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In a world where business analysts are expected to know the ins and outs of business, it’s important to understand what you want the business analyst to do. This is the first thing you should think about when you talk to your business analyst.
Business analysts need to know not only what they do, but why and how best to do it. They need to be able to explain their work so that people understand why they came to the work. They need to have a clear mental model of how they do what they do. They need to be able to explain how different people think, what they expect from their work, and what strategies work for whom.
We know that people do what they do because they did it. In his presentation, Brian T. Lee talked about how, “The reason most people can’t do what they want to do is that people who don’t know what they want to do never really do it.” Lee concluded by saying, “If you think you’re going to do something, then do it!” It’s easy to forget we’re the ones who put our thoughts into motion.
Brian T. Lee is a business analyst for a large business. He says that our thoughts are like a building. We all have a blueprint for our work, but our brains have a built-in defense mechanism that prevents us from ever actually implementing it. The reason we all keep working is because we think its a great job, and we keep building our thoughts based on that.
The business analyst’s handbook is a great exercise in self-awareness. It teaches us how to work with things that we simply don’t understand. It also teaches us the importance of working within our own framework, so that we can actually come up with new and better ways to accomplish our goals. This may sound complicated, but its very easy to implement.
The business analysts handbook is easy to implement. You simply think of a problem and a possible solution. Then you write the problem down, and you write the solution down in a separate document, and you put both of them into an Excel spreadsheet. Then you go back and add more documents to your spreadsheet. Finally, you just work like you normally would. You find a way to make the solution your own, but you keep it simple enough that it seems like a solution that is already there.
I think of this handbook as a tool to write my own business, but rather than write the problem and the solution in a separate file, I’ll just put the problem down, and write the solution in an Excel spreadsheet. That way, I don’t have to worry about writing the problem and the solution in different documents, and I don’t have to worry about not having a single solution to the problem, and I can just write the solution in an Excel spreadsheet.
The handbook has an excel cell for each “problem” you face. If you are a business analyst, you can fill this spreadsheet with the problems that you have to solve with your company, and the solutions that you come up with. You can then use the spreadsheet’s sheet functions to create the business solution. Although this may seem like a lot of work to create a business solution, you really dont have to worry about creating the spreadsheet.
The solution is really quite simple. Create a spreadsheet with the problems and the solutions. Do the calculations. Save it. Now you can work on it.
The good thing about this approach is that you can be very creative and come up with lots of ideas for problems to solve. Just do the calculation and save yourself a lot of time and frustration.