Iwona Ziarek, Junior Analyst at Sii Poland, started her career path at the Call Center department, continued by setting standards of internal business processes and now supports change management in the Business Process Quality Management department.
You joined Sii by supporting the Call Center team. Can you tell us how your work looked like during those 18 months?
I joined Sii at the end of 2016, in December, just before Christmas. Sii has just established a new organizational unit, and a 3-person team building a new department from scratch. The first days passed with getting acquainted with the systems: Administration Request, Service Desk+ and service processes as the first contact point with Sii. We defined the scope of work of Call Center and the processes we supported. In short, our goal was to create a cell which would filter and separate requests and contact attempts from e.g. employees, customers or suppliers.
During those 1,5 years, I got to know the company very well and I found out that I would like to develop my skills in the direction of business process analysis. I had my first contact with process modeling during my studies, and I already knew that I would like to go in this direction and I saw such an opportunity in Sii.
Why did you decide to change your position and join the Business Process Outsourcing team as a Procedures Specialist? What was your motivation?
At the beginning, BPO was a cell at Sii Poland, whose aim was to centralize the processes of the Document Register. Ultimately, they needed an analyst in the team, but as I have had no experience, I started working as a Procedures Specialist to get to know the processes. I dealt with the analysis and documentation of processes from the area of administration. Slowly I was taking over the duties of an analyst, partly supported by Kamil Lewszuk, Chief Business Analyst in Sii, but I lacked a fully-fledged mentor. When the Business Advisory & BPO Competency Center divided into internal processes services and external sales of solutions, I decided to look for a new project within Sii structures.
How did the process of changing your career into an Analyst look like?
I used Job Changer, an internal application that allows to change the position inside the company. I wanted to get into a project with an experienced team of analysts from whom I could learn. While waiting for the project to be found I was “on a bench” for a month. During this time “on a bench” I supported our internal analysis department in creating documentation. Since March 2019 I officially joined the analysis team in BPQM department.
How did the company support you in your career path and development?
The bench period, during which I was without a project, lasted one month. It was quite stressful looking for a new project as Junior, as there are less offers for Juniors than for specialists with more experience. I really appreciate the fact that in this uncertain time I got a lot of support from the local HR team, who introduced me to the whole process and strongly supported me. I also received a large dose of support from the Regional Director of the Lublin site, who was strongly involved in my case.
After moving to the BPQM department I noticed a rapid skills development. I owe it not only to internal trainings conducted by analysts and UX designers. Mentoring available at Sii and external BPMN 2.0 certified trainings helped me as well. Joining a team that is constantly expanding their knowledge and openly sharing it is a great experience.
What do you do as a Business Analyst? What does your daily work look like?
I am the link between two worlds – business and IT. Working with business I collect requirements, find out what the problem is, write User Stories, without going into technical details. The other side of the medal is working with IT – that is, informing architects and developers what business would like to achieve. I am a translator for both sides and I take care of good communication – it is the most important at the end of the day. You can have the best technical skills and understanding of business, but without clear communication it is impossible to achieve the goal.
As business analysts we prepare documentation, process models, often in the form of diagrams. We work with a variety of tools, from requirement writing in a Word template to a process modeling tool in BPMN 2.0 Enterprise Architect. We also use Jira to record tasks and work time. Analyst’s work includes meetings, workshops, statuses with business and IT, as well as own work with requirements and process modeling.
Currently, I am getting to know the area of mobile applications, which also gives me additional technological knowledge. My first project, which I deal with from beginning to end, is Sii App – mobile application for Sii employees. Its first version enables reporting of working time, reporting of absences and searching for Sii employees.
What advice would you give a person who would like to follow a similar career path to yours?
It is important to find a team with experienced specialists – improving your work by observing their allows you to gain valuable experience. You must not be afraid to ask questions, it is worth to ask for verification, to doublecheck your work and to consult all doubts. At the beginning everything is difficult and seems to be a rocket science, but with time we get used to the project work. Patience and humility are also important, you have to earn your experience, sometimes it is worth to listen to your senior colleague instead of reinventing the wheel.
As far as the change of professional path in Sii is concerned, the company invests very much in young people who want to learn and develop. If someone really wants to work, the lack of experience is not an abstacle. You can do a lot on your own and with proper engagement, there will be opportunities for development and a path that will be suitable for you.
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