Helping to bridge the gap for better digital experiences

The journey of understanding client and customer needs, and transforming them into seamless, user-friendly digital experiences is often complex and nonlinear.  

As a business analyst, I see my role as being like a “translator”; my work requires a deep understanding of two (or more!) worlds in order to facilitate communication and the delivery of effective solutions.

While Liquid has different projects at different scales, we ensure a business analyst exists in each project to establish trust, empower clients, and ensure expectations are met or exceeded. 

Our work involves handling a diverse range of problems that we help to solve with our clients. These can vary from minor adjustments to implementing impactful changes that deliver long-term value to people. Having a translator as part of the process can help the project in a much more efficient way. 

Being a good translator requires curiosity, patience, and willingness to get stuck into the details. Here are a few more things I’ve learnt that are important for a BA in a digital business to tackle as part of their role to provide continuous support to clients. 


Understand your foundation

Giving proper attention to the "as-is" state is crucial, sometimes requiring more time and effort than implementing the desired "to-be" state. At Liquid, we prioritise gaining a comprehensive understanding of the current state by asking detailed questions about how things currently work and what recent changes have been made. This process not only helps us grasp the present situation, but also provides insights into the historical development of the product.  

The role of translator in this process is crucial to making informed decisions and avoiding costly errors that can arise from misguided assumptions. Without a thorough understanding of how things currently function, we risk misinterpreting client requirements and creating solutions that do not align with the reality of the situation.  

Understanding the current state also enables us to identify any underlying issues or inefficiencies that may be hindering the product's performance or user experience. We want to ensure we’re improving upon the existing foundation and delivering a more robust and user-centric solution for our clients. 


Finding balance

It is, however, important to balance customer needs and stakeholder preferences to ensure long-term success and growth for clients. 

Working as a translator, a business analyst can bring the voice of the customer into the room with stakeholders. But stakeholders are also looking to innovate or grow, and often have a strategic goal to achieve.   

Understanding customer needs means learning more about how users interact with and feel about the product or service. You can get a good idea of this by working collaboratively with customer insights colleagues who conduct extensive qualitative research and study quantitative information. 

Understanding stakeholder preferences requires getting to the heart of what clients are trying to achieve. In complex projects with multiple stakeholders, it is common to juggle many points of view. The challenge is being able to find alignment on priorities that ultimately benefit the user experience. 


Documentation is your friend

Having a translator who can document workflows helps to close the gap between client expectations and the technical execution, promoting efficient communication and collaboration. At Liquid, a business analyst helps clients to envision the product early on and enables the development team to align their efforts with the broader project goals. 

A clear workflow provides clients with a high-level overview of how each part of the product functions even before they can see the minimum viable product (MVP). It helps them visualise the user journey and understand how different components connect. This also allows clients to provide early feedback, ensuring that the product aligns with their expectations. 

Ultimately, this approach contributes to the creation of user-friendly solutions that meet the needs of both clients and their customers. 


Establish a robust definition of done

The creation of a comprehensive “definition of done” ensures a seamless integration of capability uplift and a cohesive approach throughout the project lifecycle. 

We place great emphasis on tailoring a definition of done to align with each client's unique team and ways of working. This not only benefits the internal team but also fosters effective collaboration. It provides clients with a clear understanding of project milestones, progress, and deliverables. Clients can actively participate in the process and assess the value and success of the service design project by aligning their requirements and objectives with the established criteria. 

Having a translator who can establish a clear definition of done means having a transparent framework for assessing project completion, allowing clients to gauge the tangible outcomes and measure the value generated.