Beer & Butterfly

Season 2 - Episode 7: Why Business Analysts are awesome

July 28, 2021 Ian Kingstone & Jonathan (JP) Parnaby Season 2 Episode 7
Beer & Butterfly
Season 2 - Episode 7: Why Business Analysts are awesome
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Our hosts are feeling nostalgic in this episode as Ian and JP talk about why Business Analyst's are awesome in their role within business transformation.  As the pair catch up Ian talks about putting his gates off to go to Wimbledon and JP relays his experience of driving supercars around an abandoned airfield.  JP starts to explain why this episode was an important one for him to really shine a light on BA's and the importance they play, calling upon own experiences and highlighting key areas of why they are great.

  • 00:00 - Intro
  • 01:13 - Pub quiz - Question 7 Answer
  • 03:04 - What have we been up to?
  • 10:35 - Why Business Analysts are awesome?
  • 15:11 - What BA's do?
  • 18:09 - How did JP become a BA?
  • 24:10 - This episode is for all the BA's out there
  • 25:31 - BA Topic 1 - Define the why
  • 26:33 - BA Topic 2 - Solution agnostic
  • 28:39 - BA Topic 3 - Uncover root causes
  • 30:23 - BA Topic 4 - Documenting requirements
  • 31:37 - BA Topic 5 - Process mapping
  • 34:23 - BA Topic 6 - Understanding the impact of change
  • 36:30 - BA Topic 7 - Ensuring solution is fit for purpose
  • 39:40 - How a BA raises the bar?
  • 41:24 - Pub quiz - Question 8
  • 42:33 - Question time
  • 47:21 - Last orders

Note: Link to Prosci return on investment on change management as mentioned in the questions -

Ian Kingstone  0:00  
Well, what you having then Jonathan, 

Jonathan Parnaby  0:05  
A pint please mate 

Ian Kingstone  0:06  
two pints, please landlord

Jonathan Parnaby  0:08  
So Ian. Where's our audience sitting

Ian Kingstone  0:10  
there over there? sat that table over there? 

Jonathan Parnaby  0:13  
Oh, yeah, I can see them. Okay, well, before we go over there, what are we going to tell them,

Ian Kingstone  0:18  
we're just gonna tell them it's a relaxed environment where we can discuss, you know, all stuff around business transformation.

Jonathan Parnaby  0:23  
Okay, cool. So who's actually over there who what we got

Ian Kingstone  0:27  
some executives, some professionals, a few consultants.

Jonathan Parnaby  0:33  
Cool, fantastic. Well, let's crack on lets get over there. 

Ian Kingstone  0:35  
Welcome to the Beer & Butterfly

Jonathan Parnaby  0:37  
A podcast where we talk transformation. 

Ian Kingstone  1:03  
I'm Ian Kingstone. 

Jonathan Parnaby  1:05  
And I'm Jonathan Parnaby.

Ian Kingstone  1:06  
And we're your hosts. 

Ian Kingstone  1:08  
In today's episode, we shine the light on why business analysts are awesome.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:12  
So when we've got our glasses, we've got our drinks lets sit down and catch up again for another episode. It's good to be back. Yeah, again, right?

Ian Kingstone  1:21  
Yeah, no, it's good. Its going going well.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:25  
I think so. Yeah. I mean, we'll we'll get into the old retrospective, I think when we get to the end, but yeah, it just, it's just can't I still can't believe we're over halfway.

Ian Kingstone  1:36  
But for me, it's kind of just been each week is just another thing that I'm quite looking forward to talking about. And we just keep whereas kind of, I don't know, I really enjoyed the first season but, but it was the same thing. Whereas I've got some news to talk about each week, which is just I really like that. Well. Wait. Yeah, like you say, Wait till we do. The the retro, retro. I'm liking it.

Jonathan Parnaby  1:59  
Yeah, no, no, it's good. It's good. We've got a lot to look forward to still as well, which is which is good. We won't spoil it. But there's still a lot of really good meaty conversations coming up in the next few weeks. So keep keep watching out for that. Anyway, we need to get back to the pub quiz. pub quiz answer time. Do you remember the question from last week?

Ian Kingstone  2:18  
I do is about Kill Bill wasn't hitting the wrong bride. But I I haven't cheated and gone and looked and I couldn't remember anyway. So you anything.

Jonathan Parnaby  2:30  
Just for clarity? If you didn't play along last week, the question was name the Quentin Tarantino's character of the Bride in both Kill Bill films. And the answer is Beatrix Kiddo.

Ian Kingstone  2:44  
Yeah, I do recognise that now. Actually.

Jonathan Parnaby  2:46  
It's one of them. I think if you'd asked me, I'd be like, I know this, but I can't recall it. But as soon as soon as I read it was like, obviously, it's obvious if you've watched the films if you haven't watched the films, you have no idea what we're talking about. So let's move on. So mate what have you what you've been doing for the past week, we've been on site anything notable,

Ian Kingstone  3:10  
notable, notable, or God now you made it hard, anything. I've add, I add I add one more. I've added the surf lesson on on the on Father's Day. That's about it. Same place. Think I'm getting better. Yeah. But yeah, no, really enjoyed it. But that's probably the only notable thing. Otherwise, I've just been loads to where I came to at some deadlines on some work. So I just got to a point where

Jonathan Parnaby  3:37  
you? Yeah, yeah, that happens though. Sometimes it peaks and troughs. I've got I've got a plan for this programme, this first phase of the programme I'm working on at the minute. And that's due to go live next month. So I'm, I can already see. next four weeks is getting hectic.

