I’m in higher education and I’m a business consultant. From what I’ve observed, higher education, as a whole, has some pretty heavy projects on its plate. With the incoming forces of a new generation of students, technologies, and concerns institutions are being looked towards for the ability to deliver results transparently and delightfully. How do you as a higher education leader envision the future? The plan we hold in mind, sight, and spirit is what truly maintains the legacy of an enterprising community. With the shaping culture of entrepreneurship in the higher ed field it is important to consider if your workforce is comprised of strong, agile teams in place to adapt to our very responsive world.
One team member to seek immediately would be the highly valued Business Analyst Consultant (BAC). From a business analyst, you will find a team member that is able to find and communicate the real problems within your operations, plans, and technologies. From there they work on the team to ensure the solution solves the problem, which can be a lot trickier than one might guess. As a consultant you will find they have the ability to develop and maintain relationships with the long-term goal in mind, making the solution-building process a lot less stressful over time. The BAC can be the backbone of a project acting as the communication center so the rest of your community body can act towards the common mission. There are three skills your BAC should bring to the table.
What problems is your organization facing today? Are you aware of all the moving pieces and are they producing as effectively as they can? In this world no leader has time to focus on the ever-changing landscape. A BAC will. A good business analyst consultant review the external and internal factors and analyze how they may converge, so you can make effective decisions to prevent or solve any impending issues.
Once you’ve decided on a solution to create, the BAC will go to work to discover the true requirements needed to make your solution work as it should. Who will use the solution? Who needs to authorize? How can build as simple a solution as possible within our budget limits? Answering these questions thoroughly and early on helps straighten out what could spiral in the future.
Documentation and Communication
Once an authentic solution is discovered, the BAC will then get to real work. Designing, documenting, and communicating the solution over and over until it is clearly understood by all parties involved in the style they want to hear it. How does your VP of Finances? Director of Technology? Your students? Your alumni? Who really needs to know about the solutions your planning and how should they be engaged? Ensuring everyone can come on board with the plan ensures the solution grows organically within your organization and it will be adopted by the community.
Higher education is the “village” of modern civilization. As higher educators we have to ensure our practices, processes, and tools contribute to the development of every learner we welcome. We must be more agile than we balance the seemingly infinite capabilities of technology within the limits of human needs. Ensuring every member of your team is contributing to their fullest means leadership that respects and properly places their talent. A BAC will help you keep the problems your mission seeks to solve in mind, while finding its root causes and ensuring the solutions resolves or prevents the cause. Invest well in your consultant as 66% of success may hinge on their talents.