Extending Your Business Analysis Licence with Samuel Gazimbi

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In this conversation, Samuel Gazimbi and I explore delivering tangible value to extend your business analysis licence and risking to pull up a chair in the C-Suite.

Samuel is a business analyst with Assurity Consulting who is passionate about people, ideas and technology. He is the Past President IIBA Zimbabwe Chapter, a friend of Joe Newbert, and other such maverick BA thought leaders.

Here are just a few of the highlights in this episode:

🔌 👴🏿 "I wasn't overly excited to be carrying around network cables." Samuel tells his story of working in IT support but feeling like he wanted more from his career. He shares how he found business analysis, which combined his IT skills with his desire to be more business focused. Samuel connected with local practitioners, which led him down this new career path and establish the IIBA Zimbabwe Chapter.

⛏️ 🏦 🧭 "Business analysis is about facilitating a discovery of value, managing that value, and planning for the future of that value." Samuel believes that people have come to accept the general definition of business analysis. And he has now noticed a shift in our focus towards defining the future of the role and the influence it can have. Samuel sees the role's purpose as discovering, managing, and planning value.

 ðŸ«¨ "Be brave; go out there and have those conversations." Samuel says that business analysts must adopt a possibility mindset to move forward. He encourages us to prioritise conversations about how we can contribute and use our skills rather than questioning whether we deserve to be here. Samuel believes this mindset shift can be a powerful tool for success.

✍🏿 💻 🤖 🫱🏻‍🫲🏿  "Years ago, the best business analyst was somebody who wrote very well, with pen and paper and had great handwriting that everybody could read." Samuel shares how technology has shifted our work, especially how business analysts document requirements. He sees new tools and AI as essential; however, soft skills like communication and collaboration will always be critical. Samuel concludes we should value interactions and work together to achieve our goals.

🪜 💺 🗣️ "What I see on the horizon is business analysts staking a claim in the C suite." Samuel sees business analysts as having a decisive influence in the C-suite. He says this does not necessarily mean obtaining a specific title but having a voice at the highest level. Samuel suggests we can work alongside other stakeholders and significantly impact strategy and key performance indicators by sharing the risk.

 ðŸ’¬ 📊 "Shift the conversation from I followed the methodology to I've delivered value." A quick thought on how methodologies and frameworks provide a construct for shared understanding.

Tune into the episode below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your podcast player of choice. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Business Change Academy skills development and career building business analysis courses.

The transcript of this episode can be read here.

  • [01:15] Samuel's rise from IT Support to becoming a Business Analyst 
  • [05:17] Casting an eye towards what lies ahead for the business analysis profession
  • [07:45] Finding value in the identity of the business analyst
  • [10:18] Conveying the value of business analysis to ears that don't understand
  • [15:57] Types of skills you have now that will live long into your BA future
  • [20:41] Techniques that AI might assist with in future (or takeover altogether)
  • [23:22] The mindset BAs need to have to build relationships and create value
  • [27:19] Lifting our heads up from what's under our noses to see what's on the horizon
  • [32:23] Taking some risk and ownership with a slice of the C-Suite KPIs
  • [40:58} Exercising fluidity as a business analyst soft-skill in the present moment

What was your favourite quote or insight from this episode? Please let me know in the comments. 👇👇👇

🧠 Add your brains to the  ðŸ‘‰ Future Business Analyst survey.

Joe Newbert 0:00

Hey everyone, it's Joe. Welcome to another episode of the future business analyst podcast. My guest today is Samuel Gazimbi, business analyst consultant with assurity consulting. Now most people come on the show like me to say a little bit of good words about their business analysis expertise, but but not Samuel. Now he wants me to let you know avid football, Easter, Real Madrid. Welcome to the show, Samuel. Thanks for joining me today.

Samuel Gazimbi 0:33

Hey, thanks a lot, Joe, for having me and Hala married.

Joe Newbert 0:38

Yeah, we've got enough to contend with with the future of business analysis. I'm not going to bring up the contentious topic of football and football teams. I love your story. Samuel. I followed your story closely. I think it's a great story. I've been fortunate I've been blessed to be a part of your story. times as well. But for those people who perhaps don't yet know you so well, why don't you just share a little bit of that? Just just recap sort of how you started and where you are today?