Ian Kingstone  3:55  
I'll tell you something I have done I'm quite excited about is I managed to get some tickets for Wimbledon. Oh did you. Yeah, only only the first week but say only but I'm just I, I think there's some really young players coming up through and I don't know how it works with COVID. And that and whether that's helped or hindered. But But I'm quite excited about that. So great. So yeah, in beginning of July, I'm got a day there, which is great. So looking forward to that. A day out.

Jonathan Parnaby  4:25  
it's nice. It's nice to have some to look forward to isn't it? Like generally like little things take it for granted. But yeah, that's great. That's great. I imagine they would. Oh, I thought they'd be quite hard to get

Ian Kingstone  4:36  
they were the the we just got on there the right time and went for one of the we didn't go for like Centre Court or anything like that. Just so we could get some work which work to treat and then I'm really pleased about it by kind of like the atmosphere that I've met a few times and I quite like it. So

Jonathan Parnaby  4:52  
yeah, but you know, the question, I think the viewers, viewers, no one's viewing this. Are they listening to it? The question I'll our listeners I'm sure have is have you got that that damn gate up? Yeah

Ian Kingstone  5:06  
no no that's it that's do like I was actually an early July job that now because I'm going to Wimbledon and it's going to be mid July he pushed it back for something far more important.

Ian Kingstone  5:16  
Yeah but that was the plan because my son comes home from uni and he can help me hold the gate up

Jonathan Parnaby  5:22  
another pair of hands. Why not? Yeah, exactly. So mate maybe in a few weeks time we'll come back to gatewatch we said we give you to the retro to get it done. Which I want to work out what the forecast shedule is, but I think that's plenty of time.

Ian Kingstone  5:38  
I have to add some more episodes. 

Jonathan Parnaby  5:41  
Keep filling with episodes. 

Ian Kingstone  5:42  
Yeah, till the gates then.

Jonathan Parnaby  5:45  
Fair enough. Fair enough. Cool. I mean, yeah, me you I reckon I've been doing some exciting stuff I have. Yes. So those who caught last week's episode I mentioned that I had one of my 40th birthday presents was, one of my 40 40th birthday presents. Yes. Yeah, I mean sounds really grand. Like just to set the expectations again. You know what one of my 40 40th birthday presents was a pair of socks you know? They range from scale size expense the lot

Ian Kingstone  6:20  
Expensive pensive pair of socks

Jonathan Parnaby  6:23  
No they weren't

Ian Kingstone  6:25  
Did they have I am 40 on them 

Jonathan Parnaby  6:26  
something like that. Yeah. Kiki Yeah. Oh man. Or something like that. But no, this last weekend I got to basically race some supercars around a track and that's that was was really looking forward to so yeah, we not we me. I yeah, went to a place near Exeter and is literally half hour drive, which is perfect. I thought was further away than it was Did you race there. I didn't race there I raced home, I was gonna say. But the trouble is, like when you're driving home from the place, it's your car feels really slow. Say disappointing. But now I got to do. I've got a demo lap, I turned up. It looks like one of these tracks on top gear. You know, the race the reasonably priced car on Top Gear like that with cones everywhere based on an abandoned airfield. And so I did a demo lap got in the car. And this guy was right what you got to do mate go go get ran straight you got amor the accelerated and air brake is giving me all the instructions. I don't know why I'm doing a cockney accent cuz I'm sure he wasn't cockney. But, but yeah, he was. He was just explaining the the track and everything. And it was just really, it was really good, actually, because I was just taking it all in just absorbing it all. So we did that for about three laps. And then I went and jumped in the Aston Martin DB9 what a beautiful car that is Yeah. dirtier, though. 

Ian Kingstone  8:01  
Get in with a pair of dirty pair of jeans or

Jonathan Parnaby  8:04  
My dirty shorts. But now I got in there. And then this other like, instructor kind of type guy in there. And yeah, off we went and just completely ragged it around this, this track with brilliant fun. And because it got the demo, I already had it kind of in my head. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So we've got the most out of it and literally at the end, it gives you a score on a bit of paper. And it's like score out 40 un. Yeah, so that was really good. That was really excellent. And he gave me a 38 out of 40 wrote Excellent isn't it? Yeah. And he said, I won't be surprised if they ring you up. I know if you want to do some instruct. And I said I bet you say that to all the customers. Is this part of your sales pitch? So I said to him, so yeah, so I walked out all smug. Yeah, I did. All right. And I put some money into timeshare or anything that we did that bless him. And it was great fun though when amazing but then I got to do a passenger ride in an Ariel Atom so I didn't drive that I just sat in the passenger seat but let's face it these things like go karts with no I don't know brake horse they are. But Jesus Christ. They were asked and this guy jumped in is about 25, how long you been driving these about six years. And he literally just put the foot down and if we weren't and you put you put a helmet on and everything. Yeah. And he said, I'll just hold on to the seatbelt again. It was Yeah, not being in control is even worse than that. Yeah. Yeah. Like in control but oh my god zipping in overtaking around these other cars that were going on. Yeah, madness. But was was great fun great fan, but he loved it. It was brilliant. Yeah, it really was good. I mean, the whole thing lasted about an hour.

