Entries for January 2017

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Business Data Diagrams are one of those MUST HAVE models for any product that is dealing with data. The exercise of creating the model itself creates a powerful, shared understanding of the underlying data constructs as users understand it. Instrumental in helping to identify additional, more detailed models that might be needed, the BDD can also help you get to a complete set of user stories around users interacting with the data following the create, use, edit, delete, move and copy actions.
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I always see people go gaga over agile development methodologies. While I agree that agile has its own advantages, I disagree on the fact agile is an all-powerful and does it all kind of methodology. However, if executed right, agile does have the capability to be an all-powerful methodology. Although the advantages outweigh the perils of agile, the perils if not properly addressed can put the business value and relevance of the solution at risk.
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Let’s face it, there are just some conversations that you don’t want to have. There are some people you simply don’t want to talk to, but what happens when we don’t have these conversations? Everyone loses! It is perfectly natural for us to avoid difficult conversations. We fear rejection, retaliation, emotional outbreaks, the dismissal of our ideas, and of course those incredibly awkward moments where everyone around you stares at their feet thinking “God I am glad that’s not me.” However, these conversations need to be had and the Badass Business Analyst will have them. If we want healthy, productive teams and projects, crucial conversations must be had frequently. You can’t just keep ranting, raving, complaining and avoiding, you need to start having meaningful, persuasive conversations that make an impact. You need your ideas to be heard, and more importantly you need behaviors to change. Don’t you think its time you and I have a crucial conversation? Suddenly I feel like I have turned into my father. Sigh. For the record, all of his crucial conversations were always too late, which is maybe why I am so passionate about this particular chapter in my book (the longest chapter by far - okay, moving away from from therapy now).
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Is your team struggling with the transition to modern requirements practices? As many teams explore and experiment with modern practices and agile, they often jump to apply tactical methods and techniques. But does anything really change?

 

Most teams work really hard and don’t see results. Or they find a few early benefits, but get stuck on a low plateau. They often give up and slide back into their old habits. Why? Because they’ve modified surface-level tactics, but haven’t modified mindsets.

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Every organization has some degree of “chaotic” culture. Some of them breed chaos and unconsciously operate in chaos. Project management is designed to operate with structure. However, reality has always contained a dose of “Wonderland” as well. Projects find themselves at odds with the environment that they operate within when the underlying organizational culture tends to be chaotic and less disciplinary and operates randomly. Project management methodologies and execution processes’ logic and convention are contradicted by the chaotic, shape-shifting setting of “Wonderland.” This conflict threatens a successful outcome for a project. The uncertainty that projects are confronted with throughout the execution process can be fatal. Chaos, by its very nature, is impossible to control completely, and so projects struggle to deliver as they fail to manage the conflict they find themselves in with the organization’s way of life.
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Many business analysts fail to achieve top performance while starting to work on a new domain simply because of their fear of making mistakes. I’ve heard analysts freely admit that looking less than competent is what they fear most. “I don’t know what I don’t know” they will tell me, “and in particular in a domain I’m not very familiar with, I’m always afraid I will miss an assumption or an avenue I must address.”






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The Secret is in the Wings
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I could not help but observe in awe the agility of this monstrous wing. My mind could not stop analyzing how an airplanes uses the agility of its wing...





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