Samuel Gazimbi 1:15

Yeah, thanks a lot, Joe. I think maybe you might have understated your role in that story. I think you're a very big part of mine, and a lot of other people, their comments and Bob with story when we started off. But to your to answer your question. I think my story kind of starts around about 2014 2015. I was working in an insurance and financial services company in Zimbabwe and Harare. And basically, I was working in IT support, mostly in infrastructure, a little bit of system support, etc. At that point in time. And I was kind of having to think about where I wanted to go with my career, like, possibly in the next 20 years, where will they see myself? Maybe when I was turning 40? What kind of a job would I be doing? And to say the least, I mean, I wasn't overly excited to be carrying around network cables, or, you know, pitching switches and that kind of thing. And before two years old, I think that was just not for me. So I started to kind of think around, what what could that future look like, for me, I loved the stuff that we did in it, I love how we power the business and how you know, everybody in business was kind of dependent on what we did to kind of get their stuff done. But I also kind of felt a sense of loss of the fact that we seemed so far away and removed from, you know, the influence and opportunity to kind of influence what the business was actually doing. And for me, I think that's where it begins. Because I started them researching, did I need to maybe leave my IT career behind in order to get maybe into some sort of a business role? What could that future look like? And somewhere on the internet, I stumbled across this thing, which was called the business analysis. And to be honest, for me, I think when I first looked at it and read about it and stuff, it it probably sounded or I thought it was maybe more business, less it. Okay, but the more I kind of discovered it, and I think connected with you guys and the community that was in South Africa was obviously in Zimbabwe, it wasn't a big thing. Yet, there wasn't a lot of activity, if any around it. And yeah, connecting with you guys and trying to find other fellow practitioners in Zimbabwe is what basically led me down this path that I find myself in. And I don't know, it's a long story, we should probably have a different conversation around it. But to summarize it, I found Joe Newbert Adria, re enforced in the IBA South Africa community. And basically, we salvaged some practitioners in Zimbabwe started what became the business analysis community of Zimbabwe, now, a registered chapter, I think approximately eight, nine years later. So yeah, it's been quite a gem.

Joe Newbert 4:24

It's a remarkable story. I mean, like, well, well done to you for for founding the Zimbabwean chapter, as you say, sort of. Well, I don't I'm not sure that salvage is the right word, but But you know, constructing, constructing the community that you have, there is just I mean, it really is. It really is incredible. An incredible moment, I think, and I remembered the passion, the people there had for this, it was just quite incredible. And now, I guess you brought us to the present day here We are so so rather than looking to the past, let's perhaps cast our eye a little bit to the future. Based on your experience, you know, that you've had in business analysis, what sort of things? Can you see that perhaps lie ahead for us?

Samuel Gazimbi 5:17

I think generally for, for business analysts, I think, at this point in time, I can say for sure that I've seen what's been a gradual shift. I remember some of the first conferences I attended around BA, they there was a very overarching talk around, you know, understanding what the role is. It was very technique focused. So there was a lot of, I don't know, maybe, because that's where it wasn't my journey. But it felt to me there was a lot of discovery, you know, about BA, who are we? What's our, you know, what's our space, our place in this whole? Business and Technology space? And I've, I'd like to think that there's been a shift, in my opinion, in the past couple of years, I think, a lot more post COVID. Towards, what will business analysis be in the future? Possibly, maybe because of the whole pandemic situation, people started kind of thinking about the future a lot more. And obviously, your career a very big part of that. But I think what I see as changed, and this kind of the conversation now is more about what will be a be in the future? Where do we find ourselves, people seem to have come to an acceptance of the general definitions of what the business analyst role is, where it fits in within the business, the business structures, and what kind of value we bring. And now we're kind of looking at defining where to from here, what kind of influence can we have going into the future? So that's kind of been my experience of the evolution of where we've been and where we are with business analysis right now.

Joe Newbert 7:00

Yeah, I think you're right, I think we're at a crossroads, aren't we? I think there's a lot of thought that going into sort of, you know, what's next, because we are going through quite an incredible shift at the moment. Just just just from a human perspective, I think with things like the pandemic that you've mentioned, but also from a technology perspective, with things like AI, suddenly on our, on our doorstep. Let's talk about that a little bit about that definition of business analysis. Tell me in your mind, what is it? You did mention that sort of we've been struggling a little bit perhaps to sort of get an identity. So in terms of you finding your identity in business analysis, what is that?