Ian Kingstone  9:53  
Yeah. You probably don't need that much excitement an hour and you've probably done on it.

Jonathan Parnaby  10:00  
Going home for a pint, but no, it's pretty good doing that. And yeah, so yeah, that's, that's pretty much.

Ian Kingstone  10:08  
It sounds like, you can't beat that one. Surely not.

Jonathan Parnaby  10:12  
Wow, maybe. Maybe next week, we'll see what happens. Yeah, I've only know what two view presents are so far one was a pair of socks and the other one, you've just gone through that I remember the other 37. But yeah, lots of lots of cool stuff in there to be fair goods, as we get on with the show.

Ian Kingstone  10:31  
Yeah. So yeah.

Jonathan Parnaby  10:34  
So why I say the title of our episode is why business analyst's awesome. So this is something I wanted to put into season two. And because I started my whole business transformation career as a business analyst or BA. And I just think it was good to kind of just do a bit of a retrospective on the importance of that role. In transformation, what kind of part BA's or business analysts play. And I just wanted to kind of devote some time have a discussion, as we drink our drinks, and just really highlights people that maybe haven't, haven't come across BA's is or haven't had the luxury of having a BA on a project or programme and, or maybe a bit confused about what BA's is do. 

Ian Kingstone  11:22  
I try not to do programmes without them to be fair, 

Jonathan Parnaby  11:25  
that there's an endorsement if you ever won, because they Yeah, they're really bloody important. And the value that they can add to go back to value is massive. So I wanted to just devote an episode. 

Jonathan Parnaby  11:38  
So I think maybe to start with, let's explain what a BA is, or Business Analyst is, right. So essentially, it's a role. As soon as you can talk to you by person, hopefully. And it's typically a role within a governance structure of a project or programme, or maybe even a portfolio management office or PMO. And sometimes there may be pools of Business Analysts that are used to kind of be allocated to different programmes and projects, but essentially, my definition of a Business Analyst is that they, they are the guardian of what a business needs or requires from moving from a current state, ie the AS IS to the desired state, ie the TO BE. So they really the custodian of that requirement, or those requirements and needs. So they really keep you on, on point, and they really keep you on track. Because they're always got the business in mind, regardless of what you're trying to do. And sometimes you need that perspective, because it's easy to get lost, especially when you're a Project Manager. It's easy to get lost and sometimes forget, that needed the business and you just get driven on I've got to deliver something by July. Did not I mean, does that make sense? Yeah.

Ian Kingstone  11:39  
I mean, I, the way I look at Business Analysts is also I mean, you get dif different depends on the size of the organisation, I guess. But some of the bigger organisations I've worked in, you'd have Business Analysts that that generally have a specific area that they work in, and they've known and they're quite knowledgeable about if you want doesn't not necessarily true, because most Business Analysts can do exactly what the title suggests they can analyse the business and work out what's what's working, and what's not, and help you do that check transition from, like you say, understand AS IS and help you put into the picture TO BE so. But But yeah, some of the bigger companies have very have certain Business Analysts that maybe might be more either their manufacturing or finance or an end to end type process type Business Analysts, you know, procure to pay order to cash, that kind of thing. And, and so they've usually, a lot of the more if you senior or experience Business Analysts I've come across, you've usually got quite a lot of knowledge already in that area, or that that part of the business. And so I think straight out the bat, you've got somebody who is used to helping the business change, not as Change Manager, but they understand, you know, where they might find value and all the other things just by nature of their existence, if that makes sense.

Jonathan Parnaby  14:23  
Yeah, no, it makes perfect sense. And I think you're absolutely I think a lot of my experience in the larger organisations you're right, they they split, split, the BA is down either by functions or by likes end to end processes because of their experience. So if the company's got a lot of changes, transformation going on, then it can make sense to do that so that you've always got, like someone who's maybe like an enabling services BA and they're very focused on finance, HR kind of type changes, projects, and maybe someone does you say more in the marketing, sales, CRM kind of type stuff and maybe someone more operational, so yeah. There's no right or wrong. As always, it's just what makes sense for the business. And sometimes it's just a pool of generic BA's is and they have the generic tool sets to, to kind of use and help. So yeah, let's go

Ian Kingstone  15:11  
What? What, what, what? What, what do you think's The most common task for a BA that

Jonathan Parnaby  15:18  
most common task? Yeah. Listening?

