Get a bridger badge and publish your link

Get your Bridger badge and get a link to your web site or profile.

Background to the bridger group.

Recent research has returned a unanimous demand for a bigger effort from IT professionals to communicate with businesses, to serve business need and to become more user friendly.
While there are rights and wrongs and more to this than meets the eye, we can all benefit ourselves direclty and via successful clients and employers by demonstrating our commitment to these ideals.
Only by making our clients successful will we prosper and only by convincing them that we can be trusted to put their interests first will we be chosen to work with them.

The first step in this journey is to demonstrate publicly your commitment to these worthy principals by displaying the badge and promoting the principal of bridging as a way to reassure clients and employers to trust us, hire us and follow our advice.

Why get backilinks?

Marketing professionals spend vast sums annually on text adverts (URL Links back to their web sites). The reason is simply to please Google into placing your web site or profile close tot he top of the list when someone searches for a business analyst, change manager, or project manager and related terms. Google judges you by the company you keep. Expensive text ads are cheating, but free links for friends and colleagues in the business are the fastest way up the ratings, so start getting links now and I will be sending you more introductions as suitable profiles are added to the list.

Why be a bridger?

The one thing an independent consultant or a professional lacks when t comes to convincing a potential client or employer to meet with you is a strong brand. They just don’t know what you stand for and are nervous about taking a risk with you, especially if they can call a well known firm or get a recommendation form a trusted adviser or recruiter.

By publicly demonstrating your commitment to the stated needs of your potential client and being seen in the company of many more like minded professionals, you can go a long way closer to alleviating this weakness.
The more of us that display the bridger badge and talk about our commitment to the principals of briding, the sooner we will have clients entering the word Bridger in Google when they have a new project to begin or need help with an old one.

How do I do it?

There’s only a few steps and I will make it as easy as I can.

1. Choose one of the badge styles from below and then copy the code supplied beneath it.
Pasting this code into your web site or blog will produce the badge you chose with the links back to the bridger.

2. Fill in the form at the bottom and submit it to me for attention. Within a few days I will add your profile to my new associate page with a link back to your web site, blog or profile and I will include any keywords you provide to catch the attention of the search engines.

3. Soon afterwards I will begin to send you more members who would like to exchange links with you.

Note: If you have difficulties with the form below, you can simply give me your LinkedIn profile and I will create a profile out of this.

Option one

Committed to bridging the gap between business and IT Bridger

Option two

Committed bridging the gap between business and IT Bridger

Often operating as Business analysts or Project managers, Bridgers are committed a philosophy that says "1+1>2" and going the extra yard to speak simple English, Spanish, French, German . . more

Option three

Committed to bridging the gap between business and IT

Often operating as Business analysts or Project managers, Bridgers are committed a philosophy that says "1+1>2" and going the extra yard to speak simple English, Spanish, French, German . . more

A Bridger or a BA how do I choose?

At first glance it may seem that there is little difference between a BA and a Bridger.
First off, it is important to realise that there is more than one flavour of BA and end also more than one flavour of Bridger so every opinion is completely valid. Additionally it is likely that a Bridger will also be an experienced BA or Product manager and some BAs will, knowingly or not, be Bridgers.
In principal I do think it is easy enough to draw some clear comparisons that differentiate the Bridger form the BA.

  1. The profession of BA within the world of IT systems and process automation has evolved almost entirely form the IT profession as opposed to from the Business . Even with a large number of Universities now producing Business Analysts, this has changed little and the curriculum is heavily flavoured with IT as opposed to business. These BAs are really much closer to requirement engineers than Business Analysts in my view.
  2. The BA almost always operates as part of an IT lead project and under the leadership of a Project manager employed by the IT department or indeed by the external system supplier.
  3. The BA is invariably an analyst by nature, extremely oriented towards process, mathematics and systems as opposed to being business savvy, intuitive or people oriented.
  4. The Bridger is an experienced business person with a business training and an ability to empathise with business managers, to understand and champion their concerns and to help them find business solutions.
  5. The Bridger is a people person with experience and knowledge of human motivation and the fundamentals of behavioural change within an organisation and as such is able to define solutions with an eye to their impacts at an organisational level and the likelihood of their enthusiastic and successful adoption
  6. The Bridger also has training in IT and sufficient understanding of what is possible to be able to translate between the language of systems and the language of Business.
  7. So when should you use a Bridger instead of a BA?

    When you are approaching a project that you intuitively expect to meet with a level of resistance within the business, it is critical that you choose someone with a heightened awareness of change management issues. Much of the potential risk can be eliminated at the business process or requirements engineering stages as opposed to surfacing on launch day. Requirements engineering can and should be used as a tool to communicate the rationale and potential impacts of change and to build in a degree of acceptance early on.

    When you have complex business problems to solve that require more than just basic process engineering to resolve it and requires the continual engagement of senior stakeholders both as contributors and accepters.

    When you have a history of conflicts between IT and the business in terms of IT investments it can be beneficial to have an arbitrator and fixer who can understand both sides of the argument, present them effectively to the other side and gain critical agreements that allow for progress to be made.

    When you want to understand how technology can deliver competitive advantage as opposed to which is the marginally better technical architecture.