Samuel Gazimbi 7:45

Well, for me long story, short, you're in MFA, this might become a recurring thing. For me, business analysis is about value. It's about discovering value. It's about facilitating the discovery of value, it's about managing that value that you know, through the evolution or the delivery of that value. So whatever that may look like, it may be a technical solution, it may be process change, it may be, you know, the strategy setting, etc. But I believe that business analysis is about facilitating a discovery of value managing that value, and possibly can planning for the future of that value. Really, I don't know if that's a bit high level, if you want me to go a little bit deeper, what I think, but yeah, that's where I feel like business analysis sits for me.

Joe Newbert 8:40

Okay, well, I'm happy for you to steer this conversation, wherever you'd like to like to steer it. My job here is really just like a conversation you I'd like to understand what you see what you've experienced what you think I've got, I think you've got tremendous experience, and I value what it is that you see. And using that word value, let me let me focus on it for a while, I want to go back to that little bit of perhaps not knowing our identity again, as well. I think bas have often struggled to sort of say, This is who we are, this is what we do this and get that value across to people. And I'm actually going to circle back to your beginnings here with the with the chapter in Zimbabwe, because what I will be keen to hear from you is to grow a chapter to you in a country that didn't really have much volume of business analysts. You had to be quite persuasive. You had to persevere. You had to influence and so part of that I assume, and maybe you're going to tell me I'm wrong here but it's getting across the value of business and now losses to people so that you could create that community? What kind of guidance? Perhaps can you? Can you give me to sort of help convey value to the IRS that might not quite understand what it is that we do?

Samuel Gazimbi 10:18

Yeah, I think you're you're absolutely right. You're it's a lot of negotiating. It's a lot of influencing. I think that's a big part of it. I think, number one, for me, was the fact that no kind of speak, in reference to that whole experience, but also, to answer your question, for me, number one was just having the confidence, the knowledge, the security, of being in our, in my own skin, you know, as a business analyst, so literally, you're gonna have somebody come and ask you what is business analysis to start with, you know, and they probably genuinely do not have any idea of it, they're probably not encountered anybody who works in this space. And I think a big part of that is, number one, just knowing the constituency that you were working with. And for for us at that point in time in Zimbabwe, what I did know for a fact was that generally, industry was always kind of looking forward, trying to catch up on the next trend, what could be next, whatever gives us the next advantage. So that was pretty useful. The fact that people are actively looking for that knowledge. And I think that also translates to this part of the conversation for us as business analysts, I think, we have a very good place to start from, because generally, people want to know what it is. And then the second thing was being able to kind of translate to something that's relatable to people. So I know one of the things that maybe we have a lot to do, as practitioners as business analyst is probably liking ourselves to something else that we are not. And I think people can kind of become pretty territorial. But oh, no, we're not this, were a lot more days or something like that. But for me, again, the most important thing is, can I translate? Or can I transport this person from where they are to understanding what the business analyst does. And in that interaction, if I need to be something, or to present myself as somebody differently, from what a pure BA is, just to get that conversation across the line, then I was happy to do that. So you'll find like in Zimbabwe, a lot of our conversations will probably start from a project management perspective, because people are familiar with project managers, and then trying to explain to them like, you know, the context that project managers work, they are going to work with software development teams, if it's a software project that is, and then as a business analyst, this is where I'm going to come in, I'm not necessarily going to be the project manager and manage the time costs and all those things. But I'm actually more interested in delivering value between the business and the technology team. So once you kind of built a context around it, that was relatable to the person that you're speaking to, then all of a sudden, it becomes a conversation in which they're kind of interested in. And I think the other thing that I would say is kind of, for those of us who get the opportunity, which is what I think I did, I got an opportunity to lead the conversation, I think it's very important for us to be able to, you know, just be brave about it, go out there and have those conversations, because what we found is, once you start facilitating those conversations, a lot of people come out from the shadows, and they relate. They're like, Oh, yeah, you know what, actually, I think I've been doing business analysis, but at my job, we call it whatever other type of a role or I think I recognize some of the tests that you're talking about. And you know, you give others an opportunity to come out of the woodwork, so to speak, when you can shine the light. And I think that's always going to be a call for for business analysts. Sometimes we're just going to need to take a step on that pedestal, it's pretty challenging, you can put you in a vulnerable position to hold views, you know, how the world is, maybe on LinkedIn, social media, etc. Holding a view, it can either constantly people or it can inspire them, but I think it's a responsibility that we need to carry through a bit more with the PA profession.