Ian Kingstone  15:22  
Yeah, I guess. But you know, to do what if you're not? I mean,

Jonathan Parnaby  15:27  
I think if you say BA people just think requirements. Yeah, the requirements? That's Yeah, that's the first thing. I think many people would jump to. But you know, BA's do christ, they're doing all sorts of stuff on the spectrum. And if you look at your typical software, delivery lifecycle, right, from kind of ideation, all the way through to realisation, the BA has a role to play in each of those stages, you know, so Right, right, from up front analysis, understanding what needs to be understood, getting into the, into the nitty gritty, asking those why why why questions, right through into design, making sure whatever design still fits the business needs, making sure what's been built, is obviously fitting the business needs testing, what needs to be tested against those requirements. And, and, you know, literally following that whole lifecycle. So a BA is kind of one of those roles where they really get involved in, in most things. I'm not saying they're a jack of all trades, because they do specific kind of roles and tasks at different parts of the project. Or typically,

Ian Kingstone  16:35  
you say that, you know, say they're a jack of all trades. But maybe this is me, and maybe I'm wrong for doing this. But I kind of do utilise BA's, they've got a set for does a jack of all trades, is because they've got that set of skills, which I think you started into there and might want to complete this a bit more than I'm going to say it but yeah, but they are very good. Good BA is, well, it's worth it's weight in gold. Because that at the end of the day, like you said, I've used BA's in projects just to do feasibility, right the way through two years of delivery, if you want have some really complex projects, and they're the kind of people that can go and uncover stuff, if you want, find things out. And then also usually articulate in a way articulate it in a way that people can then understand to make decisions upon.

Jonathan Parnaby  17:32  
Yeah. So that that translation is a key point a key skill, actually from a BA there, but they're able to decode, the technical decode the complicated, be able to present the information in a readable and understandable fashion to variety of stakeholders and their needs, that that skill is very transferable as well for, for many things. That's something I learned very quickly when I became a BA, is translation. Yes, and it's something I use even today, right? Because it's important. I think, whatever role you do.

Ian Kingstone  18:08  
Jonathan, you were, when I met you, you were a BA in a BA and you came in to do not just a BA you came to run a whole team a BA is where I first met you. And then you know, but but you'd already been doing it for quite a while. So how did you get into it? Where did you start?

Jonathan Parnaby  18:27  
Yeah, I might have touched upon this in the the very intro episode that we did just for Season One kicked off, I can't remember it was that long ago now. I'll have to go back and listen, but now I kind of fell into it. So I was working at this this small debt management company and I just, I quite enjoyed doing Business Analyst tasks that I didn't really know that would BA task. I didn't really know what I was doing in a formal capacity. I was just improving the business. And I was doing process flows and mapping in really bad ways if I look back it's cringeworthy, but, you know, you do what you do, and you self taught a few things and, and it wasn't until I went for, you know, everything's good happens after a curry right is my philosophy. I went for a curry with my brother one night, and we were just catching up. This is when I used to live in Lincolnshire. And I just asked him, I said, Simon, what what do you do as a job because I never really had this conversation and sat down and fully listened to the answer. He's always probably told me but I've never really kind of took took the answer in. But generally I wasn't happy with where I was in my career. And I just gent like what do you do? And he said, he was a Senior BA and, and he just sat me down and you just walked me through. We was in this curry house for three hours at this table talking. This is what I do. This is how he works. And like drawing bits on paper, and you know, just getting into the nitty gritty and I'll just so like intently listening, not actively listening, but you know, the time just flew by, obviously stopped to eat, because that's why we're there. And I just got really excited, I thought your job's amazing. Like you're you do something that I was just looking for by he gets the variety of working on all these exciting projects and become that that kind of oracle that that centre of knowledge that gets to find out things and and start to improve businesses and really start driving value and I was like brilliant, didn't even know these roles existed. I mean, bear in mind, this was long time ago now. And and then that's kind of how I got into it. So I managed to get a Junior Business Analyst role. So for those that don't know that typically are kind of tiers, aren't they? So he start Junior become lightened standard ba and then he can get senior or lead BA's is that a typical kind of hierarchical tiers on experience? But So yeah, I joined a retail organisation as a junior and just learnt the craft, and just became a big sponge and just got in answer all sorts of different projects. And my oh whats that all requirements document all was all that about, oh, yeah, that makes sense. And then did all the courses did my Diploma in Business Analysis, which is very, very useful. I still recommend that to anybody who asked me, you know, as a BA, what do you recommend doing so do do the BCS Diploma in Business Analysis, it's a good all round qualification, it really gives you the foundations and basics of what you need. And yeah, I just started doing it. And then and then he just kind of bounced from projects, projects, projects, project project, and you learn, you learn, you do things that maybe aren't so good, and you learn to do them better as you do. And then you work with some really good project managers. You work with some really good programme managers, sometimes you work with ones that aren't so good. And then you learn from that as well. And yeah, and then is this kind of progressed me to the point where I met you really and yeah, where obviously took that, that Lead BA job and ran the run the team, but I look back at that role fondly. I look back at that career very fondly.

Ian Kingstone  22:16  
I gotta say you set the standard for me, because which, you know, is a big compliment. But actually

Jonathan Parnaby  22:23  
I was wondering where you're going with this?

