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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Communication is Key

One of the most important skills a BA should possess is communication. I put this skill higher than writing the requirements because if you cannot effectively communicate you will not capture or understand the business needs. Another skill is to understand how to communicate with the many different audiences you will work with daily. I have found that if you find how the other person likes to be communicated to you will be more successful. I have also found that no matter how you communicate some people will never get it. No matter how specific you are, whether it be task assignments or getting your point across it's as though you are speaking another language. I write this post to ask you to think of the following when you conduct your business analysis as these tips have proven successful to me:

1. Understand how each individual likes to be communicated with
2. Adjust your communication style to fit your audience
3. If you find that written communication doesn't work then try verbal communication
4. Watch the tone in which you communicate, it's mot what you say but how yo say it
5. Less is more - be concise but get your point across
6. Avoid phrases such as "You need to do..." this puts individuals on the defensive
7. Paraphrase what you understood the person to say to ensure you understand
8. Proof read written communication
9. Do not respond based on emotion
10. If an individual gets loud then you get soft. Don't add fuel to the fire.

These ten concepts have proven successful in my business analysis career. Hopefully, these can help others.

Paula Bell

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