Digital Transformation is very fashionable but everyone has a different definition, and, as is often the case with Business Analysts, its application also varies greatly.
In my experience it is the “Road to Cloud”: bring business processes to modern, cloud-based systems. No matter if these processes are now on paper or legacy systems. Cloud systems offer usability and scalability advantages, but also pre-defined processes that represent the “best practices” in that sector.
The Business Analysis Phase
It all starts with a high-level analysis phase, the traditional task of a Business Analyst. It continues with the “system selection”: a competitive assessment of the systems/services offered by the market. In this phase, the active involvement of the intended users of the system is essential. Users must imagine their work with the future system, they must like it, not so much aesthetically but as a user experience and as a support in daily work.
A good Business Analyst, as often described in this blog, accompanies users on this path towards the future and lays the foundations for a successful implementation.
The duration of this selection doesn’t matter, but the result: users must feel in tune with the chosen system. On the positive side, no significant outlays have been needed so far, for vendors it’s pre-sales.
The Implementation Project
Cloud system implementation projects are much shorter than traditional ones: there are practically no means for customization but only for configuration or parameterization. The work proceeds according to methodologies proposed by the individual vendors, little or non negotiable, but often sold as “agile”.
Projects have their complexities, because when it comes the details, difficulties and misunderstandings always arise and need to be resolved. This is the time when the will to progress towards modern solutions and more efficient processes must win.
The Business Analysts – Project Manager Relationship in the Digital Transformation
In these situations, the BA, who carried out the initial analysis together with the users, is the key figure in overcoming the difficulties that emerge during the project. A complete handover to the PM would be very difficult to implement in the tight deadlines dictated by agile methodologies.
The traditional relationship between BA and PM changes and the weight of the BA increases considerably. A positive result of the project is less and less within the reach of the PM alone, who does not always fully know the background of the project.
Many players still identify the figures involved in the project with the classic terms of BA and PM, but it would be time to make a “digital transformation” of these titles too. And adopt new ones, more suited to the new challenges that modern Cloud systems present us.