Typically Business Analysts, or BA’s for short, are people who like to brainstorm and share ideas on a regular basis, along with asking ‘Why?’ – a lot ☺. For BA’s who are not consultants and are part of a BA/IT team, this happens naturally due to team/departmental structure and/or internal processes. When one is a contract BA, working in the clients’ environment and culture, one may or may not be included in broader BA dialogue, so normally the BA discussion is contained just to the assignment. This is a normal course of business.
As Hawkins Point Partners has grown, we have challenged ourselves to support team building within the Hawkins Point Partners BA team. Our team is experienced and talented and would benefit from sharing ideas and information about current assignments, as well as tips and tricks on techniques. A number of BA’s are assigned to the same client but because the projects are so diverse, the team members don’t interact regularly and consistently. Additionally, our team is also dispersed amongst multiple locations.
For our team building to be successful, we recognized that the BA team members would know best what they would be beneficial and interesting. (Does this sound like eliciting requirements to you? These are BAs after all.) The Hawkins Point Partners leadership team offered to provide lunch, so as to minimize the impact on project work and encourage attendance. Besides, good food always seems to be a universal draw!
The inaugural BA lunch was well attended with the attendees bringing their ‘homework’ of researching their colleagues LinkedIn profiles to determine possible network connections. This was a great ice breaker, having everyone bring to the meeting questions and curiosities to ask each other which lead to fun discussions. The actual meeting had a single agenda item of a brainstorming session on what would make these meetings most beneficial and ideas for future topics. The meetings are held regularly, with a different member of the community presenting and facilitating a topic of discussion. It provides the Hawkins Point Partners BA team an opportunity to catch up, share ideas, improve our craft, and the very important result of getting to know each other better, thus building a stronger community.