Managing a business meeting is not easy. Learning takes time and lots of failures. Some people have the impression that you learn things overnight. It’s not true.
I remember when I learned how to write test cases. I had to write hundreds of test cases until I got it right – write, delete, write again, delete, copy and paste, delete again, write again. Over and over. I had a very good teacher who taught me without even knowing it. I’m good at observing what others do well and learn from them. That teacher was one of my colleagues, a Russian women who set very high standards in our testing team.
It’s the same with requirements. Since I first started to write my requirements document until now (version 0.6, still draft unfortunately) I rewrote each section at least 3 times because I didn’t like the way each requirement read. Then I reorganized the document to read better. Then I added the mock-up screens. It takes time. As long as I’m willing to try again and to do it better, I’m good. I’m on the right track on becoming a good BA.
One of my colleagues is really good at managing a meeting with users. She has experience, it’s true and I don’t know if it’s because of that or it’s just the way she is, but she’s very confident in herself and her work. She knows exactly what she wants to ask the users, how to get it out of them and how to follow-up. She has a phenomenal memory and she can remember everything that was discussed in meetings without writing anything down, except for a few scribbles. I’m observing and learning from her. She sets very high standards in our BA team.
I believe self-confidence comes with experience. When you feel comfortable with what you know it’s easy to be self-confident. Put me in a QA meeting now and ask me anything. I am very comfortable and confident because I know stuff.
When it comes to business analysis I admit I still have a lot to learn. My confidence being in front of the users is not strong enough. I’m learning how to leave my ego at my desk and not be bothered by a frown, a gesture or a ‘certain’ way of asking a question. In the meeting room I’m Georgia who’s there to find out information, to gather requirements. “You’re there to gather requirements, nothing else, you’re there to gather requirements, nothing else” sounds the echo in my head….
I have a few tips under the sleeve around managing a business meeting which I gathered from observing others and my own experience. I’m putting them together and will list them soon. [to be continued]
Photo credits: egor.gribanov on flickr.com – thanks!