An interesting article I read in LinkedIn (well a Slideshare) that showed how UI is just a part of UX. What I also noticed was how many of the non-UI activities in UX looked rather like business analysis activities. Here’s an article by a BA who has a nice couple of figures showing how UX and BA activities overlap: The BA-UX Continuum. You could argue that project management would blend of the BA role – purists might disagree but the reality in smaller teams is that BAs and PMs do.
Just to update, BA course, second module, Requirements Engineering: 83% and bagged! Probably the PM module next, but not until September I think.
Step 1 (of 5) to get Diploma in Business Analysis (that will take about a year to complete in all) – done: I now have BCS Certificate in Business Analysis Practice.
Tomorrow is Step 2 exam – BCS Certificate in Requirements Engineering.
Meanwhile, working on a revamp of ZingCOBOL (now about 15 years old) – so installed Drupal and starting to transfer content across (while learning how to use Drupal):Read More
After 8 years with the NHS ePortolio I’m going to be moving onto a new position with J.P. Morgan as a Associate Business Analyst; I start in October. Quite a change in many respects – change of technologies, regular home-working becomes a 25 minute commute, public sector become the financial sector. Still web-based technologies though but looking forward to developing my BA knowledge and experience in a new and most likely more challenging environment.
So much to learn, and a fond farewell to the thoroughly excellent team I’ve worked with since 2006.
The Rubic’s cube is 40 this year, a puzzle that to many people seems to be the play thing of maths geniuses and the friendless. I can solve a cube in about 2 to 3 minutes and I’m certainly no maths genius (and I have a couple of friends at least). If you don’t believe me check out the video below, those are my hands. So how do I do it, what makes me so clever?
Simple, I learned a process…
How to solve it (this isn’t the actual solution, just how to get there)
People who don’t know how to solve a cube think that solving it means being able to see and understand from the very beginning how to move every square colour about so that it will all fall into place. In fact all you need to do to get all the same colours on the same face is follow a set of progressive steps:
For each of those 7 steps there are a couple of standard moves to learn for each step to get the colour in the right place. Easy.
The point I want to make is that a seemingly highly complex task is solved by just breaking it down into simple steps and following a process. So how many other impossibly difficult tasks in life can be understood and resolved by just understanding how to get from start to finish in simple, manageable steps?
Something to think about.Read More
About 4 years ago I qualified as a PRINCE2 Practitioner. Returning to work the following week I was fired up and ready to get everything running in this way. And yet, some how, it never quite works like that. The projects we worked on were too small in terms of several work packages across numerous customers in a semi-agile environment. Yes PRINCE2 can be used with Agile, and in theory no project is too small, but realistically there’s too much supporting documentation and processes to keep on top of it all, especially is being a PM isn’t everything you have to doing during the day.
Nonetheless, I still cherry picked items like incident logging, daily logs etc… The key however is the Business Case, but again, when commissioned to do a piece of work for a customer the business case is their document – us accepting to do the work is more to do with service management than project management.
What interested my most was the alignment and crossover of business analysis and PRINCE2, or rather, the activities of the BA and the PM – seemingly often the same person in smaller organisations or projects. The Business Case again featuring highly for both roles. For interest I looked around for articles/papers that discuss PRINCE2 and the BA:
http://www.somos.com/resources/know/articles/11112101 (BA and PRINCE2)
And for completeness
http://eprince2.com/articles/prince2-is-agile/2011/03/17/ (PRINCE2 and Agile)
Last week I was asked to gather some metrics about the development process – some numbers around timings, effort assessments, time to deploy, how many code review failures, how many test failures and so on. Ok says I and start extracting data from Team Foundation Server. The problem is, well, which numbers? So this is the challenge is determining (a) what are the numbers that tell us the about the development process and (b) are we able to extract this data from what we have?
The key point is being sure to generate metrics and KPIs on what is relevant to the critical success factors (CSFs) and not just pull out numbers based on what you can see on the spreadsheet of extracted data.
Data -> Information -> knowledge -> wisdom
So now I’m going through the books to get some guidance (Metrics for Service Management published by Van Haren is very good for this) and will make the questions first and then look for the answers.Read More