Make assumptions

In the world of systems development, “assumption” is kind of a dirty word, but sometimes it can be a good thing.

Assumptions are only bad when they are not confirmed with the customer. However, as a business analyst, your job is to put your thinking cap on between interviews/workshops and you make assumptions in order to save time during the next meeting with the customer. Of course, your assumptions should be based on your experience and available knowledge.

Using the Leave Request Workflow that we are currently drawing as an example, my knowledge of the project scope enables me to produce what is illustrated in Step 1 without having to meet with the customer. Moreover, my prior experience of workflows allows me to make a reasonable guess at Step 2 also. That way I can save time by presenting Step 2 to the Subject Matter Experts and getting them to correct it, instead of acting as a “blank slate”.

That’s part of the skill of being an analysis consultant: knowing when to guide and when to follow.

Even if you only shave thirty minutes off that meeting, that’s four hours of project time given a meeting of eight people. That way the whole project benefits from your experience.

Kind regards,

Declan Chellar

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