The new era caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic brought many changes in the business world. One of the most popular topics of recent years was Digital Transformation, but no one could have predicted that the acceleration in this transformation will increase due to a virus. Business people found themselves in a new life model and a business world where they had to define new ways of doing business by questioning all existing habits.
At the same time, the concept of “remote working”, which is a taboo in many sectors, has become the new normal of working. It was a mandatory transition and it turned out that many daily tasks could actually be solved remotely.
An article published in the Harvard Business Review Turkey, Julian Birkinshaw, Jordan Cohen and Pawel Stache conducted a survey about remote working and according to this survey:
– The quarantine period helped focus on what really matters. Employees spent 12% less time on large meetings and 9% more time on meetings where they interacted with clients or project partners.
– The remote working period helped employees in taking responsibility for their routine.
– During the remote working period, employees found their work more valuable. They believe that their work is more valuable both for themselves and also for their companies.
– In addition to these results, while there was a 7% increase in the time range that they devoted to training and development areas in this period, a 12% decrease was observed in the time they spent on managing their colleagues.
Considering the collected data of this survey, we can say that employees have increased their competencies in taking personal initiative and that they have started to organize meetings where they can interact with the project stakeholders more than before.
To transfer our observations about remote working in Business Analysis; there are advantages that we had mentioned, but there are some compelling, worrying sides as well. For example, not being able to socialize, disruptions in the communication due to lack of direct interaction, the hardships of determining the requirements of a new project in an online environment, adaptation problems of new team members, and existing team members’ motivational problems are some of the challenges.
It is important to change our perspectives as Business Analysts so that the project can move forward on its own route during the remote working period. To help you about this, we listed what you can do about it:
- Don’t be the person who manages, be the person who orchestrates:
Don’t you think that the word “manage” got old? Now it is more important to handle the energy of project stakeholders as an orchestra chief, to calculate when they interact, following a macro strategy rather than micro-management – these are especially important in the context of remote working where business and personal lives intertwine. To gather more information about this topic, you can explore the book from Rosenfeld Media, “Orchestrating Experiences” .
- Learn how to emphasize with:
We can’t deny that there are lots of comforts of remote working but some people may not have those comforts. So by empathizing with them, we can decide the most efficient meeting hours of people and create optimized times with them.
- Take effective breaks:
While working remotely, some of your team members may feel lonely and experience fluctuations in their commitment to the project from time to time. As Business Analysts, you can organize non-work-related coffee breaks and increase interaction and motivation in order to establish effective communication and bond with stakeholders.
- Use Online Visualization Tools:
There are many cloud-based collaboration tools such as Creately, Mural, Lucidchart, etc. These tools have pretty easy interfaces. You can ensure a common understanding among stakeholders with business analysis techniques such as activity diagram, empathy mapping, and scope canvas; you can draw/visualize these tools’ techniques. Instead of writing a full page document, a visual that we’ll represent may make people understand so much easier, and that understanding would last longer. Besides, people don’t like to read long documents, right 🙂
- Make effective meetings:
There might be unnecessary prolongations in online meetings due to technical problems and high number of participants. As a Business Analyst, you need to specify beforehand what kind of output you are waiting for. Otherwise, the subject might get dispersed and you would get nothing except a few wasted hours. It is necessary to be selective about the meeting participants in order not to lose the main focus. You need to create more focused meetings in online environments in order to reach your goal easier in a business analysis context.
- Take part in online activities where you can improve yourself:
The biggest advantage of remote working is not spending time on traffic. Also, you can create a more flexible working program during the day. To turn this into an opportunity, you can participate in activities that will take you one step further, both personally and professionally. You can register for online training or virtual conferences to expand your network. This year, as BA-Works, we are organizing BAistanbul as a virtual conference, and it might not surprise you; the theme of the conference will be Virtual Business Analysis 🙂
If you want to be a part of this experience, you can visit https://baistanbul.org/ and register now.
We wish you a pleasant day. See you soon…