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Do You really Believe in What you Do?

I have a question for all of you BA/ RE/PDM people in the world. Do you really believe in what you do for a living, or is it just a job? My wife needs a new mode of transportation. Her current ride is 12 years old, has more than 240K miles on it and is beginning to require more repair than I’ve got time. So now we’re out looking at all the different vehicle options. I have to say that that I find this very frustrating because she really has no idea of what she wants. We get home from our first shopping trip and she can see that I am obviously put out by all of the “I don’t know” answers she gave me while trying to find her a car. She says, “So I guess you don’t want to go look again in the morning.”

Ding! The light bulb went off.

I told her we needed to figure out what our requirements were before I set foot on another car lot.

The next morning we set down with pen in hand and I started asking her what was important to her -What her needs were. We created a nice long list of items. Next, we looked at each item on the list to determine what need each of the items addressed. Finally, we prioritized the wants from the needs. We talked about number of passengers, baby seat mounts, fuel efficiency, heated seats, number, size and placement of cup holders, as well as just about anything else you can imagine. I now have a more defined idea of what she needs and what she wants in her next car, but more importantly, so does she. After all of the headache, I wondered why I did not complete the exercise sooner. This is what I do for a living. I help customers define their needs, identify requirements, separate wants from needs and prioritize it all.

If it works everyday for the job, why not use it at home? It’s hard to beat having a job that’s so helpful in so many situations.

When was the last time you found your BA/RE work to be helpful outside of work?

2 Responses to Do You really Believe in What you Do?

  1. Laura Brandau March 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    This got me thinking…I should probably start defining requirements for my upcoming wedding….


  2. Jonathan Babcock March 11, 2009 at 2:53 am #

    Great stuff, Terry. One of the things I appreciate most about being a business analyst is how portable a lot of the skills and methods are.

    Similar to your wife’s car requirements, my wife and I prioritized our home fix-it list by using a simple, relative value prioritization matrix where we rated each “project” based on a combination of; a) how much we wanted it done, b) the expected cost of doing it, and c) time/effort required to do it.

    It works great! Obviously, we got started on the cheapest and easiest ones that we wanted done most and have been working our way down the list from there.

    And Laura – I didn’t know you were getting married! Congrats! And I think you’re allowed a little “gold plating” when it comes to marriage.. 🙂

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