For a sneak peek of Candace Spears’ Bring Your Crayons to the Office: A Way Forward for Playful Business Analysts and Project Managers (CreateSpace, March 1, 2017) check out the excerpt below!
What is business analysis as compared to project management? While the methods and suggestions in this book are applicable to both skill sets, business analysis and business analysts are the primary focus here.
It can be said that project managers are responsible for delivering the solution to a problem, while business analysts are responsible for discovering the problem and determining the solution.
Traditionally, business analysts are taught to do requirements gathering and analysis, or any type of elicitation, they do so through time-consuming question and answer sessions. Such as:
“What’s the first thing you do after a customer order comes in?”
“What happens after that step?”
“Who’s involved at that point?”
While this line of questioning is useful and effective one-on-one, or in small groups, it becomes less effective the more people come into the mix and if the project’s complexity intensifies.
It is also wanting because it can be boring. Let’s face it, hours upon hours of being interviewed is less than enthralling. When boredom is at play, you can be assured that people are not as engaged as they should be and therefore may not be providing maximum value to the project.
So how do you get to the heart of understanding business needs? Say you need to uncover new processes in a way that respects project size and complexity. Still you want to keep your team engaged so that their full attention and awesome knowledge are engaged when you need them most. How can you do it?
Enter the methods found in this book: By removing the formality and replacing it with tangible, sometimes called childlike, playful activities that stimulate people to talk to each other instead of being talked to.
The activities here impel people to engage more than just their minds; they engage their bodies as they move around the room. Tactile engagement comes into play as they may shift papers and posters around. Meanwhile, thinking in pictures may free them from mental constraints or even emotional inhibitions or biases. This is a new twist for an age-old practice, and it considers all the mental, physical, and emotional parts of a team.
The International Institute of Business Analysis says:
Business analysis is used to identify and articulate the need for change in how organizations work, and to facilitate that change. As business analysts, we identify and define the solutions that will maximize the value delivered by an organization to its stakeholders.
Business analysts work across all levels of an organization and may be involved in everything from defining strategy, to creating the enterprise architecture, to taking a leadership role by defining the goals and requirements for programs and projects or supporting continuous improvement in its technology and processes.
Okay, enough talk. Let’s play.
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