Early champions are not critics: they thrive on improvement

Early champions are at the start of the business analyst’s journey. And it’s important not to hear them as critics. Critics quietly figure out how to adapt as the organisation changes. They’re not in favour of the project, but they figure out the shift.

The early champions are different. They are advocates—thriving on the promise. They get excited in discovery, they engage in the tension of “This might just work,” and they feel rewarded by being a part of the solution. These advocates are forgiving of failure by those who explore the change with them, and continue to be incredibly supportive after that initial excitement of discovery has tapered off.

This relentless desire for improvement is precisely why they’re always looking to be involved in the next shift. Your best work won’t be perfect in the eyes of an early champion. And that’s perfect—because the best you can do is show-up and be interested.

In your work as a business analyst, you’ll be torn between two axis. Sometimes, you’ll be creating solutions for stakeholders who hold the power. And sometimes, you’ll be trying to build products and services that are embraced, that can extend beyond the stakeholder group of champions to embed and satisfy the rest of your audience.

There’s almost nothing a business analyst does that shouldn’t be approached with this attitude. The important question (again) is: Who’s it for?

Those stakeholders who are seeking to improve—what do they believe? What do they need?