A Business Analyst acts as a face of Customer to the Development team, most of the time. A Business Analyst should be credible enough and the team should have absolute faith in him. Development team should be able to ask any question regarding the system and they should believe in the answers that BAs provide. If they start having doubts on the answers BAs provide they may get tempted to develop something that is not needed by the business or spend extra time in clarifying the doubt from various sources.
The development team should trust a BA; this was the first lesson that I got from a senior BA. When I asked him how to do it, he told me that you have to figure that out for yourself there is no proven formula. Some of the things that I tried and how they helped me in building a good rapport with the development team.
- Interact with the developers regularly and keep asking them if they have any doubts. The idea is not to overdo it as they may get a feeling that you are trying to judge their work. Keep it simple and just make sure that they know you are there if they need any clarifications in the requirements.
- Make sure you run the development team through the requirements before they start with the implementation. Do it on module-to-module basis, plan with the Project Managers and Team Leads. Make sure you keep these sessions as informal as possible and try to make them understand the business pain points rather than teaching them (as they may switch off).
- Encourage the team to approach you for any clarification in the requirements. When they approach you make sure you clarify their issues or get the issues raised to correct person, if you are not the right one.
- It is a good idea to explain the business side to the developers and also let them know about the domain, as you have that knowledge. Have these talks at non-work timings like lunch, coffee or while traveling. Make sure you don’t come out as a person who is bragging about his knowledge but as a person who is genuinely helping. Keep it honest; if you are not comfortable don’t try it.
I tried these things and they helped me immensely in building a good relation with the development team. Do let me know what works with you and how you achieved it?