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Change is constant. (Have you heard that before?)
As business analysts, we have a unique relationship with change. We experience change personally (in our lives, in our organizations, in our career definitions); we experience change through others (in their life experiences, in their business processes, in their technology choices); and we experience change as agents. We possess exceptional abilities to not only experience change but to help influence it; we can help guide and demystify the complexities that many feel as they experience change for themselves.
Now, business analysts as change agents can manifest differently. For some, this includes new product definition, creation, and enhancement. For others, this includes complicated third-party vendor implementations. For still others, this includes enterprise-level policy and organizational change. In those (hopefully) rare instances, it can be all of the above.
This year, I had the opportunity to meet Jaya Deep Tunuguntla, the Vice President of Partnership for the IIBA Vancouver Chapter and the 2020 Volunteer of the Year (VOY) for the Americas Western Region. Jaya likely falls into one of the latter aforementioned categories, potentially in a category all on his own. Jaya is one of those consultative business analysts who THRIVES in chaos. His expertise (understood and appreciated by his boss) is to drop into complicated scenarios, organize the chaos, implement change, and move on to the next challenge. He’s the James Bond of BAs! This preference and experience have created opportunities for him across an abundance of industries, including Healthcare, Information Management, Finance, Human Resources, Insurance, Telecommunications, Construction, Supply Chain Management, Corporate Services (fleet, accreditation, etc.), Education, Custom Software Development, and Process Management.
In fact, Jaya stated: “As BAs or those who use or perform business analysis, change and new ideas or perspectives are something we should embrace, since it is part of opening up opportunities, and how the profession has evolved. My hope is that we are not akin to a horse with blinders that only looks in one direction and ignores all else.”
Now, what recommendations can we take from this successful change agent as we evaluate our own relationships with change
- Invest in learning. How can Jaya be so effective in complex situations, across many industries? Simply stated….he invests in himself. He showed me a stack of books he was currently reviewing from the library in addition to his references from IIBA’s Digital Library – stocked with over 10,000 unique titles. In addition to reading, he completed over 200 hours of online courses in 2020 alone! Ultimately, he wants a baseline understanding in a breadth of contexts; and, in his pursuit, he is selective in his time investment, but he knows that there are no short cuts to efficacy.
- Anticipate the rollercoaster. There are going to be ups and downs as part of our work, especially when embracing and managing change. Keep focused on what the organization needs.
- Get buy-in. As Jaya describes, you can deliver a “gemstone”, but people and processes are an integral part of the overall equation. Without buy-in, the gemstone will be rejected.
While not every person or organization fits Jaya’s particular model, as a business analyst, you are an agent of change. How are you doing this in your organization? What, if anything, could you be doing to influence change further?
If you want to learn more from Jaya directly, join him and four other presenters in Season Six of the Leadership Series this summer.
Thank you to Jaya for sharing your inspiring attitude and approach with me! If you want to learn more about the IIBA Vancouver Chapter, please visit its website (https://vancouver.iiba.org/).
As a reminder, Be Bold features members, volunteers, and Chapters who are taking bold action. If you have a story to tell or a recommendation for future inclusion, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you inspired and want to learn how to embrace change?
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About the Author:
Koryn Anderson enjoyed a couple of careers before finding her ultimate one. She has been a business analyst for more than 10 years and is currently a Lead Business Analyst at Baird. She is passionate about the BA discipline, has her CBAP® certification, is Past President of the Southeast Wisconsin Chapter, and is the current Communications Director for the Global Chapter Council.