Business Acumen for Business Analysts

About this course

“The vast majority of [project] waste is completely avoidable; simply get the right business needs understood early in the process.”

Jim Crear, Standish Group CIO

In today’s fast-paced and volatile economy, organisations capable of turning boardroom requirements into reality gain the ultimate competitive advantage.

Organisations gain this competitive advantage when they are able to equip their Business Analysts with the appropriate skills and knowledge to strategically define the right projects, and to ultimately deliver the required organisational outcomes.

Successfully defining and managing business requirements calls for specialist skills and experience.

Being a truly effective Business Analyst has its foundation in more than just the possession of excellent technical skills; in fact a Business Analyst is said to do more than just the work of Business analysis. The role of the Business Analyst is one of ‘trusted adviser’, ‘consultant to the business’, ‘influencer’, ‘relationship manager’ – to name but a few – all of which are heavily reliant upon the possession of sound business acumen.

Business acumen has many definitions, some of the most common of which are:

  • A person’s knowledge and ability to make effective business decisions, and/or  to effectively influence leaders and decision makers,
  • A vehicle for improving financial and commercial ‘savvy’,
  • A vehicle for career/professional development into positions of leadership, 
  • Nurturing both the development of strategic skills and those of effective leadership and management, thereby maximising personal and professional effectiveness, and
  • Developing and utilising an insight and depth of business knowledge and experience.

Workshop Objective

The major objective of this workshop is to equip participants with a more strategic focus – through increasing visibility and awareness of organisational culture and strategy, and an understanding of where there is power to influence outcomes.

Who this course is for

This workshop is designed for:

  • Business Analysts, or
  • Project staff seeking to progress to a business analysis role

How this course is delivered

Facilitators of this workshop will use a case study delivery approach to provide participants with a ‘hands-on’, multi-faceted and challenging learning experience. Participants will be actively engaged in case study activities, scenarios and role-plays to gauge their current skill levels, and to further develop and build new skills for immediate transfer to their workplace.

All workshops are able to be customised to suit your requirements, using a project scenario from your workplace as a case study.

A comprehensive participant handbook is provided. Our participants are also entitled to complementary telephone consultation/advice within 60 days of workshop completion. All workshops may be conducted onsite or at our premises, with experienced facilitators providing group and/or individual instruction.

Workshop Content Summary

Introduction

  • What is business acumen?
  • Workshop objectives.
  • Participant introductions and objectives.

The Business Analyst’s Role Within Organisational Strategy

  • What is organisational strategy?
  • Understanding the strategic landscape.
  • How does the Business Analyst contribute?
  • The Business Case – key characteristics of a robust financial Business Case.
  • Key financial terminology.

Understanding Organisational Culture and Communication

  • What is ‘organisational culture’ and what are its impacts?
  • Organisational communication.
  • The 4 Cs of Communication.

Developing Your Personal Communication Skills

  • What is effective communication?
  • The communication process.
  • Miscommunication – a breakdown in the process.
  • Active listening and questioning.
  • The power of visualisation and imagery.
  • Working with ‘Verbal Behaviours’.

Successful Internal Consulting

  • Assessing your ability to take a consultative approach.
  • Building skills and strategies:
  • Assessing personal readiness,
  • Assessing organisational readiness,
  • Earning the ‘right’, and
  • Understanding customer and stakeholder roles

Understanding Power and Influence

  • Influencing skills.
  • Managing levels of conflict.

Workshop Summary and Review

  • Workshop review and learnings.
  • Action Plans & Where to next…?

Outcomes & Certification Eligibility

  • Provide participants with tools and techniques for effectively influencing both individuals and stakeholder groups,
  • Facilitate the development of skills for taking a consultative approach towards Business Analysis work, thereby optimising the quality of the results, and
  • Provide a vehicle for ‘career progression’ – developing skills that enable the Business Analyst to operate at a higher level and thereby facilitate personal and professional development and career progression.

Course Prerequisites

In order to derive the greatest benefit from participation in this workshop, participants should be working in a business analysis environment or planning to do so in the near future.

Course Dates

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