OMBAs Rules For Business Analysis

OMBA's Rules for Business Analysis Cover
Business Change Team

December 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

What is this? Well, at its most basic it’s a list. Yes, I can see that, but why is it incomplete and published? Well, what use is it if it stays in my head?

Over the years my note-books have filled up with thoughts and ideas, some are now out there, perhaps in blog pieces, or our business analysis courses, others are lost in the pages. By way of an example, BA Of The Year was first scribbled down in 2009, yet it was only announced in 2016. That’s a long time, for such a big idea. What about the smaller thoughts? The ones where I think, that would be great to write about. One day. So much to do, so little time. They don’t stand a chance.

This, and the need to get over my perfectionist publication tendencies, will see a few pieces of organic content evolve. This is one of those. It might take weeks, or years to finish – if ever – whatever finished looks like. Perhaps you can help it take shape by filling in some blanks? Share your business analysis insight in the comments section below and, if it resonates, we’ll add it and tag you – so please leave your Twitter or LinkedIn handle too.

Here are OMBAs rules for business analysis:

  1. Never, ever describe Business analysis as ‘Bridging The Gap’ between business and IT. Don’t. Not even in your own head. This phrase is offensive to the complexity of the business analyst role and compounds the misleading stereotypes out there, such as ‘scribe’ and ‘translator’. The business analysis manifesto sums the capabilities up. I could pick on this one all day long. It’s #1 for a reason. Nothing can knock it of the top, folks.
  2. Business analysts don’t do testing. If you’re doing testing you’re also a test analyst.
  3. Don’t believe what you’re told. Double check.
  4. Never be unreachable.
  5. Never take anything for granted.
  6. Never go anywhere without a pencil and paper.
  7. Never get personally involved in a project.
  8. When the project is done, walk away.
  9. Bend the line, don’t break it.
  10. Always work as a team.
  11. It’s better to ask forgiveness than ask permission.
  12. Don’t tell stakeholders you plan on giving them some time back if the meeting goes according to plan. It makes no sense. For starters, if a meeting goes to plan then there is no spare time, right?! There should be no potential for ‘time-back’ beyond +/- 10% of the duration, and that kind of saving is just not worth dangling. Besides incentivising people with time over quality, you’re basically overbooking other peoples already precious time. Crikey. Like many organisations don’t generally have terrible meeting cultures already.
  13. Always look under.
  14. Never mess with a stakeholders coffee if you want to live.
  15. If you need help, ask!
  16. Always watch the watchers.
  17. If you feel like you are being played, you probably are.
  18. Your work, your lead.
  19. There is no such thing as coincidence.
  20. If it seems like someone’s out to get you, they are.
  21. Clean up the mess that you make.
  22. Sometimes you’re wrong.
  23. Keep digging till you hit bottom.