How Business Analysts and Change Managers Collaborate in the Real World

In the world of business change, Business Analysts (BAs) and Change Managers often work together closely. While textbooks might separate their roles, in reality, they often overlap and intertwine. This article explores how these two roles work together in real-life situations, facing challenges that aren’t always covered in theory.

Theory vs. Reality

Theoretically, BAs and Change Managers have different but complementary roles. BAs focus on identifying needs, analyzing requirements, and proposing solutions. Change Managers handle the human side of change, ensuring people smoothly transition to new ways of working. In practice, though, both roles need a deep understanding of the business, good communication skills, and the ability to work with different stakeholders.

Real-World Scenarios vs. Theoretical Expectations

Scope Creep and Resistance:

  1. Theory: Projects have a set scope that BAs define and adhere to.
  2. Real World: Projects often evolve, leading to scope creep. Here, the BA’s role in continuously analyzing changes intersects with the Change Manager’s role in addressing the resistance that these changes might provoke. This scenario requires a dynamic collaboration, quite different from the static roles defined in theory.

Communication Breakdowns:

  1. Theory: BAs handle the technical communication of changes, while Change Managers deal with the human aspect.
  2. Real World: Misalignments in communication are common. In practice, BAs and Change Managers must synchronize their communication strategies to avoid confusion, a collaborative effort that goes beyond the compartmentalized communication roles often described in textbooks.

Unforeseen User Resistance:

  1. Theory: Solutions proposed by BAs are readily accepted and implemented.
  2. Real World: The Change Manager steps in to address the emotional and practical aspects of this resistance.The Change Manager must address the emotional and practical aspects of this resistance, while the BA revisits the solution to ensure it aligns with user needs. This scenario highlights the need for continuous collaboration, a contrast to the linear, straightforward process often depicted in theory.

Regulatory Compliance Changes:

  1. Theory: Compliance changes are implemented smoothly following a BA’s analysis.
  2. Real World:As the solution is implemented, the Change Manager discovers that employees are struggling to understand the reasons behind these changes, leading to compliance issues. The Change Manager must work closely with the BA to ensure clear communication and understanding, emphasizing the importance of joint efforts in training and communication.

Technology Overestimation:

  1. Theory: Advanced technological solutions proposed by BAs are seamlessly integrated into the business.
  2. Real World: Post-implementation, the Change Manager finds that the technology is too advanced for the current skill level of the workforce. If a technology is too advanced for the current workforce, the Change Manager must facilitate training, while the BA might need to adjust the solution. This scenario underscores the need for BAs and Change Managers to balance technical advancement with user capability.

In a Nutshell

In the real world, BAs and Change Managers often need to work together more closely than theory suggests. Their roles are deeply interconnected, facing challenges that require them to work in tandem, often in ways that diverge from the neat, theoretical frameworks. Understanding and adapting to these real-world complexities is crucial for the successful implementation of change in any organization.