Project Management

The Gap (Part 2 of 2)

Sainath Nagarajan, PMP, SCPM

As our two-part series concludes, we continue our look at the core set of five common methods that I outline in the next part of this article should form the bare minimum "kit" that a business analyst carries through an analytical engagement. To read Part 1, click here.

The Initial/Executive Interview
An open-ended yet focused dialog between the analyst and business users will help in gauging each other's strategic, tactical and operational interests and expectations. Regardless of the project initiation and "funneling" methods in place, it is critical to have a dialog where the analyst can establish trust and credibility and set the stage for the future phases.

Many times, systems analysts, architects and programmers go back to the users with the fundamental "But, what are your requirements?" question, not realizing that a bulk of that could have been gathered through this upfront interaction.


The analyst must take special note of phrases like "I would like to...," "the main problems we face today are..." and "the users think that the current process is…" Many of these conversational leads can be further refined to hone in on specific requirements instead of going back to the table with "what are you requirements?" and to face the reply, "I told you, just build be me an XYZ system"!


The expected outcome of this interview …

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