September 2019

What Kind Of Message Does Your Process Send To Your Customers?

One thing I find about being a BA is that I can’t switch the analysis off.  I am forever analysing situations and interactions, well outside of the “day job”. I suspect many of us have this trait, and it may well be at least mildly irritating to those around us. 🙂

I recently went into “analysis mode” having checked into a hotel, exhausted after running a workshop.  I went to put my clothes in the wardrobe, and I noticed two all-too-common minor irritations that regular travels will recognise:

  1. There were fewer hangers than I needed
  2. The hangers were of the “anti-theft” type, where the hanging loop is permanently attached to the rail
Picture of coat hangers with anti-theft 'loop'

Unfortunately, these particular hangers were old and worn, meaning that they didn’t fit well and whenever weight was applied to them (e.g. by adding a shirt) they fell to the ground.  As I sighed looking at a wardrobe full of crumpled shirts now neatly scrunched into a pile on the very bottom of the wardrobe, I couldn’t help wonder why hotels use these weird hangers.  Even a few ten pence wire coat-hangers would be better than this nonsense….

What’s The Actual Risk? And What Message Does It Send?

The Countdown: Two weeks until #BA2019

Time really does fly! I can’t quite believe it’s just over two weeks until the start of the Business Analysis Conference Europe 2019 (#BA2019) in London. As I plan the final practice runs of my presentation which is entitled “Whose Perspective Is It Anyway? Practical Analysis Techniques for Understanding Tricky Stakeholders”, I can’t help but get a… 

It’s Time We Revisited Our NFRs: Let’s Add Sustainability and Diversity & Inclusion

Sticky notes with question marks written on them
Image Credit: © Anton — stock.adobe.com #230524608

As anyone who has ever worked with me will know, I’m somewhat of an advocate of Non-Functional Requirements (NFR) Analysis.  I’ve found that in some projects, sadly, the NFRs are left unexamined, with the Functional Requirements taking the lime-light.  This is understandable, after all it’s far easier to talk about what needs to change, and far harder to talk about the quality attributes and other non-functional elements of that same change.  Yet get the NFRs wrong, and you end up building a very shiny and expensive system that nobody actually uses.  If you are in the UK and have been to a Post Office recently you may have experienced the ‘self-service’ booths.  As Roland Hesz observed on Twitter, these are so complicated to use that they have a member of staff guiding people through the process….

For a whole variety of reasons, I’ve been thinking about NFRs a lot recently, and I came across three articles that really resonated with me, and made me think it’s about time we revisited the ‘standard lists’ of NFRs that we use.  In particular, I think there are two sets of categories that we ought to add.