Why Every Business Analyst Goes Flat On The Face
What a wonderful profession, the business analyst. You’re someone who helps people to do their work easier, quicker, more efficient. Life is better after an analyst has come around … and then you wake up.
It should be this way but corporate world has made it almost impossible for the analyst to have a normal sleep.
So when does the analyst come out?
Scenario 1: A committee has decided that change is necessary in your team. You as the team manager doesn’t think it’s necessary at all. It’s all good. The change mania has hit the fan and it’s needed left, right and center. You have no clue what needs to change, but you’re told that it has to happen. It doesn’t matter what.
The analyst comes in for a chat with you.
As this analyst has no clue either, you have to tell him or her what you want. But you don’t know what you want and rely heavily on the analyst to tell you what you want. That doesn’t happen because the blind is leading the blind here. The analyst is not a business specialist. It used to be the case, but higher management has decided that an analyst should be able to analyze anything. They are under the impression that a carpenter can do the plumber job, the financial expert can do the car service and the truck-driver can be the gynecologist. Multi skilled people, where would you be without them.
Scenario 2: The CIO has returned from one of her monthly conferences and her acquired arsenal of new technologies have to be sold to the business. She gets a sales rep in to bedazzle the top managers in the business with a presentation on what these new technologies can do. The music plays, the lights are dimmed for a colourful display of goodies. She manipulates her audience to the point where they all get up for a standing ovation and they all shout “We want it now!”. The CIO stretches out her arms, throws back her head and shouts “you’re going to get it”
Who will have to make it a success? Yep, the analyst.
So the analyst comes in for a chat to the lower managers (decisions like these are made only by the top kahunas who like colourful presentations).
“Why do you guys need it? Do you have a requirement for it?” the analyst asks.
“Excuse me .. what is this about?” John the seasoned team leader asks.
“The new technology we need”
“Who is ‘we’?
“All the kahunas were in a presentation and they want it”
“I don’t know, I wasn’t there. But I assume that you guys need it. So to find out what you need, we can do a PESTLE, Heptalysis, MOST, SWOT, CATWOE, de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats, the five Whys, MoSCoW, VPEC-T or 10 SCRS …”
“We don’t need anything apart from three more people to get us through this pile of work every day”
“Why don’t you get three more people?”
“I asked them several times but they tell me there is No Budget so we have to work our butt off to get it done”
“How much budget do you need?”
“Well, three people … let me see, that would be $150,000 a year”
“No, all three together. That would really help us”
“I’ve heard that the kahunas have allocated 10 Million dollars for this new technology”
“Will it help us?”
“I’m not sure. The CIO said that it would fit the strategic alignment and that we have to do it before we miss the boat. It’s a reporting tool for management I think”
“A reporting tool? Will it help me to get through this pile of work?”
“I don’t think so. You will have to put more data in the system and then they might be able to see in 3 years time that you would be helped with 3 more people”
“But I can tell them that now!!”
“10 million dollars??? That’s equivalent to 200 people!!!”
“Yeah, and it doesn’t include the license cost”
“WTF!? And they tell me that there is no budget for 3 more people in my team?”
“I can see that you are getting angry now”
“Hell yeah, I’m massively pissed off!!!!”
“But that shouldn’t keep us from working together to get this new solution in, would it?
“Get the F.ck Out of here and tell that CIO of yours to get stuffed!!”
Who wouldn’t love to be an analyst …