I believe that when you hire a hound with a good pedigree and training, you ought to follow where it is going and not stop it so you can insist it explain why it uses one sniffing technique and not another.

It seems to me that this is generally the case when someone hires a plumber or a carpenter. We don’t interrupt the plumber’s work to ask why he puts white goo into the joints of pipes. We are just glad someone knows how to do it and we let him get on with it.

How could you not trust this face?

How could you not trust this face?

However, in business analysis, consultants are often challenged to explain why they are doing  things a certain way. So how come customers sometimes don’t offer business analysts the same trust as they might allow a plumber? Perhaps because plumbing as a skill is centuries old. Perhaps because there appears to be less skill involved in analysis (after all, it mostly just involves drawing pictures, right?). Perhaps plumbing jobs have a reputation for higher success rates – I don’t know what the statistics are.

Whatever the reasons may be, the reality is that as a business analysis consultant you will be challenged to explain your methods. Do not take offence at this. Because analysis is closer to the business than programming, your customers will sometimes assume they understand your skill better than they understand the more technical skills (although I have seen customers with no programming experience insist on reviewing APIs).

It can be hard when someone challenges you. It can seem like an attack on your ability, on your professionalism, on your integrity, but it is not. It is just human nature. It is not about you.

As a business analyst, you are used to asking “Why?” but you also have to get used to answering it. Therefore, your mentoring skills need to be as good as your analysis skills in order for you to earn that trust.

Kind regards,

Declan Chellar

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