Joe Newbert 14:26

Yeah, I agree with you. I think having conversations and talking as you say it can polarize right, like some people can agree some can disagree. And that's okay. It sparks a conversation. I think through those conversations, we start to understand all of the nuances and all of the different different aspects of this because as you say, business analysis does happen under many different sort of names out there. Yeah. I also liked it. Yeah, it was a nice little tactic that you've got there. It's not quite the analogy to use because business analysts aren't wolves, but it's a bit like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Clothing isn't like, I will go in as a project manager, but really underneath I'm a business analyst. And then as you say that the job, the jobs in their goals are no different really are they is to move this to create some change and to move people from point A to point B, I think that's a really good little wedge in that you had there. Yeah. Another couple of things that I like to what you said is one having the skills and the confidence or having the confidence in in your skills. And that made me think of like foundational skills, you know, transferable skills, the skills that will live on regardless? What kind of skills into the future, do you think we have now that are going to remain like a key part of what we do?

Samuel Gazimbi 15:57

I think the one that comes top of mind for me, is it skills around relationship building, primarily. And I think I picked this one more deliberately, because I think a lot of times are conversations divided into, you know, the technical stuff, the technology, what, what techniques do you use to maybe do elicit requirements elicitation, or to facilitate this and that, but for me, I think the biggest skills and power that we bring as Bas is probably relationship building, being able to connect people together in projects, regardless of what their background is, what roles they're on the project to fulfill. So I think that's a very fundamental skill that we'll carry on, and that we probably need to nature a bit more going into the future. I think another very big one is around contextual thinking, you know, being able to bring about to bring together different ideas and different perspectives and domain knowledge, whatever technical tools and stuff that we have, and being able to pick the correct or the most applicable one at a moment in time. I think, for me, those will be the tool that I go to the most. Um, I try to kind of stay away from being maybe picking a specific technique or something like that and say, look, I think maybe user stories, if we're talking about HL are going to be the way forward for me, because I think those things always will evolve. And I think right now, we actually seeing a lot of evolution in the tool space. And what's been interesting for me to see if that has happened, is kind of how an evolution in the tool space has had a ripple effect around VAs and kind of thinking of what we do now, since tools can do this, or AI has come into the picture. So what's next for us? Is it the end of BA as we know it, it is see, I don't think maybe tool that necessarily our biggest asset that we bring to the table I think relationship building, and being able to think conceptually and contextualize different issues and variables is very critical for us.

Joe Newbert 18:24

Yeah, those soft skills, relationship building rapport, just just being able to hold conversations with people probably having some compassion and empathy for them. To definitely there. So okay, so bigger focus on that set. So you feel like some of these techniques are going to go away as well. Did I? Did I sort of hear in there? I'm not sure if I did here. So let me clarify. But did I hear in there that you think that maybe some of these techniques could be something that can sort of AI might assist with in future? Is that what I heard?

Samuel Gazimbi 19:00

Yeah, definitely. I mean, obviously, the tech, the technology will keep evolving the things. Look, I'm gonna give a very basic example, if maybe I don't know how many years or years ago, what business analysts were expected to do was to document or write down the requirements, and possibly within computers, then probably the best business analyst is somebody who will wrote very well, pen and paper and a great handwriting that everybody could read whether this project management, testers or developers, and then all of a sudden somebody brings this thing's like, oh, yeah, there's a computer now you can actually type it doesn't matter what your handwriting is, like, the fonts, you know, define and maybe somebody's out of a job because they had a great handwriting and that doesn't matter anymore. So for me, the tools are just, they will be what they will be, the technology will always evolve. And, you know, it basically helps us to be more productive. And obviously there's a lot of productivity tools that are being in there. about AI. But I think, to your point, the soft skills, the capacity for us to interact and to kind of find value in interactions, and kind of expose that value and help people to kind of be on the same page and move along the delivery, the delivery lifecycle, those things will always hold, regardless of what tools were using to actuate. The solutions. Yeah.

Joe Newbert 20:28

Yeah, I love your analogy, it. It reminds me of a thought that I had delivering a presentation a few years back. But at some point, there wasn't a printing press. So it's much the same. It's much the same as your handwriting to compute it. You know, there was calligraphy and people were writing and then suddenly Guttenberg in the printing press. And I can imagine at the time that that came, it was enormous disruption all of these jobs. Right, we're no longer needed. It just wasn't a thing, suddenly, like paper and ink are a thing. And it will change. And I'm sure at that time, the people who are around that felt an enormous amount of anxiety about the changes that were happening around them in their professional space, because of the guts and books, introduction of the printing press. And, and perhaps we're going through a moment like that at the moment, perhaps yet, a big chunk of the BA work does go, and then we need to focus on a different side of this coin.