Ian Kingstone  22:24  
Yeah, no, no, I just wanted to make sure you you understood that's a compliment, rather than that, um, no, he did. And now now I kind of, I kind of expect quite a lot from BA, I think probably more than because, yeah, yeah, you you'd got you crafted that skill Really? Well. So I think I think, you know, I remember, I remember if I had a problem with anything, I could, I could drop it in your head at about four o'clock. And I know by 10 o'clock the next day, I had a I had a picture that analytically put that into perspective, so I could get my head around it. Yeah. Which is a bit naughty, really. So it was stuff that needed to get solved. And then yeah, so so. So it's good from that perspective, but yeah, no, so I think and now I kind of look at every programme and projects and things where you know where are the BA's or we never got enough for whatever

Jonathan Parnaby  23:31  
Yeah, and I appreciate you saying that that's a nice compliment and I'll take care without my head swelling 

Ian Kingstone  23:37  
I know you don't do that anymore but we 

Jonathan Parnaby  23:40  
I do yeah, you're right. I do because licence I you know, been out on my own over my consulting business and contracting and I do I draw up on my Business Analyst skills all the time. They never leave you it's not like well, you do programme management now so why why would you need to look at doing anything to do a bit of Business Analysis we'd always do because they're valuable it's a valuable skill set, regardless of what role you're in and that's why I kind of wanted to just shine a light on this episode and and for any BA's that are listening, you know, this this, this one's for you, if that makes sense because they can be known as the underdogs of the transformation world. And what I mean by that is BA's don't get in it for the glory, right? If when a project gets delivered, we will get to that go live when we pat ourselves on the back and go job well done. We did what we did we got through with minimal bugs or you know the the go live was great that the business was adopting everything when we we have a little smile to ourselves and go we had a massive part to play that but generally outside of your, your programme organisation and and people might prove me wrong here. This is just my experiences. You know, the BA's is on the ones that get put on the pedestal and go Wow, you guys are amazing. When actually they do. They're the glue that hold a lot of it together, especially when stuff gets through here. That's the deal with these projects, you know, we'll start to wobble and fall off they, they're there to help pull things back together. So, so yeah, so I kind of wanted to just say why BA's is awesome. And and kind of cover some points on why I feel they're awesome. And maybe we could quickly discuss some of those points.

Ian Kingstone  25:24  
think, yeah, go for it. Go for it. Yeah, we

Jonathan Parnaby  25:26  
might touch so much some of those points already. But it's kind of linked to what they do, as well. 

Jonathan Parnaby  25:31  
So number one, they help to define the why. So value, we go back to value again.

Ian Kingstone  25:40  
Yeah, now this is important, right?

Jonathan Parnaby  25:42  
But they do they, they are the first point of that lifecycle, they help to define value, they quantify value, they build hypothesis for for benefits, they, they really start to pull things together. And I don't mean on their own, because they're just, you know, making it a part of the head, they facilitate that happening. And they work with the business stakeholders to really get under the skin of that. That's a massive, an important piece.

Ian Kingstone  26:08  
Yeah, and a lot of good ones quite often find stuff that you didn't expect, or didn't know about, or uncover dependencies or things that maybe wouldn't have been. So you, you, it helps you shapes, things like not just value, scope and loads of other things. Yeah.

Jonathan Parnaby  26:30  
So that's number one. 

Jonathan Parnaby  26:33  
Number two, solution agnostic. But the good BA is always solution agnostic. What I mean, in English, for those that don't know what I mean, is essentially, they they're not wedded to solution A over solution B over solution C, they are wedded to what the business needs, irrelevant to what the solution is. And that's sometimes what you need when you want to go down procurement processes, just like what we talked with Sarah Walters, and early in the season, you've got that that neutrality that neutral person is always looking at. It's all well and good. It has all the bells and whistles, but does it do what we need it to do? You know, and an example of that I got was when I was on a contract for a retail organisation. And I met the stakeholders in Marketing. And they just the first thing they said to me is I want I'm not going to name the brand, but I want this particular brand of CRM. And I said, Why? Because it's great. And it's the world leading CRM solution out there, and it's gonna do everything we want to do. And I said, Well, why and how do you know that? And just kept asking him why he couldn't answer my question. So that tells me that, that stakeholders bought into the sales of said, you know, CRM company. And don't get me wrong, it's a good one. But yeah, but my point was, is how do you know exactly what you need? You just kind of just saying, I want to buy this, this tool. And it's so common in, in businesses where you've got Finance or HR, and they go, right, we have other demo of this particular solution.

Ian Kingstone  28:14  
Sold on features and functionalities, you know, and I think that's a big problem. That's why I always harp on about value. Don't just buy features and functionality. What, what what to watch need to do and why. Which comes back to your one.

Jonathan Parnaby  28:28  
Yeah, absolutely. It goes back to that. And, yeah, and it's just so true. BA, BA's will typically help you bring people back to reality, or they should do. That's number two.

Jonathan Parnaby  28:40  
Number three, uncover root causes for things. So a BA good BA never accept the first answer. They usually, because the first answer you get from stakeholders, not typically the right one, and it takes digging and persistence. And, and that in itself is a skill set. Right? That it's not an interrogation the right word, but it truth. Yeah. Hunting the truth out of the situation, or, or what how things are done. Yeah. And, and I'm going to call back to, to Sue, you remember Sue.  So yeah, yeah. Probably one of the best BA's I've ever worked with in terms of cheat, she would come down, sit with a stakeholder and say, right, treat me as if I'm an eight year old person, and tell me, you know how this thing works. And then when she doesn't get it, she'll be like, I just don't get it. And then she's not afraid to kind of, you know, sound, wouldn't say sound stupid or anything like that, but she's not afraid to kind of say, I don't get what you're saying. So a stakeholder. And I think sometimes people, their pride might get in the way of them going, I really ought to know what you've just said, but I don't. So I'm going to just accept it. And then hope that's truth.

