From Vision to Measurable Value: The BA’s Guide to Conquering Business Transformation. (Part 1)

Victor Ndukwe
5 min readMar 26, 2024

In the ever-changing landscape of modern business, transformation isn’t a fad — it’s a survival tactic. As a seasoned Business Analyst (BA) embedded within my organization’s Business Transformation Unit (BTU), I’ve witnessed countless transformation initiatives. The ones that truly thrive share a common thread: a strong understanding of the process, and BAs play a pivotal role in weaving that understanding.

In this guide, I’ll be sharing techniques that have helped me achieve measurable success in my journey as a BA.

Let’s dive right in!

Understanding the business intent and ambitions.

As a business analyst, you are an agent of change, so it falls greatly on your shoulders to know and be able to articulate just why this change is needed. You are, in part, a strategist, and that means you need the perspective necessary for strategy. You’re driving the discussions and the definition of the why.

My success always begins with a deep dive into the project’s core. I ask questions like how does this initiative align with the organization’s long-term strategic vision? What specific challenges are we attempting to address? This foundational understanding empowers me to translate high-level stakeholder needs into actionable requirements that drive tangible results.

If you can speak convincingly to the alignment of the project to the broader business objectives, you are several steps closer to getting people on board. So, get to know these strategic objectives and goals for the business, the function, or the team you’re working with. Ask questions and get enough answers to explain the reasons for the transformation.
So with a strong sense and reason for the why, and a robust and aligned business needs, your value proposition just got stronger.

Analyze the technical capabilities of the organization.

More often than not. Business transformation comes with the convergence of technology and business ambitions.

Now you have a strong sense of the business objectives, next is the stakeholder interviews and requirements gathering, right? Not quite so fast. So if understanding the business intent and ambitions was your prerequisite, a step zero if you like, this is going to be your step zero A. It’s understanding the technical aspects. It’s part of your initial project, landscape discovery.

  1. Firstly, understand the technology aspect that your project will bring. What kind of technology is needed and why? Is this a new system implementation? Do we even need technology for this at all?
  2. Next, understand the technical environment for the organizational function that you’re working with. You don’t need to draft and define the technical architecture diagrams with interfaces and data feeds, no! Just do a high level picture of what is currently used.
  3. Lastly, overlay the new technology aspect with the existing technical environment and capability of the organization. This is like your very own gap analysis for the technical site, at a high level, and a super simplified version.

This is just so that you better understand the landscape. It also helps you lead the discussions when it comes to stakeholder interviews and requirements. While you may not be technical yourself, you have a unique position as the liaison between the technical team and the end users and customers. And while the tech side can be complicated and dubbed with acronyms that don’t mean much to end users, you can shortcut the jargon and take intensity with a high-level understanding. This will help you not only with requirements, it will help you establish trust and credibility. And you become a treasured asset that people want to have on any project.

Get to know your Stakeholders.

You’ve probably heard the saying that customer-driven transformation starts with this, the end result. Yes, that’s right, and this is part of your step zero B: get to know your audience.

Change is the game we’re in, and what we transform directly impacts people. While you don’t need a full-blown certification in psychology and behavioural science, it pays to understand what makes your stakeholders tick. Here’s a simple yet effective checklist that you can follow, which will help you build your customer perspectives and plan.

  1. Look at the transformation from your stakeholder’s point of view: Just to recap here, when we talk about stakeholders, we are talking about customers and end users, but we also ensure that we keep in mind other project peers, business teams, executive sponsors, and the likes, they all matter. See the bigger picture from their point of view.
  2. Next, make a list of questions likely that people have: What did you get from walking in your stakeholder shoes? What questions, concerns, or remarks people may have? List them all down and keep this handy during your stakeholder interviews.
  3. Work with stakeholders from the onset. Use your influence, big or small, to shape the bigger engagement plan and project management plan. Ensure you are talking with end users and customers early on. If you want a great litmus test of how easy or difficult your transformation journey may be, share the project scope early, share outcomes early, and get reflections early. This way, there will be no surprises on either side.
  4. Plan for feedback loops. I get that this will once again depend on your influence on the project plan, but use what you can. Start with your immediate stakeholders who can provide feedback. Your desire to improve the plans via feedback will soon catch the attention, and you may be able to influence the whole project execution.
  5. Schedule open stakeholder sessions where people can provide feedback and have their questions answered. Start small, and use your area of responsibility for the transformation scope under your control. Make an example backed by actual stakeholder feedback and execution review, then you can scale.
  6. Communicate solution options and challenges early and throughout. Believe me when I say customers are dying to hear about the solution options. Now, to warn you, the feedback will not always be positive, but we have to roll with the punches here. Perhaps there’s a valid reason. You’d only get to know and understand it if you’re open to a two-way conversation. Something that I find useful while focusing on the stakeholders is an understanding of their personality type, that way, you shape your communication according to their style. And just like that, you get to become a customer whisperer, because if you can connect the dots from aspiration to execution to solution, you are on a path to delight.

If you read up to this point, I believe this helped you understand your role as a Business analyst in the Business transformation process. In the next part of this article, we’ll walk you through how to gather and manage requirements, perform business process analysis and then measure your transformation efforts for success.

Thanks for reading, let’s do great things!