What does the pandemic have in common with business analysis?
A common ground of these reflections is, obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic. To many people, it is related to personal issues with health, work, immediate surroundings, as well as the high number of limitations, economic and psychological crisis. Summing up the previous year, I conclude that a lot has changed because of the pandemic. The fact that it affected us in so many areas is the most challenging. I look at the event of recent months from the perspective of my professional experience. BAs are often the vanguard of changes; it is inseparably linked to their role.
So what can we say about the pandemic with a clear head? First of all, that there is a new, contagious, and quite a dangerous virus. The initial reports about it were chaotic as the knowledge was negligible. But the subsequent news was more optimistic. In the spring of 2020, the next countries introduced restrictions and new social rules to stop the virus from spreading. This directly impacted each person – their work, social interactions, the possibility to do sports, continuity to learn in schools, access to health care, shopping methods, and traveling. Adjusting to those changes was so difficult since the events occurred each by each very dynamically, bringing a life revolution from week to week, even overnight.
Communication and its role in change management
Many companies, also those with which I’m professionally involved, during the pandemic had to more or less drastically modify their operation methods. As a participant in these changes, I appreciate actions that personally helped me accept this revolution relatively calm. In my opinion, the most important is – both at Craftware and the customer’s company for whom I carry out the project – communication. The first news concerned closing offices and switching to remote work. We also received some specific guidelines on what principles must be followed in the new operation model of work from my company and the customer organization. What is more important, there was a forecast of when we can expect further information.
Not all commitments were fulfilled, however, we were pretty soon notified that further company decisions will depend on the development of the pandemic and restrictions introduced by particular countries (I work in the international project). Still, the most important was that both at Craftware and at the customer’s company, regular communication about the pandemic’s impact on our everyday work was conducted. Why do I stress it? Because the regularity has been giving us the sense of relative safety and being taken care of. Equally significant was the broadcast reliability: information on how COVID-19 affects the economic situation of the company and project, though not always optimistic, corresponded with the truth. And finally, something I appreciate – we have been feeling solicitude of our emotional state and whether we have been experiencing difficulties, our daily issues; how we have been finding ourselves in the new reality, and how to jointly get used to it. This also gave us the feeling of participation in the change, not only being it’s a passive subject.
The exam of change management – how to pass it?
From my perspective, the 2020 year could be called “the year of the change management.” I hope that those who greatly coped with communicating changes related to the pandemic will use the gained knowledge in other projects. Whereas, among my close and further friends, there are people whose experiences were quite bad in this unusual year. Communication chaos in the public sphere translated into a mess inside the organization they worked at. Some managers’ decisions and the lack of clear message about possible scenarios for the future have triggered the insecurity. As a result, many specialists started considering a job change. I guess I do not have to mention how the government communication methods about the pandemic – such as no information or its inconsistency – caused us much tension.
Luckily, I work in an organization where a man is in the heart of the interest. And this is why, as I believe, we aced the change management exam, despite the crisis. For me, 2020 remains a practical, intense workshop in this area. What are my conclusions? The three most important are as follows:
- Regular providing information increases the sense of participation in changes and reduces concerns.
- The message’s reliability, even if they relate to issues, influences how a person affected by a change feels – whether they are the subject of the change or the object.
- The message content is of key importance and should correspond with the needs of the information recipient.
My 2021 resolutions are: take care of the change management and spend more time on advancing competencies in this area. I have already been working things out to put it into practice. A part of my plan is to share my knowledge with you. In the following months, we will fill our blog with practical tips on change management in projects, especially in the IT field. Soon, the first article of the series prepared for you by our experts will be published.
- Business Analyst, Team Manager
I have been working on business analysis for many years. My passion for process optimization, breaking down problems into smaller components, was the result of interest in mathematics, especially logic. The customer and relation orientation allow the effective implementation of projects, also complex ones. I am eager to share my knowledge by inspiring the team to develop the competencies necessary in the work of a business analyst.