What is the business benefit?

As an analyst, it’s not enough to know what your customer wants. It is essential to unearth what the customer needs and how the customer’s business will benefit by fulfilling that need.

Customers are often the last to understand what their business truly needs, even when they have a clear idea […]

How Carrefour sells you customised greetings cards

A photographer friend recently took some pictures of Gema and myself and the CD arrived yesterday.

I had been eagerly awaiting the CD because I wanted to have customised New Year greeting cards done with a photo of the two of us. I duly took the CD to my local Carrefour […]

When do you say “No” to a customer?

When do you say “No” to a customer? This is a question a reader of this blog asked me in an e-mail recently.

We are all familiar with the phrase “The customer is always right”, but well all know that the customer is sometimes wrong. It is likely, therefore, that at […]

Would you jump out of a plane with a POC?

Why do some customers put a proof of concept into production?

In part, I suspect it has to do with wanting to spend as little as possible and still end up with something that earns them revenue.

But I think it is mostly because customers fail to grasp what […]

Scary times

When we are involved in producing a piece of software, it’s easy to forget that we are not simply building a product: we are implementing a change in the way a company operates.

Change is unnerving. We all know that. I know it particularly because I started losing my hair when […]

An overview of stakeholder analysis

I have been asked to write a little more about stakeholders. In an earlier post I talked about why stakeholder management is important, but before you can have a stakeholder management plan you have to understand your stakeholders and for that you need to do stakeholder analysis.

You could say that […]

Process Exercise: 2/6

In Part 1 we took a look at a sample As Is change control business process as presented to us by our fictional customer.

The customer owns the process

Don't go stomping all over the customer's processes like you own them

Our next goal is to produce a To […]

Controlling change

I was between two minds about writing this post. After all, everyone knows that change control is important, don’t they? Then I remembered a couple of interesting cases where people did not seem to know that.

In one case, a junior programmer had developed a very good rapport with one of […]


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 […]

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 […]