Don’t tell Momma- questions are not the devil

Business Analysts solve business problems. To do this, a Business Analyst needs a certain set of skills. According to Zippia, there are 10 skills a BA must posses.

The second skill on Zippia’s list is research, the sixth is problem solving, and the ninth is communication- all of which involve (dah, dah, daaaahh) asking questions. (How to ask questions and then interpret and respond to the subsequent replies is one of my favorite subjects. 🙂 )

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point, asking questions seems to have gone from being generally regarded as an ‘inquiry’ to ‘vicious attack upon intelligence, integrity, and reputation’. Now, I know not everyone makes this definitive translation when they are asked questions, but a remarkable amount of people do- not just in their professional lives, but personal ones too.

As a BA, my only goal is to solve problems. …

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We are all biased. We can self-correct if we are honest with ourselves.

Here’s a really great article by the BIG THINK explaining 200 cognitive biases that rule humans’ everyday thinking. The biases are there for good reason- mostly just the brain’s way of saving time or energy. But the unrecognized shortcuts in thinking can lead to thinking errors.

The cognitive biases are categorized into four major “problems”.

  • Too much information
  • Not enough meaning
  • Need to act fast
  • What should we remember?

This giant cognitive bias codex will transform your understanding of yourself

Nearly 200 cognitive biases affect our decision-making. The codex groups the biases based on 4 major “problems”. The sheer amount of biases teaches us “humility,” says one of the Codex’s creators. Perhaps aside from mythical spiritual figures, humans are not objective in how they react to the world.

#thisBArocks #GetPeople…

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The “Completely Confused” Communication Strategy

Several well written articles have been published about what it takes to be a Business Analyst (BA). This one is an example. In most of these articles, communication is mentioned in a general sense, explaining that the BA must be a people person, and speak to people in a casual and relatable fashion in order to gain specific and technical knowledge from them.


I agree with all of that. However, I’d like to discuss what I do when people have information that I need, but are engaged in some resistant behavior, seem unwilling to share what they know, and/or display signs that they feel threatened. At these times, I sometimes employ what I call the “Completely Confused” communication strategy. This communication strategy piggybacks on the idea that a BA should always go into every project with an open mind, assuming nothing, and not being an expert in anything.

Please …

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Is your SMB affected by your self-image?

You must be confident to be a successful entrepreneur or SMB owner. It takes guts to put yourself out there and take on such a high level of responsibility. Consequently, we entrepreneurs make lots of decisions. How can we know if we’ve made the right decisions? What if we’re wrong? How does that affect our business? According to a social psychologist at UTEP, recognizing when you might be wrong does not decrease perceptions of competence.

How to Know When You Might Actually Be Wrong

In any argument, it can be hard to tell who is wrong and who is right. Except when you’re one of the involved parties, that is-because you’re definitely right. Right? It turns out, you might not be!

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Steve Blank says innovation doesn’t always take a long time anymore

Business Analysts are usually nuts about process. However, process for process’s sake is not efficient, and can cause organizations to miss out on game-changing opportunities.

Fast Time in Three Horizon High

I’m a big fan of McKinsey’s Three Horizons Model of innovation. (if you’re not familiar with it there’s a brief description a few paragraphs down.) It’s one of the quickest ways to describe and prioritize innovation ideas in a large company or government agency. However, in the 21stcentury the Three Horizons model has a fatal flaw…

#thisBArocks #GetPeople…

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Employee effectiveness is critical to SMB growth

As a #smallbusiness owner, entrepreneur, or SMB leader, you (or your staff) may need to perform some tasks you aren’t all-together familiar with. Don’t let these kinds of tasks slow you down, trip you up, or push you off track! Call in reinforcements!

There’s nothing wrong with asking for or bringing in assistance- especially if that assistance will help you to grow your business. Large organizations bring in consultants all the time. You can too.

Employee Effectiveness is Critical to Small Business Growth

Employee effectiveness is critical to small business growth. To achieve growth goals, SMBs need to prioritize efforts to improve productivity. Find out which industries are struggling the most because of these challenges and what you can do to make your workforce more efficient. specializes in providing Business Analysis to SMBs.

#thisBArocks #GetPeople…

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Get a Business Analyst? Why?

A Business Analyst solves business problems by helping an organization (and, therefore, people) to understand where they are, what change is needed for improvement, and why. They work to define, plan, build, and execute a solution for an organization to get from A to B, and then successfully acclimate to the change.

That can be a lot of work. Or it can be little. A Business Analyst wears one hat or fifteen for various amounts of time. It just depends on the organization, its people, and their needs.

All large organizations have at least one Business Analyst, which is one reason why they continue to be successful. Most solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and SMBs (Small- and Medium-sized Businesses) don’t have a Business Analyst, even though having a Business Analyst will only increase productivity and add to their success.

Has your organization been struggling with making progress? What’s it costing your organization to …

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Don’t allow business problems to…

“You might be very good at what you do to make a product or provide a service, but running a small business brings a whole range of other responsibilities.” says Sharon Penn of in Five Duties of a Small Business Owner.

You don’t need to hire people to perform all of the required tasks- but it might be worth hiring a Business Analyst for a few hours to solve those business problems that you can’t or don’t have time for. Don’t allow business problems to distract you or slow your progress.

#thisBArocks #GetPeople…

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Not all costs involve money

It’s worth remembering that not all costs involve money. This article by explains different types of economic costs.

As a Business Analyst, I often remind my clients of time costs. In most cases, once a business problem becomes evident, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible, not only in consideration of monetary costs, but also time costs.

A well established business problem will find ways to ingrain itself into business operations and organizational culture. People, when faced with a problem that they may not have the power to immediately solve, will find work-arounds that may or may not be inherently good for the organization.

To fix the problem at that point may not only take some quick policy changes, but some long term process re-engineering and/or organizational restructuring as well.

Protect your organization from potential time costs. Solve your business problems as quickly as possible.

#thisBArocks …

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