The Community Blog for Business Analysts

Adrian M.
Adrian M.

The business analyst cannot forget "The Why"!

There are many tools and techniques available to the business analyst for a variety of tasks.  One of my favorite one is the short table-style template for documenting a "Problem/Opportunity Statement" as follows:

The problem of

<specify in one sentence the problem or opportunity being considered>


<specify who/what is affected by this problem>

The impact of which is


<specify the impact of the problem or the result of the missed opportunity>


A successful solution would


<specify what would be the benefits and positive outcomes of successfully implementing a solution>


One big issue I often encounter is that participants in many requirements workshops, JAD sessions, and other such endeavors focus only on what a successful solution would look like.  These sessions become "fun" sessions where screens are designed and features are envisioned, forgetting the Why!

By the way: both business SMEs and business analysts are guilty of this!

We can't be forgetting the Why!  That's not an option. 

Before the business analyst engages in any solution discussions he/she must ensure they clearly understand the problem statement and who/what/how the problem impacts.

What do you think?

This entry was published on Jan 08, 2009 / Adrian M.. Posted in Enterprise Analysis (BABOK KA), Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Like this article:
  4 members liked this article

Related Articles


Putcha posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 10:39 AM
The Problem / Opportunity Table is a good tool and with "Why" added to it, it becomes better. What is the source of this?

I have found it in the TQM literature Quality Methodologies and Tools of Juran and Deming but many authors do not acknowledge it.

I use them for defining Project and Scope and Hierarchy of Requirements for each Use Case of the System / Project.

e-mail for evaluating the above and giving me feedback and or equivalent templates.
Only registered users may post comments.

Blog Information

» What is the Community Blog and what are the Benefits of Contributing?

» Review our Blog Posting Guidelines.

» I am looking for the original Modern Analyst blog posts.

Copyright 2006-2019 by Modern Analyst Media LLC