The Bridger

“Bridger” A person who acts as go between or translator between the management of a business and it’s IT department or IT partners.

The background

Since the arrival of computers in the enterprise there has been an unfortunate and counterproductive power struggle between IT departments and other areas of the business.
IT professionals share a great deal with other professions such as law and medicine in that they have their own impenetrable language, they are critically important to their clients and they simply can not be substituted with amateurs.

The difference between IT and other professions is that systems and IT tools, especially systems are right at the heart of the every day operations of the business and a fundamental part of every aspect of the business operations.

Naturally it is a source of very serious concern for business that such a critical function as IT is managed by people who are more often than not detached from the business functions and often lack very much understanding or training in business issues.

The key problems faced by a Bridger

Problem one – The Business versus the IT department

In order to create and maintain a competitive advantage for the enterprise it is essential to combine deep understanding of the business, enlightened leadership and a thorough grasp of what IT can achieve.
The business leadership are custodians of business strategy and direction and hold the deep understanding of the business.
The IT department or partners hold the deep knowledge of how existing systems work, the impact of changes to them and what new technology is capable of.

Almost without exception, the two areas create and maintain their own plans and strategies in isolation and believe at some level that they can exist successfully in silos. This standoff when it occurs to any degree, is destructive and robs industry of billions annually in lost opportunities and wastage, mostly surfaced as failed projects.

How the Bridger can help

In the short term, a Bridger can mediate between IT and the business translating between IT and Business language and negotiating win/win agreements.
In particular the business needs to understand impacts and costs of sudden demands for change on the IT infrastructure.
The IT department needs understand clearly the real life drivers that have potential to place unwanted demands in their inbox unexpectedly. Speaking both languages and understanding the underlying problems on both sides makes the Bridger ideally paced to forge this understanding.

In the medium to long term, a Bridger can help forge an understanding by helping to establish sustainable frameworks that see joint plans and strategies developed by the business and IT jointly to forge new partnerships in place of the silos or misunderstandings.

Problem 2 – Business analysts are trained in IT

The most important element of every software project is what it delivers to the business. How clever the technology is, whether it was delivered a little early or late or slightly under or over budget, are all relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but if the system fails to deliver value to the business, it will be a costly failure.

Whether or not the system delivers value is down to understanding the needs of the business, optimising processes for automation and implementing the accompanying cultural change to make it work. These are all business and people centric skills.

This critical job normally falls to a business analyst, but there lies the problem.

With a very few exceptions, business analysts are not trained in business analysis or indeed in any other business discipline. The majority are programmers who went down the analysis route and see their role as designing systems and working with IT delivery. In recent years some have been emerging form universities with degrees in business analysis, but even then they are quickly sucked into the existing culture and still lack the business knowledge to understand the issues and the gravitas to engage senior management.

It’s hardly surprising then that there are frustrations, communication difficulties and disappointments as the enterprise attempts to manage its it investments.

The alternative to this business analyst route is when the business, in exasperation appoints someone from the business to gather requirements. This is an even bigger mistake because the non it person has no idea how to extract or record requirements or how to communicate them to IT people and especially he/she has little chance of monitoring the accuracy or quality of the deliverable.

Another very common error seen more and more in recent times is to react to this problem by appointing a non IT trained Project Manager to deal with the business and systems sides of the project. While business stakeholders may enjoy better communication in the short run, their holiday is generally short lives as this strategy lets IT off the hook and leads to a catalogue of poor decisions and a high proportion of failed software projects.
Government in particular are guilty of this mistake as they place too much trust in partners and maintain little, or often no internal skills and knowhow to oversee these huge projects.

How the Bridger can help

The Bridger is by nature a business person with the ability to explore, understand and improve processes as well as the training to explain and present them to the IT department, or to work in tandem with the IT department making sure that they get the business viewpoint right.

This approach ensures that the business goals are represented by the new proposed system and the level of change is understood and accepted by users so that a system can be designed and implemented with confidence.

Problem 3 – Stakeholders, Users and Technologists, the tradeoffs.

Stakeholders (define here as the people providing the investment and expecting the rewards in productivity) are all powerful within the project team and all things considered, this is how it should be.
Users, even for an in-house system, are still key. Unless you understand their needs and serve them, the system will not deliver value.

Technologists are the people who know how to deliver on your needs and to make it reliable. Nobody notices them when everything is running smoothly, only when it goes wrong so you can’t do it without their help and goodwill.

When it comes to defining the final feature set of a system, stakeholders will have a detached and uninformed view of what happens on the shop floor and will want to dictate how the system should be. If they get all own their way it will almost certainly be a disaster.

Users will resist change and will not want any new system so their feedback important as though it is must be understood in context and then interpreted at the right level to deliver achievable changes.

IT will want to dictate the system based on what fits comfortably with that they already have and will have no empathy with users or stakeholders.

How the Bridger can help

The Bridger can help by forging and maintaining the right flows of communication between IT, Users and Business so that ultimately the Business gets what they want through ensuring that IT works with the User to maximise process and pitch cultural changes at a level that is achievable and lends itself to a successful implementation.

Ed Taaffe