Ian Kingstone  30:00  
Yeah, yeah, or except the first thing that they're told. Yeah. And go down necessarily questioning how it all comes from fits together.

Jonathan Parnaby  30:12  
Yeah, exactly. So getting under that root cause is another reason why they're awesome as BA's because they'll get you get under the skin of it or, or should do. 

Jonathan Parnaby  30:24  
Documenting the requirements obvious when we thought about it. But it's, it's a staple requirement of a BA, to put in writing what a business needs. And obviously, there are many ways of doing that. Typically, these days, especially with agile user stories, are the common way of doing that. But again, that's a skill, right? I've read many a requirement, and you go, I don't know what the hell you're talking about. So it's a skill to be able to succinctly write a sentence or two that really articulates what the hell the business is after. And as it takes, takes a lot of practice to do that.

Ian Kingstone  31:04  
And when you think that's the thing that somebody is going to read, to understand how to deliver a solution to meet that requirement. That's really important. And you can make it more complicated than it needs to be. might mean, your solution might be more complicated than it needs to be.

Jonathan Parnaby  31:21  
Yeah. So that that level and yeah, that that kind of level of of information, succinctness of the information, so bloody vital, and, yeah, again, calling that one out, 

Jonathan Parnaby  31:37  
Process mapping, not going about not talking about AS IS again Ian, don't panic. But just the general process of mapping and being able to, to kind of string process maps together in a way, and also in a way that can be understood by the business. So I, I can build a process map in BPMN 2.0 yeah, and not many people will be able to read it. Because it's obviously it's a notation standard that the BA to be able to read it, but you put that in front of a stakeholder. And, yeah, they probably go what the hell all these symbols mean. So being able to translate again, it's this translation of the complicated into, you know, sometimes more simple method. And maybe it's not always putting it into a process flow, but it's doing it in a different way. Rich pictures or, or just something that really conveys what the hell you're trying to talk about or try to analyse as part of,

Ian Kingstone  32:44  
Do you often get asked, like, I used to ask you, can you put me the picture of how the whole company works on one page?

Jonathan Parnaby  32:52  
No, not really. But I do it. I do it for me.

Ian Kingstone  32:55  
Yeah, I know.

Jonathan Parnaby  32:58  
But it's, it's one I actually really enjoyed doing those. And, and too, I just think, if I can put an organisation on one page, that's simple enough that I can just pick that up and go, right, when you're talking about this function, I know where it sits in the value chain.

Ian Kingstone  33:15  
It becomes your route map, we came here. For me, it's like the tube map. Do you not I mean, when when when we're talking about a certain like exactly what you just said there? When we talk about a certain issue or a certain challenge in a project or a programme? It's good to kind of say, Well, where's that? Where is that, on that? whereabouts? Are we? And then you can kind of see what context around it is also important.

Jonathan Parnaby  33:37  
Yeah, and you get that kind of all Yeah, well, for impacts in that area, we need to think about the the this function downstream. You know, in the one we did in the waste recycling industry, it wasn't as straightforward as are we, you know, we market stuff, we sell stuff, we process stuff, and there was a there was a quite a complicated waste, hierarchy and waste flow of 

Ian Kingstone  34:00  
also an energy management, all sorts

Jonathan Parnaby  34:06  
very cyclical wasn't it as like, things can go into energy production, these things can go into trading. And

Ian Kingstone  34:13  
yeah, manufacturing was in there. You name it, sales was in there, all sorts of stuff.

Jonathan Parnaby  34:18  
Yeah. So definitely, definitely, definitely good skill, 

Jonathan Parnaby  34:23  
Understands the impacts of change. I think I'm not going to labour this point, we've labelled it a hell of a lot season one, and probably in a bit in this season, but a BA because they're involved in requirements, they know the AS IS. They know the TO BE involved in design, they usually have the epicentre of change management in terms of that knowledge. And they typically will know the impact is sorry, how the organization's going to be impacted.

Ian Kingstone  34:47  
The other thing that a BA quite often does and I probably did do this. I'll be talking about some out and you can see on a sounds weird, but you can see on a BA his face when You're talking about you've got an idea or you're doing something, or you're commenting on something, and you can see that because they've been around, kind of they've been down to the detail and backup. Yeah. So so you can see when they when, when you're missing something, or are you missing the point on something? Are you trying to do something through? Yeah, because you need the programme to move forward. But actually, you can't, because you're missing something important. Because they've been around they can, that they'll almost be like, now no ain't going to work mate, do you know, I mean, it's

Jonathan Parnaby  35:37  
the guardian of the business, you're looking at the wise. So the BA is, is to kind of go? It's what it's what we're talking about, does it make sense to the business? And if they're sitting there go, yeah, this this, this is logical, it makes sense. Then you light green light. Go, but you're right, you will know in the room. If, if a BA is like, oh, four arms folded, looking at you with this kind of stern look going? Easy on the first to tell you typically, and again, this goes into how assertive you are as a person and things like that. But yeah, I think listen to you BA's is what Ian's saying, listen to them. They, they are your barometer for the logical? I absolutely.

Ian Kingstone  36:24  
agree with that.

