Before I worked as a business analyst, I always asked myself how is it like to go to a business meeting. Is it interesting to meet the business users? Is it the way I imagine?
Throughout my QA career I’ve been hearing all kinds of stories about business analysts who are very or less successful in their job, users who are very nice or not so much and developers who fight with everyone just because…I mean, there’s always good and bad. In anything.
I’m still learning about being a BA, translating user’s needs in business requirements is no easy job. You’re learning about how to conduct a business meeting, how to ask good questions, how to interpret what the users say. And the learning is not always the easy way.
Before I had my first business meeting I asked more experienced BAs if there is anything I should do to prepare for the meeting. Mostly, the advice I got was that I should have all my questions prepared, listen carefully and write everything down like a good scholar. And oh, leave my ego at my desk because showing attitude in this business is not a good thing apparently.
My meeting is not until 11 but the stomach butterflies fly uncontrollably as soon as I come in to work. I already know my body’s nervous reactions and I know that 10 minutes into the meeting I’ll be fine. I’m just gonna go with the flow. How bad can this be?
I’ve heard many stories about BA’s who have been fired because users didn’t like them. In this business it’s essential that you have a good relationship with your users. Being liked is so much more important than being knowledgeable about something. The subject can be discussed, of course and depends on the situation. I know there’s different opinions around that.
But I’m over-analyzing this.
I head towards the meeting room, put a big smile on my face and go in. Half an hour later I realize that I’ve only asked two out of the ten questions I had and got only answers which trigger more questions.
How am I going to manage these meetings? How am I going to get all the information I need when I only get half-answers? [to be continued].
Photo credits: Office Now on flickr.com – thanks!