Business Analysis And The Business Consultant

The golden thread of business analysis and the business consultant in solution delivery.

Charlene Seini, Business Consultant at Saratoga, has a strong interest in understanding how enterprise strategy drives project tactics to deliver business benefits.

After obtaining her BCom degree in Information Systems from the University of Cape Town, Charlene started her career as a Quality Assurance Analyst in the Asset Management industry. She has been a Business Analyst for over 6 years working on projects in the Insurance, Loans, Leads Management and Collections industries. Whilst working she obtained her second major in Business Management and continued on to complete her Honours in Business Management through the University of South Africa.

Joe Newbert spoke with Charlene and learned that business analysis is not exclusive to the business analyst, it intertwines through the world of solution delivery including the business consultant.

Job titles don’t always necessarily reflect responsibilities, please tell us what you do and what your role entails?

Even though I am a Consultant I view myself as a business analyst. I have worked in a few companies across many departments and noticed that the expectations of me in my role varies greatly based on how others view the role of a business analyst. Some see me as a document creator and other as a thinking partner. Ultimately my responsibility is to enable business through software or process solutions.

In what way does business analysis interface, support and/or enable your accountabilities and responsibilities?

Business Analysis has equipped me with skills to perform multiple roles based on the project’s needs. Over the years I have learnt that business analysis is a way of working and not necessarily something that is limited to the “Business Analyst” role. I have relied heavily on my business analysis skills while performing testing, project management and even at times when I have dabbled in change management.

In what way does poor quality business analysis impact and/or limit your ability to deliver effectively?

I have worked on projects where I have been handed over work done by previous business analysts were the quality of the analysis work has not been as good as hoped for – or even worse – already been implemented. What this means for me (and ultimately the project timeline) is that I have to often start the analysis work from scratch and try to work with what I have. This almost always means that the business does not get what they wanted and they don’t always achieve the value they had hoped for.

How could Business Analysts focus and deliver better to better support your capability?

Some of the best business analysts I have met are ones that have taken a walk in business’ shoes. Understanding the importance of the work you are doing and why it is being done truly changes your perspective on things. The analysis work is done with a business focus instead of designing a solution without that in mind. I love working with fellow business analysts who understand the importance of making a solution fit the business and not the other way round.

Business analysis is not exclusive to Business Analysts; it is a discipline performed throughout business change. What business analysis activities do you perform as part of your role?

My role comprises of a lot of business analysis. In the consulting world the work you do varies on the project you are based on at the time. When I perform different roles I rely heavily on my business analysis skills and I find that I perform better in those roles because I have the necessary skills to understand the business I am operating in and how to meet their needs.

Charlene hosted a series of industry Q&As for the 2016 Inter-View Report, and you can learn more about business analysis and the business consultant by chatting on Twitter with @CharleneSeini.