I'm not complaining. This is me not complaining.
I'm not going to be trite and blame this beautiful weather on global warming - especially when we all know that it's due to the merciful hand of Zeus.
I just came from a 3-day course on Project Management Modelling. If that sound boring to you, well, there is no prize in guessing that the course was as boring as the name suggests. I managed to score 24 out of 25 on the final exam, in spite of how much I drank while I was out there on course. I have discovered that the numbing effects of alcohol make it much easier to study excruciatingly dull material. The beer prenumbs the brain so that when the course material tries to do the same, it encounters the mental equivalent of a cock-block (a bock-block perhaps).
One of my biggest complaints about this course - well, about business analysis in general - is that it takes common terms and expressions and puts its own definition on them. A diagram is not the same as a picture is not the same as a model, though sometimes a model is a picture or a diagram. A process is not the same as a work flow, though they are all often tossed about interchangeably anyway. You just have to make sure you have all of the terminology straight when you write the final exam. As I complained to some of the others at my work table on the first day, we are not there to learn concepts, but to memorize jargon and terminology.
Fortunately the time I spent memorizing the table that outlined the steps in Process Management, and the steps inside of each step gave me enough working knowledge to get a passing grade on the final exam. The rest of the questions were just knowing the right term they wanted for a question.
I think my brain managed to erase everything I learned last night, but I am going to see if I can recite the steps off the top of my head. Here is everything you need to know about being a business analyst.
During the Defining phase you have to identify the process that need improvement, map those back to the business strategy, identify your stakeholders, produce your business improvement plan and then produce your change management documents and communication plans -- and some other document that I always forget.
During the analysis phase you prioritize the processes for improvement, create work flow diagrams for those processes, create your AS-IS models, do root-cause analysis on the processes to determine where the improvements need to be made and finally establish metrics and benchmarking targets so that you can measure success.
During the implementation phase you need to create your TO-BE models, do the gap analysis to decide how to get from AS-IS to TO-BE, do your cost-benefit analysis (incidentally this is also the point where you do your business case, though that was not covered in this course) and finally you document everything.
Finally during the control phase you monitor the progress of the process changes using the metrics established during the analysis phase and look for continuous improvement opportunities, especially looking to see if the process changes you made in one place might work elsewhere in the corporation.
Ugh. Obviously I need to drink more if I want to flush this from filling up valuable memory space.
I returned home just in time for Customer Service Week. This means that over the next seven or so days I can expect to get lots of badly spelled emails chock full of bad grammar, questionable colour choices, deformed pictures and regrettable fonts.
It is just going to get worse. Kill me now.