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How You Say It Does Matter

When we have a sticky issue for which the solution needs buy-in, I’m frequently the voice in the room making sure we’re all in agreement on how we’re going to request the buy-in.  While some people get frustrated with this, I’ve learned that how you pose a question can have …

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Pay Attention in Meetings

We live in a very device heavy world these days. You understand, we have our smart phones, laptops, iPads, Apple Watches, etc. We are never disconnected from any form of communication anymore. But should we disconnect at times? Especially during meetings? As I walk into meetings these days, it is …

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Negotiating with Stakeholders

One of the toughest aspects of being a product manager or a business analyst is to get people to agree.  Especially when they have different wants,  ideas and opinions on the features the product must have.  Negotiating with our stakeholders is a must. Of course, part of our job as …

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Gathering Requirements in a Green Field

In my time at Seilevel, I’ve had a chance to work with a number of different clients, operating in a range of industries. Oftentimes, these clients begin projects with a number of legacy systems that need updated or integrated with; it is a rare opportunity for a project team to …

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Know Your Worth

Today, I’d like to talk about what makes us valuable as requirements analysts. As a young professional in this industry, I’ve devoted a fair amount of time to contemplating this topic. Initially, I believed my value was derived from things like taking initiative, attempting to produce flawless deliverables, being prepared …

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Recruiting and Software Requirements Connect

Recruiting season is underway and Seilevel as usual is going out looking for the best and brightest, and as we start looking for clever young graduates I started thinking about the perspective of an interviewer and interviewee. Either as an interviewer or interviewee you are ultimately targeting the same objective, which is …

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What Makes a Great Business Partner?

A colleague and I were talking about past projects.  When I mentioned one of my favorites, he was surprised–he thought people found the business partner on that project to be “difficult”.  Not me—she met all my criteria for a great business partner: They know their stuff. They provide you sufficient …

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The Curse of Knowledge: Part 3

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced a cognitive bias called the curse of knowledge. In Part 2, I discussed some strategies that can be used to overcome it. Today’s concluding post will examine two final strategies specific to circumventing the curse of knowledge and accomplishing successful communication. 1. …

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The Curse of Knowledge: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed a cognitive bias called the curse of knowledge. One of my primary goals was to establish its potentially negative impact on communication. For today’s post, I’ll be examining two strategies that can be used to mitigate that risk. 1. Establish Mutually Agreed-Upon Definitions As …

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The Curse of Knowledge: Part 1

Unsurprisingly, the idea of knowledge as a curse seems counterintuitive. In an information-based industry like requirements analysis, how could knowledge be considered anything other than positive? The answer involves cognitive biases–more specifically, the “tendency to acquire and process information by filtering it through one’s own likes, dislikes, and experiences.” The curse …

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