On ethnography, secret agendas, and little grey cells


Here’s your What? Who? Where? When? Why? How? for the week.

WHAT does a business analyst and an ethnographer have in common?

Ethnography, the main technique employed by anthropologists to study societies, is at its root written research into peoples, nations and cultures. Ethnographers employ a range of techniques all designed to gain a true understanding of a society; its rules and its customs, finding the unwritten understanding and writing it down. 

A theory: Business analysts are Anthropologists with areas of the business being the society they’re investigating | Zara Sheldrake (Text at LinkedIn Pulse)

WHO has a secret personal agenda?

As a business analyst, we want to understand what makes someone take a position.

In particular, we want to understand a specific type of stakeholder: the opponent. Since we know opponents often try to derail things for reasons outside of the project, why are they intent on impeding progress? And under what circumstances?

An aside about the personal agendas which are secretly shaping things | Joe Newbert (Text at Newbert’s Blog)

WHERE can you turn data into a story?

Storytelling with data is difficult to master, but when done effectively, can clearly communicate important information to the right people. Don’t just put all of the data in front of your audience and expect them to come to your conclusion. Take your audience on a journey through the data by using stories.

Turning Complex Data into Compelling Stories: A 5-Step Process | Rachel Krause (Test at Neilson Group)

WHEN should I use a process framework?

Leveraging a process framework consistently throughout process work significantly increases the efficiency and effectiveness of process improvement efforts. Organizations seeking to streamline their process improvement efforts can follow these steps to help make their process improvement journey a sustainable one.

4 Things Everyone Should be Using a Process Framework for | Lochlyn Morgan (Text at APQC)

WHY should I bother trying to capture requirements if we know they will change? ?

As the project is unfolding, the schedule is tight, the budget is tight, the customer is becoming concerned that the vendor isn’t being thorough, and the development vendor is beginning to suspect that the customer is moving the goalposts.  The lack of up-front discipline is eroding credibility on both sides.

Requirements Discipline: Avoiding “Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts” | Payson Hall (Text at TechWell Insights)

HOW can business problems be compared to murder mysteries?

Business problems can be compared to murder mysteries. We Business Analysts often arrive at the scene of the crime (business problem) with very little background knowledge. We meet a variety of characters (stakeholders) from which we must gather clues (information and requirements).

100th Anniversary of Poirot; Lessons in Analysis | Bronia Anderson-Kelly (Text at LinkedIn Pulse)

Until next Sunday, keep growing,

— Joe

Chief Training Officer at the Business Change Academy
Editor for Inter-View Report and Podcast Host on OneSixEight FM.

P.S. If I could wave a magic wand what would it solve for you?