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the “why” Part I June 19, 2007

Posted by andrea in the IA/BA world.
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they are not order-takers, like a waiter…”oh, okay, so some Flash app, and social networking, but on the side”

From the IIBA: “A business analyst works as a liaison among stakeholders in order to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies and information systems. The business analyst understands business problems and opportunities in the context of the requirements and recommends solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.”

Funny, nothing about implementing technology in there.

I heard earlier this week “we don’t need you as a process guru, we need you as a leader”. Huh. Leader of what? If I’m outside the process, the only leadership I can provide is non-contextual, and there’s (I feel) little use in that – it’s called cheerleading. If I’m inside the process, then naturally my leadership comes from knowing the context, and the problems, and suggestions how to (hopefully) help improve the process, or what we can do to fix the issue at hand.

Analysts think too much…that’s what we’re good at. Mulling stuff over, this and that, why not try this…oops no go; that type of thing. To be handed a list of directions (that sometimes do not make actual business sense) is the shudder… Why? is the reason we’re around, and always the pain-in-the-ass person at the meeting.

I will keep being a pain in the ass – I’ve done it all my life, why stop now?

What I’m more conscious of, and try to keep in mind is when to let go. When to realize that for all your good intentions, and trying to make a business prosper, sometimes there are obstacles that are not worthing “falling on your sword” for. That is my biggest recommendation to the “newbies”.

I, back in the day, fought everything…more out of not being separated from my work. If they dissed my work, they dissed me! Now, I hope and try to maintain the idea of actual collaboration – give and take. It’s not about me – it’s the cumulative minds on the project that make it see the light of day.

I still ask “why?” a lot, and am probably very impolitic when I do so, but I just want to know what’s going on, ’cause then just maybe, when it’s brought to light, me and many others, can help fix it.

Standing on the outside, with no insight, doesn’t help anyone. Which, I think, is why BAs are at a crucial point in their development, as a discipline. I went to a great workshop in March, where the leader encouraged us to keep focusing our minds and skills towards the business, and to resist being “just the order taker”.

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