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Thursday, 30 November 2017 16:52

The Human Side of Conducting BIAs

One of the most interesting engagements MHA Consulting had this year was at a Fortune 500 company where 3 of our consultants conducted approximately 100 BIAs.

Over the course of that engagement, I got a lot of calls from my consultants describing how the sessions went, mainly when there were bumps in the road—and with so many BIAs to conduct there were naturally a few bumps.

These included:

  • The session where the leader of the business unit says he already knows their unit was of critical importance to the company and therefore conducting a BIA is a waste of time. In this case, the group left the interview without providing any data.
  • The time a business unit took four sessions to complete the BIA (rather than the usual one) because they brought many people more than the requested number, and every attendee weighed in on virtually every topic.
  • The episode where a business unit supplied us with data on its current processes and confirmed its accuracy, then stated—after we had loaded the information into the BIA tool—that it was all invalid because they had gone through a reorganization; they then asked us how come we hadn’t known about their reorg.

The stories reminded me of a very common misunderstanding about BIAs: People tend to think doing a BIA is all about the questionnaire. The fact is, conducting a BIA is mostly about working effectively with the people providing the information for it.