Too often I see organizations bring in smart, talented remote business analysts then “unleash” them on projects expecting magic to happen without any on-boarding or introduction to the company. That approach wastes money and results in demotivating your new analyst. What’s the secret to getting your new business analyst ready to go? Give them an on-boarding experience that introduces them to the organization and their responsibilities as soon as possible.
What is on-boarding?
On-boarding is the program that integrates a new employee into the company. It starts at the moment that employee accepts the offer. In some companies it’s limited to the HR policy and paperwork needed to complete the hiring process. In others, it extends to on-boarding the employee in their new role.
What’s the challenge with on-boarding remote Business Analysis Professionals?
Business analysis professionals, like developers, testers and other skilled knowledge workers, arrive (usually) with the pre-defined set of skills they need to do their job. Programmers program. Testers test. Project managers manage projects. Some organizations mistake hiring a person with the skills needed to do their job with not needing on-boarding. This stems from a belief that the job is so standardized that anyone with the necessary knowledge skills can be inserted into a similarly-titled role and they’ll just start producing with little or no help.
Moreover, there’s a less pervasive belief but still persistent in organizations that have a remote workforce that successful remote working involves monitoring activity and reviewing outputs alone.
Now put these 2 myths together and add to it a lack of an on-boarding program and this is a recipe for devaluing their work and ensuring failure of the new hire.
In this series, I don’t discuss the myths I describe above but I will leave you with this. Leaving new hires, regardless of role, to fend for themselves while secretly monitoring them sounds more like a reality TV show than it does any sort of modern management. If your organization prides itself on a great culture, neither of these myths should exist in any part of its treatment of employees. If they do exist, you do not have a great culture and the word will get out and impact your ability to hire. Focus on caring for your new employees and providing them with the keys to their success. On-boarding is one of the ways an organization shows that it cares for their employees.
What are the elements of business analysis on-boarding?
On-boarding for your new business analysis professional should include these elements:
- Provide an introduction to the company. What does the company do? Who are the leaders? What departments make up the company and how are they involved in the products or services delivered by the company.
- Introduce the new business analysis professional to the culture of the organization. Don’t just explain the culture. Show the culture and how it makes the company successful.
- Introduce them to the people they will work with – not just their team but the stakeholders, leaders and people from other departments that will have a stake in the work the new hire will do
- Prepare the new employee for the work they will do. How the work is assigned, who can answer questions and what resources the they can use to be find their answers (such as process, procedure and knowledge bases). Include processes, procedures and tools they’ll use in that on-boarding.
- Define the communication channels used by teams and what their use means (social channels, group discussions, priority requests and so on)
- How the new business analyst will get feedback on their performance
- Assign a buddy or mentor to the new business analyst that will be able to provide just-in-time coaching and answer tactical questions
- Finally, be explicit about what will the first 90 days will look like and how they will check in with their hiring manager or buddy. Document the 90 day plan. Make updates to the plan as they complete it or as conditions change.
In the next post in this series, I’ll share tips for building your business analyst on-boarding program.