Samuel Gazimbi 21:44

Exactly. So I think that just as you've kind of explained it, it kind of brings me back to that whole value compensation. So if value is made up of different levers and kind of like weights on a balance, we've kind of moved maybe what got us in the door was the technical skills, the ability to, you know, manipulate a set, or maybe if it's a software tool, or an ability to do a certain technical piece of work, but maybe what keeps us in the door is as shifting in courts, right, in this case, towards, you know, the skills that are required in this new context that we live in. And for me, I think that could possibly be the soft skills. Yeah, because if everybody knows maybe how to write requirements, is that going to put bas out of job?

Joe Newbert 22:41

Yeah. Another thing that you said earlier, actively looking for advantages when you were talking about organizations in Zimbabwe actively looking for advantages. It that's a good trait of a BA, too, right? Curiosity. Advantages value, I suppose. And perhaps another way of saying value sounds a bit like a mindset that we need to have talked to me about ba mindset and what sort of mindset we'll have to have going forward in the future if we are to be promoting this value and building these relationships.

Samuel Gazimbi 23:22

I think, I think, number one, a possibility mindset. And by possibility mindset, I'm hoping that as we go along and have these conversations and you know, ask ourselves, the tough questions, we move from a place where, you know, we were in a bit of an imposter syndrome. Do we even deserve a seat at this table? Are we good enough to be here? How can we keep proving to everyone else around us that we deserve to be here kind of mindset more to towards a mindset that says, hey, look, we're here already? How can we best participate in what is being created right now? How can we best help the people that we are working with? What do we have in our tool? In our toolkit, that's going to make a difference. How is this particular project is particularly initiative going to be different? Because I'm here, and I'm a BA, and I have these experiences. I think we've spent a lot of time trying to find ourselves. And I guess, I don't know for sure we ever will have a day when you say hey guys, everybody ring the bell, we found the pin the tail on the pony. We know what this is. Or if we just need a mindset that says, hey, look, we're going to, we're going to accept that there's going to be some level of ambiguity and there's always going to be a certain level of flux. And that's okay. We're okay with the fact that we're growing. We're always evolving. But for now, we're going to focus on based on what we know about who we are where we've come from and what skills and tools we have, what's the best way for us to contribute? And I think I think for me, that's that's, that would be a very powerful mindful mind. What do you call it? mindset shift that we can have SBA SBAS, maybe let's have more conversations about how best can we contribute? And maybe a little bit less of, do we deserve to be here kind of conversations?

Joe Newbert 25:31

Yeah. Yeah, I think impostor syndrome like that there's, there's almost a lack of confidence. Like, we're not sure whether we're teetering on the edge. I like the idea of of showing up with a little more oomph, you know, and saying, here we are, we know. Value. Yeah, yeah. You mentioned in there another Mindset possibility mindset, I want to come back to that. As Bas, one of the things that we do is come up with options, right, you can do it this way. Or you can do it that way, this way, is going to cost this much and take so long. And that way is going to cost this much and take so long. We present options, and we weigh up and we recommend and somebody will make a decision. I feel like options are right in front of us like they're here. They're a course of action that we need to take now. Possibilities sound a little further away. To me, that's why it sort of jumped out at me, I'm thinking possibilities is a bit more future thinking, you know, it's a little more just open minded and experimental. It means that we perhaps have to look at the horizon, right? Because I feel like we sort of look at what's right under our nose most of the time, but perhaps we have to live it up and look to the horizon. Which leads me nicely to, you know, what sort of things do you do you see on the horizon? I mean, I know there's there's a i, you can talk about that if you want to. But I'm wondering also, if there's perhaps anything else that you see on the horizon?

