It has been challenging to go from a role where I was producing the Business Analyst work deliverables, to being the person who reviews and manages other Business Analysts producing the work deliverables. It would have helped me a great deal to have a few tips that I could refer to when transitioning into this new type of work.
Tips for Business Analyst Team Reviews:
Check In as Often as the Work Cycle Requires
Although you have a Business Analyst great team, people that are working with their heads down on tasks will sometimes forget to take a breather and look at the bigger picture. If the work cycle is very short it is important to check in with the team frequently, so that work adjustments can be made quickly. The Check points can be as informal as a quick email, question or as formal as a scheduled meeting. The challenge is to balance these checks with ensuring that you are providing the team value when you do check in. If you are not providing useful feedback or the result of the meeting is that things are going well with no adjustments, consider reducing the frequency of the check points. These meetings are very valuable even if they are only a few minutes in length.
Look for the Positive
I’ve found that people are really resistant to reviews because of the inherent uncomfortable nature of someone providing feedback on work that they own. It is important to depersonalize the feedback and be as constructive as possible. Always look for the positive as well as any challenges with the work when reviewing.
Quantify Status Reporting
People do not like to report that deadlines are going to be missed. Make the status reporting about the tasks and targets at hand, rather than their personal progress. Progress checks are useless without quantifiable metrics as part of the reporting. Ask for specific numbers or totals of work when performing a status review. For example, the number of user stories written vs. total number of user stories identified as “Must Have”. Without having a number to compare to the target, status reporting is arbitrary and open to misinterpretation or communication.
Ask for Team Input
Don’t forget that you have a great team of Business Analysts who also have opinions and insights into the project that they are working. Be sure to ask for their feedback about your interactions or feedback about the work in general. And LISTEN to the information they share. It has been my experience that people are often reluctant to share unsolicited opinions but their input is extremely valuable. By giving your team an opportunity to voice opinions, or comments, you increase their ownership in the work being produced and create a better team dynamic.