The Venting Room – Business Analysis Pet Peeves
Sometimes I think the best thing about going to an IIBA Chapter meeting or just hanging out with other business analysis practitioners is swapping stories and venting about frustrating or inconvenient things that can happen during our work. You know, those pesky little things that make us roll our eyes, but, being the professionals that we are, we take them in stride and save them for a safe sharing time. With Global BA Day (November 1st) fast approaching, we thought we’d take some time in this safe space to share our pet peeves – not only so that we can vent in a healthy way, but also share solutions to avoid these potential stressors!
I’ll start – Colleen’s Top 3 BA Pet Peeves (in no particular order):
- No decision-maker in the room. There’s a major decision to make, and a conversation between two main stakeholders goes something like this:
Stakeholder 1: “I’m not going to approve it. You approve it!”
Stakeholder 2: “I’m not going to approve it. Let’s get Mikey!”
Unfortunately, Mikey is out of the office on a sabbatical on a desert island, completely off the grid for a month. Now what?
Solution: Identify options, clarify authority, and make a choice
- “That’s not what I asked for!” User acceptance testing can turn from a dream (everything is going well) to a nightmare quickly when the SME doing the testing suddenly exclaims that a feature, they’re testing isn’t what they wanted. In the “good ole’ days” when we had reams of formal requirements signed off on by a sponsor with authority, it was easy to go back, pull out the spec, and show said SME that whatever it is was indeed asked for (whether they personally confirmed it or not). These days, not so much. If we have team members who have yet to embrace the agile mindset, this can result in arguments and hard feelings.
Solution: Focus on the problem, not the people; stay agile.
- Change for change’s sake. Or other nefarious reasons. Yes, we should all embrace change. It’s a constant, after all. But can we please agree that the timing isn’t always right for change? I’ve had projects spin up for some “no-good” reasons; for example:
- “We must spend the budget by the end of the year or have less budget to work with next year!” (So, let’s make up something to work on.)
- “Just got back from a trade show, and here’s this cool new thing that will bring us a whole new revenue stream!” (But we have no analysis to back up that theory.)
- “This worked at my last place of employment; we have to implement it here!” (Even though it was a completely different industry on a completely different scale.)
Solution: Focus on constructive solutions.
So, what are your pet peeves? And how do you approach them when they arise? Do you speak face-to-face versus sending another email? Do you write down your frustrations? Share compliments and good stories too?
Join in the conversation today at www.twitter.com/iiba
And…have a Happy BA Day in advance!! #GlobalBusinessAnalysisDay
Share how you fix a problem. While we know complaining can temporarily provide emotional relief for these annoyances venting can sometimes negatively impact office culture so what we are suggesting is a positive and healthy way to share your annoyances.