Modern business analysis is about value thinking and analytical ability says Mel Kingwill, and asks Joe Newbert if business analysts heading for extinction?
Melanie Kingwill is Head of Business Analysis for CIB Barclays Africa Group Ltd, whose first corporate environment role was as a business analyst where her passion for analysis was born.
With 18 years of experience as a business analyst in projects, within the Financial Institutes of South Africa, Melanie was the business change lead for the successful implementation of a new payment channel for corporate cash management and is spearheading the startup of a Centre of Excellence for Analysis competencies for Africa-wide.
Congratulations on your recent talk at the Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa, it was well received by many. For those who weren’t fortunate to attend, could you give us a synopsis of what your presentation was about?
It is a discussion around the relevance and value add business analysts really add to business. The business analysis community needs to re-examine the job role and description and enhance it to the value business needs. We need to stop focusing on the templates, methodologies and framework and start focusing on how we add value. If we don’t the role will cease to exist. Our true value is in the avoidance of cost, identification of opportunities and understanding and optimising processes. We need to dig past the want, to the true need and articulate it in a way that the organisation understands it and are excited to change towards it.
The topic is clearly an area that you are personally passionate about. Why do you feel this subject is relevant and important for the business analysis profession?
I believe that people that do analysis the right way can change the world. These people have the skills and aptitude to do anything they want, have any career they desire but they choose to be business analysts so that they can implement the right change that navigates their business through the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. If we don’t change, and continue to do analysis in the same way we have always done it, we will not elicit the change we need.
Having shared your ideas with the business analysis community. What key points would you like people to take-away, reflect and act upon?
How do you show up as a business analyst? What are you doing that adds value to your organisation, clients, community, role and yourself? What are you doing to improve the perception of business analysis?
Business analysis summit spoiled in terms of the learning and networking opportunities. What was your greatest personal insight taken from the business analysis conference?
South African Business Analysts are hungry to learn, grow and add value. The community is not afraid to challenge themselves and to continuously improve the role and quality of analysis. The South African business analysis profession is on the cutting edge of revolutionising the role.
Having been a speaker at local events. What words of encouragement do you have for people who may be considering presenting in future?
Speak from your heart authentically, engage the audience and welcome participation. You have something to share so share it so that others can learn from your experience.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Don’t be afraid to question even the most senior of stakeholders, but
… first understand what you have analysed and why you are asking the question, so that you know what the next question should be when you have an answer.
Listen naively and don’t make assumptions. Research broader than your requirement.
Download Melanie Kingwill‘s slide-deck from BA Summit SA 2016 and ask yourself Are Business Analysts Heading For Extinction? Share your thoughts on business analysts heading for extinction with @Newbert over on Twitter.