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Clean Language in Business Analysis

Blue Speech Bubbles

I’m pleased to say that one of my recent blog articles has been published on “”, where I have contributed as a guest author. I’d love to hear what you think, so please take a look and add a comment on the site.

A short excerpt is shown below:



Blue Speech Bubbles“One of the challenges that business analysts face is getting into business and project stakeholders’ heads so that an accurate understanding of goals, objectives, and needs can be defined. As anyone who has undertaken this activity will attest, this simple sounding exercise can be deceptively difficult.


Stakeholders are often so knowledgeable that they aren’t even aware of the tacit knowledge that they are privy to—there might be some things that seem so obvious that the stakeholder doesn’t mention them. There’s also a real danger that a stakeholder might have pre-supposed a solution and might inadvertently and unconsciously guide the project in a certain direction.


Throw in the fact that a user who has operated a process the same way for twenty years might find it very difficult to articulate the bigger-picture improvements that they need— focusing instead on the smaller pain-points—and you have the potential for a perfect storm.


We know that successful projects need a firm understanding of the underlying objective or improvement that the stakeholders and users need. Balancing these challenges is part of the day-to-day business analyst role.


Surmounting this challenge involves asking probing and open questions, and perhaps employing a combination of elicitation techniques such as interviews, workshops, and observation. It’s often said that the quality of the answers we receive will be in direct proportion to the quality of the questions we ask.


As such, I’m always interested in finding ways to ask better questions. One technique I’ve started learning more about is Clean Language…”


Click on the link below to read the rest of this article

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