What role does the business analyst have in change and transition management?

We've validated the solution and received approval to roll it out, but what role does the business analyst have in change and transition management?
Your analytical skills and experience can make key contributions to the processes of change and transition. For example, you can help pinpoint the exact nature of the change, and help implement the solution that brings about the change. Training plays a vital role in change and transition, and it will often fall within your duties as a business analyst to develop a training plan that helps people adapt to change and make a smooth transition to the new way of doing things, thereby helping to ensure the project's success.

A training plan is an excellent catch-all for capturing the information that needs to be communicated, as well as for planning the modes, forums, and dates for communicating the changes that the solution will bring. The business partners will often need to be trained to use new tools, applications, and processes (for example, when to start or stop a process, the best schedules and logistics for hand-offs, etc.). The business partners may need to be trained to perform new roles and fulfill new responsibilities. In organization-wide projects, some of the business partners will probably need training on change processes—the natural processes that people go through to adapt to change.

A good way to start planning your training and communication strategy is to set out, up front, the kinds of training and communication you think will be needed, and then refine the list as you go along. You may or may not be given responsibility for personally conducting the training, depending on the organization and the needs of the project, but you can and should include change and transition requirements in the training plan.

If training is warranted to facilitate change and transition, you'll want to take decisive steps. Draw up a plan for the training, seek experts in change management and transition who can help the organization embrace the change process, and identify change leaders and change resisters.

The tools of change and transition management play key roles in determining the success or failure of a project: open communications, feedback from business stakeholders, and establishing acceptance criteria at each project phase are all important to the success of the solution. And, as with any project documentation, be sure to review and update the training plan as other requirements change, to keep it in step with the project.

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