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Lee Grinberg, CBAP, PMP
Lee Grinberg, CBAP, PMP

Do you want stakeholders to trust you?

Do you want to be an effective BA?  

The first step is to make the key stakeholders trust you.

As I wrote in my previous post it is the first step in establishing yourself when you're the only BA in your organization.

 When I joined and sat down for my first meeting with the project team not only was I met with stares of hostility I was also leveled with questions regarding the need for my role (gasp!)  The project sponsor and his right hand who was developing business requirements were feeling threatened and did not want to give up control.

So, how to make them trust you?   Develop rapport and give credit!

First, develop professional rapport.  Over a few months, I met with them to clearly establish my boundaries (writing functional specs) as opposed to stepping on their turf (business requirements) and to offer my help with clarifications whenever I could.   I learned their business terminology and got my hands on as much system information as possible.   In the process of developing rapport, I was also learning about the system and became a better BA.  This went a long way to establish my earnestness and good intentions.

Second, develop a personal rapport.   I got to know these guys pretty well.  We had a few drinks, shared personal stories, and trust soon developed.   I also asked them for help in navigating the organizational culture.   When people help you, they trust you.

The final watershed moment that made them trust me happened in another project meeting.   I was doing a presentation on the state of the project to senior management and when the time was right stopped and gave credit to the guys who started it and kept it rolling.   I took no credit for myself.   This completely established my good intentions.

So, what finally happened?   These stakeholders and I have a great working relationship which outlasted the original project.   

This entry was published on Jun 03, 2013 / Lee Grinberg, CBAP, PMP. Posted in Business Analysis, Soft Skills, Leadership & Management, Career as a Business Systems Analyst, Getting Started as a Business Systems Analyst. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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srikanthba posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 10:37 AM
Presently, I am also facing the issue of being a single BA from offshore for the projects.Initially, the reponse of the business team was not encouraging and developers and the project manger at the onsite take the lead. We have very less change to develop a rapport with the business team and credit them.

Its about searching for an oppurtunity to develop a rapport with the client / business team. Yes it comes by helping and guiding them to write the requirements too.
Lee Grinberg, CBAP, PMP posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 10:47 AM

Thank you for your comment.

In your situation, rapport is certainly difficult to build. A couple of things I would try include:
1. Learn the business terminology. When you "speak their language" an understanding and common bond will develop.
2. Look for an opportunity to add value through your requirements. I will write how to do this in more detail later but for now listen in the meetings for troublepoints that you can help resolve.
Lee Grinberg, CBAP, PMP
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