BBC Interview Series: Mihaela Popescu at Spectrum Health/Priority Health
BBC 2017 Speaker Series – Practitioner: Mihaela Popescu, Lead Business Systems Analyst at Spectrum Health/Priority Health
Regarding her presentation at Building Business Capability in Orlando, Nov. 6-10, 2017, we asked Mihaela Popescu, Lead Business Systems Analyst at Spectrum Health/Priority Health, a few questions about transforming the business. Check out this interview in relation to her BBC presentation entitled, The Trio of Success: the PM, BA and QA.
Q: In what ways do see your group helping the organization handle business transformation?
A: Our business analysts are following EPMO processes and have their own methodologies to apply across the project lifecycle that solidify the partnership between them and business stakeholders. This and the early on assignment of the business analyst to projects ensure their understanding of the business vision and goals to realize business transformation.
Q: Can you describe the challenges you face or have already overcome in establishing more robust business transformation capabilities for your organization?
A: As most organizations that understand and use the role of business analyst, there is always more to do in terms of “sharpening the saw”, i.e. improving our current business analysis processes. We would like and are working towards consistently using our standards and collecting metrics around our business analysis activities, specifically around capturing metrics on requirements quality.
Q: What are your short-term goals for becoming more agile?
A: We have been using agile for a while; it’s really more of a hybrid agile approach. Short-term, we are aiming to improve our requirements management, so that we can consistently produce re-usable requirements when practicing agile.
Q: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned in the past year?
A: Partnering with your QA as early in the project as possible will ensure project success! Align on tools and expectations as a “mini team” on the project. And of course, include your PM in your partnership…naturally!
Q: What do you see as the most important goal or trend for business analysts and other professionals to keep in mind?
A: In today’s world, the business analyst is a key enabler of business transformation. She or he needs to partner with the business stakeholders and help them navigate through the project lifecycle activities guarding the scope, requirements and vision to ensure the desired business transformations are identified and succeed.
Q: What’s the latest method/process/tool you’ve implemented to help your business operate more effectively? Have you seen any results yet?
A: Measure requirements quality. We are in the middle of a process improvement with focus on improving and standardizing our tools. As part of this effort, we are developing a tool to be used by all business analysts across all project phases that will help us capture metrics around requirements as they get recorded and managed. We are hoping these metrics will help us identify gaps or pain points that can be addressed to improve our business analysis process overall.
Q: If you could go back 5 years in time and give some professional insight or advice to yourself, what would it be?
A: Be a bold BA. Share your enthusiasm for the profession even if it seems that the organization is not ready for it: they will eventually see the value.
Q: What’s one question you wished you were asked in the interview but were no? And how would you answer?
A: “Why did you choose to be a business analyst?” In my professional life, I started as a programmer-analyst, moved on to systems analyst, IT consultant, applications systems analyst sometimes wearing project management hats along the way. In all these roles, I realized how much requirements sit at the base of any project and its success. You can have any top talented developers on the project, if you can’t capture the essence of what is required and articulate it back to them, your product will fail or be incomplete.
Q: Please tell us a take-away you provided during your talk at the Building Business Capability (BBC) conference this year?
A: As you know, the presentation is geared towards showing how important/crucial the relationship between the BA, QA and PM on a project are. I hope the audience took away real life examples that illustrate the gaps that can be bridged and how to address those for successful partnerships that yield great project results.
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