On Being a BA: Requirements are Never Done

[Part 3 of a 5-part series of posts about ways of being while being a Business Analyst]

That’s right, they are never truly done.  We could analyze until the oceans erode the mountains and still not completely understand a problem or capture every potential scenario of a process.  As a recovering perfectionist, I personally struggled with this the most.  If we just had more time then we could truly understand!  Except we need to eventually DO something about our technical issue or business problem.  We can’t spend a lifetime in quiet contemplation of the finer points of claims processing, inventory management or mobile user behaviors.  We have to do just enough, just in time to depict the needs of the clients in an actionable way.

Concrete thinkers really hate this part.  They want to be certain, and BAs live in a world of nuance, uncertainty and ever-shifting priorities.

Our challenge, should we choose to accept it, is this:  Change is inevitable, and should be welcomed.  How can we be effective at getting things done while being flexible about letting things change?

Methodologies and processes do most of the tactical heavy lifting here, but business analysts do almost all of the expectation management.  Understanding how change affects people will go a lot further toward elegantly handling change than understanding how change affects project timelines or budgets.

Other posts in this series:

  1. Requirements as Art (not Science)
  2. These Aren’t Your Requirements
  3. Requirements are Never Done
  4. People Problems, Not Technology Problems
  5. The Question Behind The Question

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