Want to be a Successful Business Analyst? Ask these 8 Questions. Part 1/8

This post is part of a series that explores questions that a good business analyst will ask. This is Question 1 of 8.

Solve the Right Problem

Any project manager will tell you the importance of asking the right questions.

If you’re a project manager and you ask the right questions, then your team has a good chance of delivering on-time and on-budget.

If you fail to ask the questions you’ll lose revenue, credibility and possibly the contract.

Remember, it’s your job to scope out the project in the beginning. It is not the responsibility of the technician who is completing the project.

What is the problem that this business has that I will solve through the development of the project?

Let’s take this question apart. There are really 3 questions being asked in this one question.

A. What is their problem? Some clients can verbalize this quickly. Others cannot. Get specific. You should be able to state, their problem is x.

B. What am I solving for? You should be able to state clearly, I am solving for x, y and zed.

C. How will the project development solve the problem? This question takes a bit more thought as you mentally have to work through the framework of the project. You want to develop the right project that acts as the right solution.

Determine the Contributing Factors

For example, what you think may be the problem for a client may in fact be a contributing factor to the problem.

I once met with a marketing company that wanted to identify a new line of business. In fact, what they really wanted was to streamline their product offerings.

It’s easy to want to rush through the questions. You have other clients to see and things to do. Ask the right questions and you put yourself in a much better place of finding the right solutions.

______________________________________________________________________

Johann Lohrmann
Business Analyst
www.johannlohrmann.com

Sources:
Brain Image Courtesy of Boaz Yiftach / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1408
Partners of America, Contributing Factors, http://ow.ly/5vDMp

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