Samuel Gazimbi 27:19

For for ba interesting, I think it definitely, right now, AI is kind of like, the big thing, by what I kind of see on the horizon is hopefully bas staking a claim in the C suite. And by staking a claim, I don't necessarily mean as getting the title. I don't know what the title will be executive beer, something like that, I don't know. But more having a seat to influence at the C suite level, I think a lot of what we have right now, which is really great that we even do get access to is a lot of access to Swiss to C suite to pretty much kind of get the DNA of what they want done and, you know, facilitate that happening. That's I think that part is very well covered in well done in this day and this age. And what I hope is, if we've been if we keep doing great work with the guys and C suite, hopefully we get ourselves to a point where we get invited to the table. And I think invited is kind of the nice way of putting it. But otherwise, we just probably need to get up the policy, pull the chair, and make ourselves comfortable owning a bit of that strategy piece. And the reason I say this is because and this is my thinking, I feel like maybe a piece of why we feel like maybe we don't get a chance to influence as much as we can or possibly to have as much respect as we think we should have as a profession is possibly because we don't own the risk as much as we possibly could. I think as bas when once we ask for a seat at the C suite, then we're positive. We're saying Hey guys, this is this is the whole pie called risk. We're willing to eat the pie, and to own a piece of this risk with you guys and be part of the team and work you know, shoulder to shoulder with with everybody else who's on that table. So I'm talking about bas being in a position where we can also influence and also be part of the strategy and also on KPIs that directly impact on strategy. And I think once we're able to get into that level, where we were stakeholders at that level, we also own risk, then we can also have a voice that actually counts and that matters. And possibly organizations can drive better outcomes. Because it's no longer we discover value somewhere down the chain, we actually discover value right at the beginning where the hard conversations are being had, where we're baking in value, and all the things that we bring as Bas, into the initial conversations that are building these organizations and building those objectives that we work so hard to, you know, to meet and to satisfy. So, yeah, I think

Joe Newbert 30:33

that that's a really interesting idea. I know, in your response, you dropped the word KPIs, I was just thinking, how can I steer you towards KPIs, but But you brought us here? So thank you. That's a really interesting idea. Okay, so yeah, some some we do as bas we have access from from the top to the bottom, you know, we're, we're that chameleon who can sort of blend in and speak because it's that relationship building so we can know the words, you know, how to build rapport with people. So we sort of already do have a little in. And yeah, your idea of walking in sitting down and making yourself at home, you know, putting your feet on the table, almost without being asked, as I was thinking, okay, but then then you gave a really good strategy to do that. What are the KPIs that matter to them? And please give me ownership of those KPIs are not necessarily all of them, one or two of them? And let me go away and find some answers to make these KPIs better, as you say, you're taking some ownership, you're sort of putting some stake in the game. Yeah. What kind of KPIs might you consider? What's what sort of things because you also then mentioned that we perhaps got some lower level KPIs that we typically focus on, it might be the efficiency of a process, it might be a number of dodgy products that are produced errors returns, you know, it's all sort of low level, still metrics, right KPIs, but what sort of ones at the top might we might we start to play with?

Samuel Gazimbi 32:23

Now, I feel like I should have done some homework before I came. Off the top of my head, no, I think I'm looking at the CEO, as you know, the the head of that C suite or the board of execs. And obviously, he has KPIs, I know, they probably have KPIs around financial deliverables, the p&l, they're probably going to own that. They we've got people sitting there who are owning some stake in the marketing, the people owning some stake in, you know, product delivery, etc. I think for for a BA, we probably want to be in a space where, yeah, possibly close to how our products perform in the market. So yeah, we could also possibly take on some of I think that's probably going to depend on the organization really, at the end of the day. But just off the top of my head, maybe we're looking at things like a part of that profit and loss is our products that we're producing in the delivery lifecycle, achieving the KPIs that the business is looking at, are they being profitable? Are they having enough sign ons, if that's what we're using to measure? are they hitting the retention marks, etc. And if we can get to a place where we can define what those KPIs are, and possibly match through how the BAS work has impacted on those right through them, I think that will be a success of sorts. And that would allow us to get into that conversation. Right now. I feel like the KPIs are put on the project. And so whoever owns the project, if there's a program manager or program exec, or whatever, the CIO or whoever owns that piece, is the one who gets the flack for it if it doesn't work, or the word if it does work. But also, as a result, it kind of puts the ceiling on what the BAS can contribute to that specific conversation, because at the end of the day, there's going to be Oh, yeah, the project team did this. But what did the ba do specifically? And can we trace that value right through to, you know, the highest level of business objectives that we're going for? If we can, then maybe this person needs to be also influencing or contributing to this conversation about how we mold those two decisions at that level. So I know I haven't given you a specific set, I'll probably need to go back, sit down and figure this out. And it might just come back to you and say, Hey, do I figure it out? I know the KPIs now.

