rational choice for your startup.

Moreover, he will be able to bridge your organization with your IT partner (dealing with requirements, change requests, quality assurance and documentation), as well as support the knowledge transfer to you employees.

By being versatile, a Business Analyst can fill many roles in your startup. Don’t make like most owners that implement IT solutions unrationally, and hire a Business Analyst!

In an upcoming post, I’ll explain why your big international corporation also needs a Business Analyst (probably more than one 🙂 ). Don’t miss this post, and subscribe to Eric the BA updates by filling the form below!

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Image credits: jaycmiller @ flickr.com

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By Eric Provost

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Eric Provost

Making sense out of chaos as a BA & UX specialist

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