If you’re big enough to shout, be big enough to care

When we speak we make a promise.

The words we choose create an expectation.

Take the example of a new digital bank trying to entice pioneering customers with tales of: ‘healthy finances’, ‘dynamic behaviour’, ‘more innovation’ and ‘upgraded banking’. Broadcasting a value proposition that says “We’ve not just changed one thing, we’ve completely changed everything,”.

(The marketing funnel at work.)

Many ears prick > some heads turn > few people commit.

(Because people do not easily switch banks.)

Then the bank reciprocates that trust by precisely fulfilling their promise so that these customers share stories of: “painless on-boarding”, “remarkable service”, “exceeding expectations” and “trustworthy brand”. Broadcasting a customer experience that says “I’ve just switched my bank, I’d recommend you do too,”.

That’s how making your business case actually works.

Or you could choose to be like Discovery Bank …

You could take over 6 months to transfer zero of an early adopters six external debit-order instructions — compromising the customer into running two bank accounts concurrently — and then when this significant delay is enquired about responding with:

“This is an automated response, as we’re unfortunately not responding to queries by email at the moment.”

Discovery Bank Servicing

That’s a terrible message to send to a paying customer. Especially one of a digital bank – a bank without physical branches. As is the poor service level of the only other alternative communication channel available – a call centre that never answers.

It’s in these moments, when a promises are broken, that customers see the true nature of brands. They’ll see a brand that continues to ravenously seek more customers, whilst plainly neglecting the most fundamental needs of those who trusted them enough to join to begin with.

And yet somehow forgetting that we tell stories to one another about the brands in our lives – to the very same group of people.

It’s easy to shout something out loud. It takes authenticity to fulfil that promise. And the only way to really care is simply to have people who care and to give them sufficient authority and resources to show it.

Once you’ve got that right, it’s pretty easy to be big enough to care.

Reality check

People at your company share your job title, as do many others, in other companies, all over the world.

If you offer what they offer, then you have no competitive advantage.

  1. What differentiates you from your peers?
  2. How do you express your uniqueness?
  3. What influences those making decisions about you?
  4. How do you communicate your value?

Your brand is your trusted reputation; it’s what people can expect from you, always.

Who are you and what’s your promise?

Template blanket

A go-to move when joining a new company or project is to ask for the template.

There’s a feeling of security in a blanket.

The intention of a template is to safely guide an individuals expertise when creating a piece of work. It’s intended to be a home for relevant content that has been driven out through the thoughtful use of appropriate business analysis techniques.

The trouble is templates aren’t always used that way. Because, templates have an unintended built-in trap.

Template-driven analysis is a rut, that:

  1. Pedestals the production of documentation
  2. Distracts from considering the job at at hand
  3. Becomes the completion of a ‘one size fits all’ form
  4. Encourages the use of content fodder
  5. Builds silos across the organisation
  6. Keeps the analysts roots firmly in B.A. 2.0
  7. Dumbs down the value of business analysis
  8. Stagnates the careers of many

Templates don’t mean to be bad. But when they’re misused, they’re horrid.

This is business analysis

A quick scour of the web will surface many definitions of what business analysis is. All technically correct, but all quite raw (a product of the 70-year squeeze).

In this day and age, it’s time to narrate the story differently.

This is business analysis…

Business analysis is helping someone to solve their problem or seize an opportunity.

Seeking to understand the stakeholders’ perspectives, desires, and world-view.

Focusing on satisfying the need for products and services that meet people’s requirements. 

Building relationships that create meaningful change and make a positive difference.

Business analysis is a force of change. A business analyst is only effective if they create change.

Do work you’re proud of.