Joe Newbert 35:14

But I think I think your answer was good. You know, there is a p&l there is finance. The numbers that are appear on there are a result of sort of product of sales of, you know, margin of customer of retention of things like that. There's probably also some other ones too, around innovation, perhaps, and they'll of course, be those ones that are around sort of process improvement. I guess I just said the balanced business scorecard there. And perhaps we'll have some more to do with the planet Earth Society ethics, I think I do think that's going to grow, unless you're going to drop something in here. I mean, coming in coming into this series of shows, I had a few ideas. And I've just, like, there's a couple of things. And I've just been thinking like, when's the right time to drop this in? Like if somebody gets close to something that I've been thinking about? And I feel like, I feel like he might have come to the close come the closest on this one. Yeah, an intrapreneur. An entrepreneur is about building a business, right, but they've probably got skin it skin in the game. The intrapreneur is somebody inside an existing organization, but probably with that entrepreneurial mindset. You talked about KPIs, you talked about owning some risk, like being a part of it. Earlier, you mentioned the actively looking for advantages, I feel like you've given me a lot of little dots that sort of build up to a bit of an intrapreneurial ship definition. What do you think about that?

Samuel Gazimbi 37:00

I think 100% And I think that would be business analysis by its very nature lends itself a lot to interpreting intrapreneurial. mindset and capabilities. And to some extent, I mean, depending on how much scope a specific organization will give you, you kind of do run a little business inside of the bigger business of the organization. Because look at it this way you are there when strategy is kind of made and handed down. And you kind of own realize the realization or the actualization of that strategy. And strategy basically cuts across right from number one, what is the surface? What's the product to number two? How are we going to measure it being successful? And all those things? And number three, how are we going to deliver it? Who are we delivering it to all those things, these techniques, these skills, these tools that we use as Bas, that kind of touch and try to answer those questions for the different state stakeholders around the project. And yeah, 100%, that would very much be intrapreneurial. I think what what that for me hearing you say that what that takes me to is back to the issue of license again. And it sponsibility how much does the organization trust you or trust us as a professional as bas. to own that? And how much of it do they trust of trust us to go out and make decisions around? And the more we can kind of prove that yes, it's perfectly fine, you can give a business analyst, you know, just, hey, this is what we're looking to do. And then let them go and figure out all the little bits and pieces that make that thing happen. And actually let them run with it or build a team around that and deliver that thing, then I think where we're kind of shifting right now, I feel like business analysts sit in as obviously as part of the team in a corner as a consultant. So I will go to this guy to ask him his thoughts and his ideas or to ask him to kind of illustrate a certain values and attribute of the value chain for me, just to confirm my thinking, but I will keep ownership of this thing. And, again, risk for it and go and make sure that it's delivered. But possibly, that's something that I could hand over to this guy if I trusted them enough. And I know that they're capable of doing it and if they've proven that they, you know, consistently deliver the value. So that for me happening is probably at an institutional level SBAS across the different levels that we work. We need to keep putting ourselves forward to say hey, look, we're available, and we're willing to do this we and we can illustrate that value delivered. Yeah.

Joe Newbert 40:00

I think as you're talking, you know, as you're saying, you know, have we got the license to do it. And it's not to say that getting our licenses is anytime, anytime soon. But I think for me, mindset is a behavior that we have to demonstrate, that just starts to lead us down the right paths. And we might be walking down those paths for a little while. But at least it's it's the right path. word that you used in your response, if possibly said it in under a different guise in this, but that's fluidity, like fluidity of Bas, in the skills and even now with this entrepreneur, and you're talking about would need a degree of fluidity when we in sort of exercising this kind of mindset.

Samuel Gazimbi 40:58

Yep, yeah, and percent. And again, I like the word fluidity that you bring in, because for me, it goes back to one of the key points that we talked about before, that as we go forward, it looks like, for me, fluidity is kind of like a soft skill. So your ability to recognize the context in which you're operating, and how best to exercise your skills or to, to present yourself in a certain context. And again, that's probably not going to be like a hard skill that I'm actually going to put on a on a, you know, on some framework on a canvas on my computer and say, Hey, this is the fluidity, construct, and etc, it's for me more a soft skill, your ability to, you know, recognize the opportunity, your ability to then adjust whatever needs to be adjusted, so that you, you operate at that level. And I think, again, emphasizes the point that for Bas, as we go forward, possibly, we need to kind of rehab, it relook at some of those soft skills that used to be complimentary. And see which ones become a bit more fundamental, as we move forward. Because, again, the demands of the business are changing, the stuff that we used to bring that maybe was had skills, you know, getting passed on to tools into technology, you know, platforms as a service, for example, maybe a few years back, you would ever be a full time on a project. And basically what whoever is contracted them was doing was building a website. But now we've got all these platforms, and they just say, hey, look, no code, build a website. And if our definition of BA is somebody who sits between the technical team, developers, and the business, and in this case, the business and the developers have become one person, because they're using a no code platform as a service solution, then where does that leave the BA? Does it mean that there is no value from a from pa professional operating in that project? I think there is. It's just a little bit different from, you know, what it's been before. And the ability to recognize that and know what changed, and how best to present myself becomes that fluidity. I think that you're referring to and I think yeah, that's one for the future. Definitely. That's one for the President actually.