Jonathan Parnaby  36:25  
Yeah. So that's, that's definitely that. And it kind of the last point now I've got here is, again, ensuring that solution is fit for purpose. So again, it's that thing, as you say, going down that trough of detail going on your expedition, you've got your map, you've got your rope, you got all your tools, often the expedition, you come out the other side, and they will always be checking. does this fit those bloody requirements? Yes, it's gonna work for finance, it's gonna work for this team. And they will know or should know, and have access to said solution. Or when I say solution being not just technical, but generally, they should know because yeah, before, before any of the business get involved in any user acceptance testing or anything like that, because I wouldn't want the users to touch it unless the BA is kind of looked at me and gone.

Ian Kingstone  37:17  
Thumbs up. Yes. All right. Yeah. let them in now

Jonathan Parnaby  37:20  
I mean, now I've got through all the horrible stuff. And then let them do what they need to do. So yeah, that's, that's kind of it really,

Ian Kingstone  37:31  
really, actually, that was, that was really well done in the sense of articulating their role. From from a quiet, you know, and, and hopefully articulate it and how important it is to pretty much all the transformation programmes I've been on.

Jonathan Parnaby  37:48  
Yeah. And then on this topic is quite deep. And when we talk about transformation, it's quite broad. And far wide reaching thing, right. And then obviously, you know, BA tends to be on a project within a specific thing, looking at very set detailed requirements. But I just wanted to shine a light on it. Because I don't think BA's is get the kudos they deserve and non biassed because I was one. I just think that they are they are awesome. And they

Ian Kingstone  38:18  
can be quite quite hard work working for you then as a BA. 

Jonathan Parnaby  38:22  
Yeah, I think I think is because I do have high expectations. Because I've done

Ian Kingstone  38:28  
all those questions. Why Why?

Jonathan Parnaby  38:30  
Why? Why? Yeah, but then No, but I have been in a position as a BA where I've had, I've been micromanaged by, you know, management and bosses and stuff. So, I'm not like that.

Ian Kingstone  38:43  
It's the same as like, project manager or programme manager, isn't it when you've been in big, big, big programmes where there's lots of you and you know, it's like is no one when you're trying to resolve a challenge is no point in having is that you learn as a project manager don't breathe down someone's neck when they're trying to resolve something. See, where are they at now? What are they doing? Good people will tell you when what you need to know when you need to know. You know,

Jonathan Parnaby  39:08  
I mean thats one way to pee them off, isn't that?

Ian Kingstone  39:11  
Yeah, exactly. And it's not helping, is it? It's not resolving anything. It's not. It's not actually helping you solve your problem the year that paid that solves

Jonathan Parnaby  39:20  
this, we should be more like, I'm here to support you if you need anything escalating. Yeah.

Ian Kingstone  39:26  
Yeah. And if you need people batting out the way. Yeah,

Jonathan Parnaby  39:29  
yeah, exactly. Like let me mainly focus and get rid of all the other dross. Yeah, yeah. So going back to our kind of season theme then Ian of raising the bar. I think what what we just said that the barometer for the logical is really how a BA raised raises the bar for transformation. They just keep, they are like the weather vane of all sense and logical pneus if he went to word.

Ian Kingstone  39:55  
yeah. Now I totally agree with you on that. Actually. I think you're right. I think you spot on.

Jonathan Parnaby  40:01  
yeah, so there we go, hopefully enjoyed our little chat. If anyone's got any questions about Business Analysis, maybe your, your point and all that, Jonathan. Yeah, happy answer what i know i think if you're thinking I'd love to get in that as a career, and maybe you're the star of your transformational career, and I think a BA is a great way of getting involved in, in in transformation and projects and programmes 

Ian Kingstone  40:23  
Well also like you say, It learns that you learn a lot of skill sets as well that are useful in pretty much most any other job that I could think of, you know, they're going to give you options of other things, if you want them, but like you say, could be quite exciting in itself. And I know a lot of BA's, that is what they do, and they love it.

Jonathan Parnaby  40:46  
And you get exposed to project managers, you get exposed to programme managers, you're supposed to know Benefits Analysts, PMO all sorts of different roles. You just as a BA you touch all the different aspects of it. 

Ian Kingstone  41:01  
And they're always in high demand. Well, they have been for a long while, as far as I'm concerned.

Jonathan Parnaby  41:05  
Yeah. Understood. Ah, yeah. It's the law, you know, shut the contract market for that. And you'll always see them. We see so yes, that's, that's it. So yeah. Cheers for chatting to me about it. And that's the good, that's going to go back in time. A little bit on that one.

Ian Kingstone  41:24  
So it must be time for a pub quiz. Then Jonathan?

Jonathan Parnaby  41:26  
Yeah, I think we're getting to the end of the episode now. So go on, what have we got today? I think you've got the question I've been.

Ian Kingstone  41:33  
Yeah. So a bit of a history one here, too. Not? Not? Not too old. Okay. But still a bit of history. So which year saw Nelson Mandela released from prison. Ayrton Senna became Formula One World Champion. And Iraq invaded Kuwait? Obviously a one year?

Jonathan Parnaby  42:01  
Yeah. I'm assuming, I think I think 90 or 91. Might be way off. But

Ian Kingstone  42:16  
it's got to be around then hasn't it

Jonathan Parnaby  42:17  
got to be around then. Yeah,

Ian Kingstone  42:19  
I'm just Is it 90 or 80? Not 90. Now you're probably right.

