Problems arise from starting with a client’s wish list. What stops BA’s from starting with the required end situation and building back up?

The way we work is that the BA‘s only get a project once a Business case with Measurable KPI’s exists. The KPIs give a very good indication of the end point and it helps to stay within scope i.e… you want this.. but which KPI would it affect? None… oh so you have a new KPI… we then have to take this up with the PMO who has a discussion with the Proejct board who decide if the new requirement is really worth it. This process stops a lot of rubbish getting into the project and although the swing they asked for from day one is never actually a swing.. it still does what a swing should do with only very small improvements.

When I start a project I always build the customer experience first. most often with storyboards and get business sign off on that. Once I get sign off on this, that when I go and write my agile user stories with the detailed acceptance criteria. The business rarely care about the stories. They jsut trust that we will deliver the user experience they signed off on…

Ultimately the project should be driven by the end goal. Not necessarily what the client states they want but by what they are trying to acomplish. Unfortunately the client often enters the process not only with a set idea of what is to be done (the solution, wish list) but how it is to be done (the plan). Part of the analytical challenge is to filter through the stated wish list and articulate the real business drivers. I gather requirements from the top, the bottom, the middle, anywhere I can get them depending on the environment but the driving force is always the end goal. Unfortunately as there are often political realities that can make this an uphill battle. But that’s one of the challenges of being an analyst.

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