As a business analyst solving problems within your company or business is what you do on a regular basis but ploughing the same furrow year after year can put your organisation at a disadvantage when new, flexible businesses are coming along all the time with new ideas. So in order to continue to produce the right solutions you will need to think more creatively to coming up with approaches that keep your projects fresh and ultimately, successful.
As a business analyst you can take on the role of inspiring the project team and encouraging them to be creative too. Here are some of the easiest ways to promote creativity in a project team:
Good ideas don’t happen in a room with one person – it is a joint effort with each member of the team bringing fresh perspectives to any particular problem. Find ways to encourage your team to think laterally instead of always going down the route of tried and tested approaches because that will only lead to stagnation of ideas and less successful projects. And in a highly competitive business world stagnation of an organisation is the beginning of the end.
Being creative doesn’t mean abandoning your company’s values but rather looking at them with new eyes and relating them to the task – make sure the team understand this. And don’t forget to reward the best creative ideas – coffee and cake goes a long way to keep the ideas flowing.
Encouraging creative thinking builds a way for everyone within the team to not just focus on their immediate tasks but also other ideas beneficial to the company.
Many of us spend more time in our workplace than at home and our surroundings play an important part in how creative we can be. If you can, make sure there is a good working environment – this will make employees more happy and happy teams achieve more.
As a business analyst you may not think it is your job to improve the working environment and worry about whether team members are happy in their work but your job can become easier if you do concern yourself with these things.
And the working environment is not just the physical environment – also think about workloads, talking through problems and motivating others to want to be fully involved in the project. If there is conflict in the team you must resolve it professionally using your best listening and communication skills.
A Common Vision
A group of people who are completely different in their abilities and outlook, but who share the same passion for the common goal is the best combination for creative problem solving. Embrace diversity and differences within the group at all times so that everyone can bounce ideas off each other throughout the analysis process.
If you want to inspire creativity and benefit from creative problem solving, you should prepare a plan to encourage creativity as it is unlikely to happen without some prompting, especially if it involves people who are not usually required to be creative. Have some ideas in your head that will get people talking and inject some innovation into your next project. The rewards of creativity are rich if you can get them, and more often than not that process begins and ends with you, the business analyst, being creative in your approach.