Jonathan Parnaby  42:25  
I'm going 90, because that's my first thought. Okay, well, we'll

Ian Kingstone  42:29  
see next week.

Jonathan Parnaby  42:32  
Fair enough.

Ian Kingstone  42:38  
So Jonathan's question time again.

Jonathan Parnaby  42:40  
We've actually got another question from Sarah Lefebvre again. So thank you, Sarah, keep them coming. Great. She asked what consequences of not having change management within a programme from a value perspective. So what are the consequences of not having change management within that programme? though, you know, we know you love value?

Ian Kingstone  43:01  
Well, yeah, I mean, the first thing that comes to my mind straight away off the bat is there's a lot of programmes that don't do change management very well. So yeah, and the consequences of that is they don't deliver the value. But But I think, I think if you want to put it into a kind of a logical format, I would say that, does the value require change?

Jonathan Parnaby  43:24  
Yes, yeah good point actually.

Ian Kingstone  43:26  
If the value requires change, if the value is I am replacing something very technical with something else that isn't really a change is a direct replacement is not even really a change, which I'd find unusual in a programme anyway, because that's very rare, then potentially it wouldn't, but I just can't see that happening. I can't see. You, you changing say, an IT system? Where it's exactly the same?

Jonathan Parnaby  43:57  
Oh, yeah, then

Ian Kingstone  43:58  
there's gonna be some change, because why would you change it?

Jonathan Parnaby  44:02  
Yes unless it's depricated software. It's not simple anymore. Whatever.

Ian Kingstone  44:06  
Exactly. So to me, the sum of value is technology, as business transformation equals new value, business transformation, having change in it. So technology plus change equals value. So if you want to get value, then you're gonna have to make manage technology implementation and change. So, I mean, it's just to me, it's trying to do a programme without change management. you're risking not getting the value. Yeah.

Jonathan Parnaby  44:37  
I mean, you could someone might go what percentage of the values attached to change management, but you can't answer No, you can't answer. 76 No, no, it's not. But I think you'd be bang on benefits dependency maps, right. So we get your question. Yeah. Which of your you know what what values is triggered by enabled by change happening right your benefits dependency map will tell you by this, in order for this to happen, in order for us to get this value, it needs to have this enabling technology and this change to happen. Or it could just be the change, or it could just be the technology. So that is a visual way or great way of saying, guys, we don't have, you know, change management in this programme, then this portion of the value is going to be at risk, this portion is at risk, and this portion is risk. And it's just a great way of bringing that to life, rather than just kind of go, we just need change management because it's soft and fluffy.

Ian Kingstone  45:36  
A couple of things there, actually, you could get lucky. Because you do that the organisation could do that change without needing to manage it, so to speak, it's got to know, its needs to do that change. And I would argue that by knowing it, you've done change management. And the other thing that came to mind, there is Prosci, you know, the chat they have done, and I've seen it on one of their blogs, a calculation for the value of time management. Yeah, so they've got a formula. Check it out. Yeah, I don't have the link to him, but maybe I'll provide it on Twitter on our site or whatever. But But um, yeah, they've done something that does actually look at the value, and then looks at change and says, well, what's the value of having change in this programme? And how do you kind of work that out, kind of work that out is a formula and it looked quite good. And something you could use possibly even in a business case, but that I still like, like you do the dependency map? Because it clearly shows you this technology plus these changes, it gives you this value or enables this value. So is that kind of to me, so I come back to that formula. Every time.

Jonathan Parnaby  46:58  
Yeah, makes sense. Makes sense. Cool. Well, again, Sarah we've answered that question, but keep on coming in. And yeah, we, we like to make sure we get a full bank of questions every time so if you've got any keep, send it sending them to as a Great stuff. Catch you next time. 

Ian Kingstone  47:20  
Thank you. 

Ian Kingstone  47:21  
If you want to record a question for next time, just you know, just record that question and send it because we love to get people's voices on this podcast right Ian.

Ian Kingstone  47:32  
Yeah, no, it's great. Sounds good. Right.

Jonathan Parnaby  47:35  
Alright, see you next time.

Jonathan Parnaby  47:37  
It's last orders at the bar, so thank you for listening to the beer and butterfly. As always, we want to encourage participation. 

Ian Kingstone  47:44  
You can get more details of the episodes on our website, which is that's

Jonathan Parnaby  47:57  
You can get in touch with the show by emailing us on send us your questions written or recorded or come and join us at the table as a guest. 

Ian Kingstone  48:08  
Also, check out our LinkedIn page, Beer & Butterfly Podcast and on Twitter @butterfly_beer, where you can engage with the show directly and get involved.

Jonathan Parnaby  48:21  
Yeah, and we look forward to seeing you at the table next time.

Pub quiz - Question 7 Answer
What have we been up to?
Why Business Analysts are awesome?
What BA's do?
How did JP become a BA?
This episode is for all the BA's out there
BA Topic 1 - Define the why
BA Topic 2 - Solution agnostic
BA Topic 3 - Uncover root causes
BA Topic 4 - Documenting requirements
BA Topic 5 - Process mapping
BA Topic 6 - Understanding the impact of change
BA Topic 7 - Ensuring solution is fit for purpose
How a BA raises the bar?
Pub quiz - Question 8
Question time
Last orders