Alliance is fortunate to have experienced and articulate people as part of our consultant community. Dan Shumaker has been doing Business Analysis for nine years, and has written a thoughtful piece that we would like to share with you. Here are Dan's thoughts, and I would welcome your comments.
A Philosophy of IT Business Analysis
The Importance of Mutual Understanding
I work in software development as an IT Business Systems Analyst. That means I help the business users of software, its developers, and all other stakeholders understand each other so well that the software delivered is what the business needs and wants.
The steps to facilitate that level of understanding involve a lot of conversations and documentation of the business expectations for the new or revised software - requirements - using a variety of documents and diagrams designed to facilitate mutual understanding. But it's easy to get caught up in delivering documents that record all that information and forget that the goal of this liaison role is mutual understanding, not mere agreement.
There can be a big difference between the two; project stakeholders often understand the information in those deliverables differently. My experience is that these differences in understanding are usually uncovered late in the software development project and are a major cause of project delays. And worse, the resulting software can miss the mark so far that it must be partially or fully discarded. Sometimes management becomes so frustrated that they purge development staff, abandon the whole project or outsource it - all for a want of mutual understanding that went undetected.
To read the rest of Dan's piece, please visit our website
. I look forward to hearing what you think of his perspective. To request Dan on your next project or to see his full profile, click here