Imagine the scene: You’re just about to start the analysis
for a project which involves a large contact centre employing hundreds of
people. The call centre manager hands
you a dusty folder marked Procedure
Guide. “Here you go, this is exactly how we do things here.” says the
manager, “this will save you interviewing our busy front-line workers!”.
I suspect many of us have experienced this situation
(although it’s far more likely to be some kind of electronic repository rather
than a dusty manual) and when it happens we try and hold back a wry smile. Procedure guides are extremely useful
artefacts, but so often they are not properly managed and maintained and they
quickly fall into disrepair. In some cases, the work that is conducted on the
shop floor often bares only a passing resemblance to the ‘official’ processes,
and in many cases there are unofficial ‘enhancements’, ‘interpretations’ and
‘workarounds’ that have crept in over the years.
With this in mind, when we are carrying out business analysis and improvement work it’s important that we understand how the work really works. Elicitation techniques such as observation, apprenticing, scenario analysis and many others can help here. If the process hasn’t been well-managed and well-maintained it’s highly likely that we’ll find variation. Differences between teams, and even individual workers may have emerged. There may be entire new ‘steps’ in the process that have been created, or steps might have been removed, re-ordered or changed in some other way.
As many of you know, I enthusiastically believe in the value that good quality Business Analysis can bring, and I love speaking, writing and presenting on this and many other topics! In a break from my normal ‘blog’ style, I have a very quick update for you.
Attending the conference is always one of the highlights of my year, as it provides a real melting pot of ideas. It’s a great place to meet other BAs and exchange knowledge. 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.
The conference is being held in London, from 23 – 25 September. You can find full details of the conference here:
PS — if you can’t make it to London, I’m equally excited to say that I’ll also be presenting at the BA Summit Southern Africa in Cape Town, which is always an extremely fun and innovative conference, as well as the Building Business Capability conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA which is always so much fun too, and is the official conference of IIBA.
Like most folks I know, I have a whole range of mixed
memories from my years at school. Some
fantastically ecstatic, others scary and traumatic, but I suppose the sum of those
experiences were all ‘character building’.
If you had met me as a school-age child, you would have found someone
who had very strong ideological views, but who so often lacked the ability to
express them clearly. Some would argue
that little has changed 🙂
I did fairly well at school, but was also seen as a bit
feisty at times—my strong views and beliefs weren’t always compatible with the
power structures that existed in schools (those power structures, by the way,
extend way beyond the teachers and well into the playground). One phrase that I remember people who
perceived that they had power over me told me time and time again was: