4 ways to building stronger stakeholder relationships

4 ways to building stronger stakeholder relationships

Business Analysts are responsible for identifying organization problems, eliciting, documenting and managing stakeholder requirements, recommending solutions and facilitating the successful implementation of those solutions. Business Analysts need to have sound relationships with stakeholders in order to fulfill these key tasks successfully. Stakeholder engagement should be at the heart of what we do as Business Analysts as it is incredibly important to successful business analysis. In this blog, the Skilled Business Analyst presents 4 ways to building stronger stakeholder relationships.

1. Communicate often.

In order to build stronger stakeholder relationships, Business Analysts need to ensure that they communicate often with their stakeholders. At the beginning of every project a Business Analyst must create a RACI matrix (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed). Depending on which category the stakeholder fits into, the BA must ensure that they have targeted communication for each stakeholder category. Furthermore, a BA can prioritize the stakeholders in terms of their relative influence and interest in a project and this will assist in devising a communication plan. So, for example, a stakeholder identified as high level of power as well as influence should have significant face-to-face communication.

2. Seek first to understand then be understood.

This point is adapted from Steven Covey 7 Habits of highly effective people specifically habit 5 which is seek first to understand then be understood. How can this be applied to the way we work as Business Analysts?

  • Do not rush to propose solutions – Understand the business problem and need at hand.
  • Clearly define business need and problem statement before going into solution mode.

One of the most common pitfalls stakeholders make is to identify the solution before understanding the problem first. It is up to as Business Analysts to ensure we identify the root cause of issues and help stakeholders understand this.

3. Be reliable always.

As Business we are inundated with requests and project deliverables. Its important to plan and prioritize your work so you know what you can realistically promise to deliver. By delivering on your promises, you gain the trust and respect of your stakeholders and you become reliable. Consistency is key to developing trust with your stakeholders. When stakeholders think of you as a BA what do they think? Reliable? Consistent? Able to multitask?

4. Understand stakeholder’s domain.

Understanding the domain of stakeholders is important so that you ‘speak the same language’ as your stakeholders. Get to understand the business problems of your stakeholders, their needs and any opportunities. If possible, spend some time with the teams and get to ‘’observe’’ them in their daily jobs and tasks as this will help you identify any future opportunities and understand their pain points. This will build trust and confidence and ultimately strengthen stakeholder relationships.

In closing, stakeholders are critical for success in our projects and we need to ensure we build relationships with our stakeholders. Contact the Skilled Business Analyst today for a discussion on how we can help you take your career to the next level!

Yours in Analysis


BA Trainer / Instructor

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