According to the latest trends, a Business Analyst’s role has become a critical one in “CHANGE MANAGEMENT” process for successful project implementation as well as completion. A Business Analyst has a crucial role to play when it comes to managing as well as analyzing requests for change from the client side. They are required to always be prepared for change requisitions and most of the times, it happens that the development team does not understand the exact reasoning behind a particular change from client side, so the role of a BA comprises, not only of analyzing the change request but also making sure that all the stakeholders involved are on the same page. A Business Analyst must also be able to differentiate as well as analyze whether the requested change is really a change or a just a defect. Why do these change requests occur in the middle of the project development cycle? The root cause behind the change requests occurring at the mid-way of the project development cycle is gap in communication between the stakeholders or an important requirement being left out in the initial business requirements gathering stage. When it comes to change management whether or not to incorporate the changes, depends on yet another important factor which is for the Business Analyst as well as the Project Head/Manger to ensure whether the requested change is a complex one or just a minor change. In case the change is complex, it will not only expand the scope of the project drastically which in turn leads to increase the delivery time but also causes loss in productivity of the development team and the worst part is the frustration, which begins to creep-in on both the sides of the stakeholders.
At enterprise level, business analysts will be relied upon to help the stakeholders understand the impact, the changes requested will have on the organization and to help minimize negative impact that results from that particular change. Business Analysts must focus on the change management process reduce the overall negative impact caused to the project. Change Management to a large extent can be depicted as the process of managing the scope of a project. That means that any requirement which was not scoped as a part of the initial Business Requirements document, must be managed under a proper change management/control technique and the Business Analyst along with the Project Head/Manager has to carefully review and follow a rigorous change control process. This means, when a change is requested, a Business Analyst should
1. First the change requested must be documented. The process of managing changes differs from organization to organization, so whether a change request form is to be submitted with approval for the same from the key decision makers or it has to be taken into consideration on the basis of an informal requisition is to be decided and executed accordingly.
2. The change manager or the project manager must provide an initial approval if the Business Analyst needs to move further in analyzing the change requested. Now, this step is important as sometimes the change requested may not be a change and it could just be a defect. So, a change manager must make this effort and decision prior to team members getting involved in analyzing a situation which involves doing an “Impact Analysis” on time, effort as well as cost in case of deciding to incorporate the change at a given stage of the project.
3. “What” and “Why” that particular change is being requested? The rationale behind any change request should be elicited and accordingly a High level analysis of the same needs to be done.
Business Analysts play a critical role as “change agents” in the overall process of the project development. Successful change efforts necessitate the Business Analyst to articulate a realistic or convincing vision that appeals to both internal and external stakeholders. A BA must be able to communicate a sense of urgency among the stakeholders, lead by example, show strong personal commitment and enable stakeholders to contribute to their full potential. Successful change management therefore, requires organization to overcome the challenge of bringing all stakeholders to an agreement/consensus about the changes to be incorporated and to avoid conflicts which generally causes delay in the project completion .So BA’s have to work towards developing a focused and upbeat strategy to address as well as manage the change requests.