Entitlement : A barrier to change

One-way entitlement creates a toxic dynamic within organisations, projects and businesses.  Perhaps you’ve noticed it too?


Unhappy male manager in suit and tie“As a manager I’m entitled to a parking space”

“As an employee, I’m entitled to do my job the way I’ve always done it”

“As a stakeholder, I’m entitled to ignore you because I’m more senior, important and busy”


As a barrier to change, a sense of entitlement is up there with the best of them. Nothing reinforces the status quo like an ingrained sense of entitlement and an unwillingness to shift.  Entitlement might not be rational, justified or even deserved, yet at the same time it highlights a set of deep cultural beliefs that projects and organisations are ill-advised to ignore.


Watch out for it on your projects. Challenge it. Work hard to understand people’s needs, desires and fears.  Make sure it doesn’t derail your project.


About the author:

Adrian Reed is Principal Consultant at Blackmetric Business Solutions, an organisation that offers Business Analysis consulting and training solutions. Adrian is a keen advocate of the analysis profession, and is constantly looking for ways of promoting the value that good analysis can bring.

To find out more about the training and consulting services offered at Blackmetric, please visit www.blackmetric.com

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The importance of the Voice of the Customer on projects and beyond

MegaphoneI recently read an intriguing post on Debbie Laskey’s Blog, entitled “Does Your Business Have a Chief Customer Officer?”.  In her blog, Debbie discusses and reflects on a US department store’s decision to appoint a specific executive role focussing purely on customer centricity.  This is an interesting development and an example of how some companies are championing the customer from the very top.  It seems that the Chief Customer Officer is an emerging role that is growing in recognition, and if this enhances the representation of the end-customer within an organisation, it can only be a positive thing.  Yet it is only part of the solution.


Whether or not a Chief Customer Officer is appointed, many organisations claim to put the customer at the centre of everything they do. Yet as a consumer dealing with these companies, the reality can feel quite different.  I’m sure we’ve all had experiences with firms that have left us feeling less than satisfied, yet those very firms may well claim in their glossy corporate brochures that customer satisfaction is their number one priority.


How can this disconnect occur?  How can a large or mid-size organisation evangelise about its customer centric ethos, yet deliver something decidedly different on-the ground?  And what does this mean for businesses, business analysts and projects?


An uncomfortable truth: It’s always about the customer but never just about the customer

Continue reading The importance of the Voice of the Customer on projects and beyond

What the double-glazing salesman taught me about how to waste an opportunity…

Organisations that ignore the information available to them are missing a trick

Figure of salesmanIt was around 12:30 on a Monday afternoon when I heard someone knock on the door.  I was working from home, and had my head deep into some consulting work so to be honest I welcomed the distraction.   Well, at least that’s what I thought until I opened the door to find a door-to-door double-glazed window salesman at my door.  I suddenly wished I hadn’t answered the door, but hey, I’ll give him a chance I thought.


Without giving me a chance to speak, he immediately launched into his pre-prepared, standard sales pitch.  In fact, he started by explaining how he “just wanted to catch up” and let me know what was going on in the area  (yeah, right!).  When I explained I wasn’t interested in buying new windows, he kept talking.  When I again, stressed to him that I am not going to buy from him, he kept talking.  In fact, as I closed the door, I could still hear him talking.  He might still be there now, talking to my front door, for all I know.


Ok, so this is clearly a rather “old-school” example of door-to-door hard-selling, but it got me thinking. As a consumer today, I expect relevant and targeted offers.  I bet you’re the same – there’s nothing more frustrating than a bank ringing and trying to sell you life insurance again when you’ve already told them that you get it free as part of your employee benefits package.   This is nearly as annoying as a double-glazing window salesman knocking on the door of a fully double-glazed house and trying to make a sale.  Ignoring information that is already available is a recipe to disappoint and waste the time of potential future customers.

Continue reading What the double-glazing salesman taught me about how to waste an opportunity…

The countdown: two weeks until #BA2013

Time really does fly! I can’t quite believe it’s only two weeks until the start of the Business Analysis Conference Europe 2013 (#BA2013).   As I put the final touches on my presentation, I can’t help but get a little excited about the event – it’s always a highlight of my year.


Adrian speaking at the BA Conference Europe 2011


I’m told by the conference organisers that there’s been a fantastic uptake, but there are still tickets available.  So if you’ve been thinking about attending, it’s not too late!  You can find out more details about the conference by clicking the link below:




I highly recommend attending the conference, if you can. There are fantastic presentations from real-world practitioners, and there’s also the opportunity to relax and chat over a beer (or two) after the conference has closed.  If you haven’t been before, I’d highly recommend taking a look.


If you’re attending, drop me a mail or tweet and we can catch up.


See you there?





Helping Stakeholders to Take a Step Back and Avoid the “Solution Illusion” : Webinar recording available

I recently presented a webinar, hosted by IRM UK, focussing on the importance of avoiding early solutioneering during projects.  The webinar is entitled Helping Stakeholders to Take a Step Back and Avoid the “Solution Illusion” and I’m pleased to say that the recording is available to watch below. The recording is around an hour long, so grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy!


Continue reading Helping Stakeholders to Take a Step Back and Avoid the “Solution Illusion” : Webinar recording available