… markets software that helps people

July 8th, 2012
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… manages stakeholders’ expectations

July 15th, 2009

Stakeholders in a project never like surprises, especially the bad kind.

A Real Business Analyst keeps constant touch with the stakeholders to let them know how the project is  progressing, if any obstacles were identified and how all this may affect their area of control.

This way, their expectations are managed and they are likely to better cooperate.

If the BA does not do that, the project is in danger of failing due to lack of cooperation.

Moreover, A Real Business Analyst manages everyone’s expectations, including team members, clients and management, so everything becomes more predictable for everyone.

… keeps in shape and goes to spin class

June 24th, 2009

The writing on the mirror in the dark spin class room says: “The race is long and hard, but in the end, it’s only against YOURSELF”. Or is it?

I tried the spin (cycling) class for the first time today.

If you’ve never done it, here is what it looks like:

Some 20 enthusiasts (health nuts?) pedal fast for an hour on stationary bicycles.

A twenty-something merciless beautiful blonde yells instructions into the microphone, while blasting the room with fast-beat music.

And the race is on. True, you can go at your own speed and adjust the bike’s resistance to your liking, but isn’t everybody watching everybody else to try to keep up with them or out-pedal them?

Well, it was fun. I may gave lost 5 Lbs. All sweat. I could hardly walk afterwards, but I felt 30 again!

I guess I’ll try it again in a couple of days.

How do you feel about this? Let me know by posting a comment. Thanks!

… makes a Use Case observation

June 19th, 2009

Take the New York City subway, for example.

The current Use Case says: People need to have a MetroCard before they can go through the turnstile.

Solution: Provide facilities (manned toll booth; automated machines) to purchase (or refill, or add to) a MetroCard.

That’s great. But think about the following situation:

You have a few (or just one) ride left on your MetroCard; you don’t want to miss the next train, so you go in.

But you still need to refill your MetroCard, for next time. Won’t it be great to have an automated ticket machine on the platform? This way, if the train is not there yet, you can leisurly refill your MetroCard, while you’re waiting for the next train, so next time, when you’re in a hurry, you won’t get stuck waiting on line behind 15 people.

p.s. If the train comes right away, you can still do the transaction on the platform of your destination.

What do you think? Is it worth suggeting this to the MTA?

Give me your comments. (You don’t need to be a New Yorker to participate).

… returns from vacation in Argentina

May 28th, 2009

Here are the highlights:

In Argentina:

  • The birds fly NORTH for the winter
  • You can go down memory lane watching many cars from the 70s, 60s and even older
  • Steaks are terrific, but why do they tend to overcook them?
  • Ethnic food is a joke; they don’t seem to be able to get it right. Not even Italian food; and they have such a large  ethnic-Italian population…
  • There are some 500 demonstrations and strikes every year in Buenos Aires. That’s more than one every day of the year, on average! (We witnessed two on the same day). One demonstration, that of the Mothers, takes place every Thursday afternoon, and has been going on for over 30 years!
  • Buses in Buenos Aires only take coins; but coins are very hard to get. Is the bus company hoarding them?
  • The country is vast and beautiful: Glaciers in the south, huge waterfalls in the north and everything else in between.
  • Soccer is king!
  • The U.S. Dollar is strong. Go visit!

… is not cheap

April 21st, 2009

Yes, the economy is depressed.
Yes, there are many candidates for every job opening.
Yes, I know, many of us are unemployed.
So this is the time to take advantage of the situation and get a Business Analyst for a lower rate (or salary). Right?
If you get A REAL BUSINESS ANALYST to take a pay cut, you’ll never get a happy camper.
If you take a second level Business Analyst, chances are you won’t get a first class job. Then it will cost you.
IAG Consulting researched that. Attend their seminar: http://tinyurl.com/iagord

… is not an SME

April 19th, 2009

A Subject Matter Expert (SME) is someone who is very familiar with the Line of Business (LOB), its objectives, goals, functionality and process.
This is the expert to go to with specific questions about the LOB.
A REAL BUSINESS ANALYST is someone with a different expertise: Asking questions, analyzing the answers and helping with the solution design. In any industry. In any LOB.
I found out that it actually helps NOT being a subject matter expert when eliciting business requirements: It lets you get away with asking some “dumb” questions, such as: “Why?”

… is also a Project Manager

April 18th, 2009

A Real Business Analyst brings in the business requirements, and at the other end – designs, composes and executes the test plans. A real BA has the responsibility to a successful project, even if he/she is not the Project Manager.