Joe Newbert 43:24

Yeah, it is for now. sense and respond would be what what I heard from you, with this fluidity. So go in understand the context and know what's required in that context. It's let me sense it. Let me respond. And then that takes my brain to a put to a question. Just Just a quick question to end off on, on here two methodologies, because methodologies are hard, right? We follow methodologies, A, then B, then C. So you mentioned use cases earlier, but also they might not be they will evolve? Who knows in eight years time? Do you think we might see less need for methodologies in our work? Because we do need to have the fundamental, soft skills, the fundamental techniques, know what the CEU situation calls for know which one to apply? And if that's in us, then we don't need a recipe book to tell us how much

Samuel Gazimbi 44:36

okay, so I don't know if methodology is exactly the same with frameworks, because I've been playing around in this framework space of late so that's kind of what I related to the worst. And for me, I think, in reality, we need a way to organize the world. So they will We'll be spaced for methodologies I can say always, I don't know what's gonna happen in the future. But I think methodologies and frameworks allow us a construct in which we can have a common or shared understanding. So maybe how we use them is probably what changes. Where is it previously, maybe they've come in some context of being prescriptive. So use this methodology or this framework to get this output. Obviously, the methodology was developed at a point in time, and there was a context around it. And so it applied, maybe now we'll look to the methodology or framework to organize our thinking. And then using those skills that we've said, we're kind of nature and going into the future, we decide which bits and pieces make sense to carry through in this particular interaction or whatever project or activity that you're facilitating, and which bits of that may be, is not necessary to carry through. And then again, we've shifted the conversation from I did the methodology, which is possibly operational, and somebody needs to look over it and say, Hey, did you do the methodology or the framework correctly to I've delivered the work, that intrapreneurial perspective that you were talking about? And we've shifted the conversation from, I need permission from somebody to say, hey, look, I've looked over your methodology or whatever you've done incorrectly, it's going to pay, I've delivered a piece of value. And this is what I did, which means I had license to kind of pick and choose and drop and you know, what you call it? I'm trying not to use the word pimp customize. My solution?

Joe Newbert 46:51

Okay, yeah, we got to look for the value in this stuff. Right? See, see if there is still value in this stuff when we look to give value. Yeah. This word values come up a lot in our conversation tonight. And it's going to come up one more time. I'm going to thank you for the value that you gave gave this conversation tonight. It's been wonderful talking to you as always, Samuel, thanks for coming on. I appreciate you being here.

Samuel Gazimbi 47:22

No, thanks a lot, Joe. I think after a lot of fun, just kind of peeking into the future. And just just also hearing your thoughts and your insights around these questions that you've you've posed, I think they're quite interesting. I still need to go back and look at KPIs for that's a little bag.

Joe Newbert 47:45

As I say, I have the easier job of the two of us because I get to ask the easy question and you have to answer the answer is somewhat more difficult. But thanks again, Sam. It's great seeing you I look forward to our paths crossing again.

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About Samuel Gazimbi

Samuel Gazimbi (/in/samuel-gazimbi-00b3465b/) is a business analyst with Assurity Consulting who is passionate about people, ideas and technology. With a key focus on Business Analysis, he drives innovation and social change through its capacity to co-create solutions and change. Samuel is the Founder and a Past President of the IIBA Zimbabwe Chapter and is passionate about helping individuals and communities to realise their dreams and fulfil their potential. 

About Joe Newbert

Joe Newbert (/joenewbert) is is a consultant, a writer, a speaker, but above all, a teacher. As Chief Training Officer at Business Change Academy, he delivers some of the best business analysis training on the planet. He co-authored the original IIBA® Business Analysis Competency Model and served as Non-Executive Director on the IIBA® South Africa Strategy Board. Joe is Showrunner at the business analysis podcast network OneSixEight FM and Editor-In-Chief at the Inter-View Report. And he also writes in fits and starts on Newbert's Blog.


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