Why a good Business Analyst could save your project!

Why a good Business Analyst could save your project!

I got a new bike for Christmas. For the first time since I was about 10, my Mum bought me a bike. Well, technically, she sent me the money and I went shopping!

My 30-year old mountain bike was falling apart and I didn’t like the riding position any more. My old body couldn’t deal with leaning forward so much.

So on Boxing Day, the family indulged me with a trip to multiple bike shops to try out some options. I had a very clear view of what I wanted: a “sit up and beg” bike with curved handlebars. This naturally pushed me in the direction of an old-school “dutch” style bike and so the conversation would typically go something like this.
“I’m looking for a new bike. Something with swept back handlebars, maybe I could try one of your vintage bikes?”

“Sure, let me get one out for you.”

And off I’d go. The bikes felt OK, quite different to what I was used to of course, but perhaps that’s what I needed to get now. The first shop had some lovely bikes, really well made, high quality, but none my size (I’m rather small!) so we moved on.

The second shop’s “vintage” bikes weren’t as good quality by a long-shot: they rattled and clanked and the brakes didn’t really seem to work. Not ideal. I tried some of their other bikes, discussing how it might be possible to change the handlebars, but that wasn’t something they would be able to do for me. I’d need to source the handlebars and they couldn’t guarantee that the handlebars would fit. So we moved on again.

No one had questioned my premise that I needed a new style of bike with swept back handlebars. They’d all taken my word for it.

That is until we arrived at the third shop.

This time the conversation went like this:
“I’m looking for a new bike. Something with swept back handlebars, maybe I could try one of your vintage bikes?”
“What is it that you like about these types of bikes?”

“Well I don’t really, but I can’t do the leaning forward riding position anymore. I get a neck ache. It’s been decades since I bought a new bike, and I’m not quite sure what there is to try these days.”
“Well a lot has changed since you last bought a bike. Are you open to looking at some alternatives?”

The bike store employee was being the perfect Business Analyst (BA). Gradually redirecting me away from the “solution” I had come to him with, and actually focusing on the problem I was trying to solve: a neck ache from having to tilt my head back as I rode.

Before we even looked at options, we had an in depth conversation about the type of riding I was going to be doing, the problems with my current bike, and what sort of budget I had.

He then talked me through some options, explaining the pros and cons of each. We talked about bikes that would fit my shorter than average frame, bikes that were specifically designed for women (who often have shorter arms, for example) and what the options were around handlebars. He analysed the problem (that the position of the handlebars meant that when riding, my hands were too low and too far forward) and showed me how a different style of bike could solve that specific problem.

And that style wasn’t a Dutch bike at all: it was a hybrid bike.
I took a couple for a test drive, and was sold. They were in budget, built well, and I could change the handlebar widget for a slightly different one to allow me to alter the angle of the dangle!

Halfway through the process, my wife said to me “You’ve changed your mind. Are you sure about this? I thought you wanted a more vintage bike.” To which I replied “I came in asking for a process builder to automate X. I came in with the solution, not the problem. The solution I’d come up with was based on my limited knowledge of what a potential solution could be and therefore the solution I came up with was flawed.”
It’s OK, my wife is a Salesforce geek too! They got it.

So next time you’re talking to your Salesforce admin or partner, if they’re not asking you lots of questions to get to the root of the problem you’re looking to solve, you’re not talking to the right person! Don’t come to us with the solutions, come to us with the problem. You may have an idea of what the solution will be, but be open to different ideas that might deliver a better outcome.

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It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.
Get your NFP fundraising system working for you.