The Busy BA Reading List, June 28th 2014 edition

Too busy to crawl the web for interesting Business Analysis content? Not interested by social networks noise? Twice a month, the Busy BA Reading List brings you the best Business Analysis articles and websites I came across while surfing the Internet.

Hey there! This edition is a bit late on schedule (Québec & Canada National Holidays keeping me away from the computer this week), but is filled with interesting content about prioritizing requirements, intelligent desobedience and the importance of communication through emotions as a Business Analyst. Go ahead and read, you Busy BA!

From Eric the Business Analyst

These blog posts were published since the last edition of the Busy BA Reading List:

Everything is absolutely required (in my own little perfect world)

Duncan Watts over at Red Vespa brings interesting thoughts on prioritizing requirements (link unavailable anymore), and how to make the whole solution meaningful to the clients instead of focusing the detailed value of each individual requirement. By stating if a requirement is “in” or “out” of the solution (nothing else than that!), you simplify the decision process and allow the client to think of the solution in its simplest form. In my opinion, another interesting effect of this strategy is to prioritize in a positive way by adding requirements to the solution, instead of deciding on which ones should be excluded (which has a negative connotation).

A Business Analyst is not always right, but he’s never wrong

I often use this quote from myself to explain the reality of being a Business Analyst, and many find it funny (and true at the same time); I find it illustrates very well the business analysis way to think. A BA is there to ask questions, challenge the statu quo and discover the hidden business requirements: he must not be afraid to not be right and ask “stupid” questions. However, he’s never wrong since asking questions (a lot of questions) is the only way to reach his goal of eliciting requirements.

I came across two blog posts describing this recently. The first one from Betsy Stockdale at Seilevel illustrate with a personal situation why Business Analysts should keep asking questions (link unavailable anymore) in order to define the best solution for an organization, and explain how various models & techniques could help you achieve this. The other one from Stephanie Famuyide puts a nice and scientific name on this: Intelligent Disobedience. She explains very well why it is important for a Business Analyst to be able to identify when they are sure they are right about a specific situation, in order to fight it in an intelligent way (ie, with facts!).

Emotional intelligence for the Business Analyst

Another interesting blog post from Stephanie Famuyide highlights the importance of understanding how emotions can impact your work in a team, and explains the main components of emotional intelligence. How can this be useful? By helping the BA to navigate through political barbwires and interpersonal hurdles that he will meet working in teams. Does this sound like a familiar concept? If not, go ahead and read my recent post about the Business Analyst skills to succeed, including abilities in communication and team work.

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Eric Provost

Making sense out of chaos as a BA & UX specialist

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