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The Creative and Innovative Business Analyst

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Ian has over 15 years worth of experience in the business analysis field with many large Blue Chip Companies, including Fujitsu, IBM, The AA and British Steel. However, he is currently a Principal Business Architect within Serco's public and private sector, involved in both bid and transitional work in the services industry.

Using thought provoking material, this presentation will examine how “unleashing the potential of the mind” can bring about new ideas which can be applied in the world of analysis. Using examples, quotations and different perspectives, this presentation promises to leave the audience reflecting on their own creative legacy to date.

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Transcript of "The Creative and Innovative Business Analyst"

  1. 1. The Creative and Innovative Analyst 18th September, 2013 Ian Richards Principal Business Architect Serco Global Technology Delivery
  2. 2. BA / UX Traditionally, BAs are thought to have more of a business focus and UX practitioners are thought to have more of a user focus. However, in practice, neither can work in a silo and BA and UX skill sets overlap more than they diverge. Business analysis and user experience practioners both employ analysis and design thinking to bridge the gaps between business needs, user needs, and technology.
  3. 3. CONTENTS ●Where can Analysts “unleash the potential of the mind”, express their creative side and have the opportunity to innovate? ●Does the current trend towards methodologies, templates, frameworks and reference architecture catalogues stifle creativity for Analysts? ●Is creativity and innovation KEY as a method for Analysts to demonstrate value to their clients? ●Does it cease to be creative to re-use?
  4. 4. ● Creativity is the generation of ideas while Innovation consists of transforming these ideas into action through a selection and an implementation “Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.” Einstein CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION
  5. 5. ●Our brains are built for creative problem solving, and it is easy to both uncover and enhance our natural inventiveness. Technology is the intersection of Science and engineering with liberal arts & humanities: Steve Jobs CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION ●Our highly evolved brains are always assessing our ever-changing environment, mixing and matching our responses to fit each situation
  6. 6. CREATIVE PEOPLE
  7. 7. NOT SO CREATIVE PEOPLE? Harry M. Warner, Warner Bros Pictures, 1927 "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" Charles H. Duell, Director of US Patent Office 1899 "Everything that can be invented has been invented."
  8. 8. NOT SO CREATIVE PEOPLE? “you can’t win anything with kids” MOTD 1995
  9. 9. IS INTELLIGENCE A PREREQUISITE OF CREATIVITY? ●Ability to go wrong ●Children are creative because they are inquisitive. ●A child thinks innovatively ●Praise and encouragement Adults seem to focus more on risk and benefit
  10. 10. CAN CREATIVITY BE LEARNED ? ●Talent ●Tools & Techniques ●Training Many people think that creativity is a mysterious trait like charisma — you either have it or you don't
  11. 11. SO WHAT IS STIFLING OUR CREATIVITY ? ●Are we as adults afraid to be creative because of senior management and colleagues? ●Do we tend to go with the tried, tested and trusted? ●The current trend is for the client to get us to take on the risk ●The competitive environment in which we work in isn’t somewhere that encourages us to take risks
  12. 12. IS THE TREND TOWARDS STANDARDISATION SUFFOCATING OUR CREATIVITY? In an effort to standardise our work, have we lost focus of the importance of Creativity and Innovation? Do I really have to use this tool? Do I need to produce a document in this template? Do I need to use this methodology, or follow this framework? Do I need to work in accordance to this governance? Do I have to re-use from the reference catalogue or contribute to it?
  13. 13. SO LETS LOOK AT OUR NEW WAY OF PAYING FOR GROCERIES..... ●Will it mean that anyone can ●Follow a set of guidelines ●Complete a checklist ●Apply some metrics ●Complete a template ●Assemble them into a proposal? ●Why not?
  14. 14. BOUNDARIES OF CREATIVITY WITH OTHER PROFESSIONS - THE BEAUTIFUL GAME
  15. 15. BOUNDARIES OF CREATIVITY WITH OTHER PROFESSIONS - THE BEAUTIFUL GAME
  16. 16. ONE OF THE MOST CREATIVE ARTS March Jazz Harmony
  17. 17. MY JOURNEY HERE TODAY....
  18. 18. DOES THE CURRENT TREND TOWARDS METHODOLOGIES, TEMPLATES, REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE STIFLE CREATIVITY FOR BAS?
  19. 19. DOES THE CURRENT TREND TOWARDS METHODOLOGIES, TEMPLATES, REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE STIFLE CREATIVITY FOR ANALYSTS? ● Scenic Route, Direct Route, Avoid Motorways ● How many stops? ● Places of Interest? ● Clean the car? ● Get the car serviced or not? Creativity
  20. 20. ● There’s is a lot of opportunity left within the boundaries to be creative if the culture is creative. These tools ensure that DOES THE CURRENT TREND TOWARDS METHODOLOGIES, TEMPLATES, REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE STIFLE CREATIVITY FOR ANALYSTS? ● We need to get the right balance between creativity, uniformity and standardisation within the culture of your workplace? No they shouldn’t ● Personal preference is removed ● Ensures standard output ● Nothing is missed ● Everyone is engaged ● Ground rules are followed for comparison with other sites ● Provide our clients with fact based evidence around benefits and usage
  21. 21. SO WHAT IS OUR 4-4-2 THEN? ●What is the shape of our football team or our orchestra? ●How do we get people buying tickets to come to our concert? ●The reviews say that our tickets are overpriced, the concert goes on forever and that it is hard on the ears ●How are we going to score goals instead of conceding own goals?
  22. 22. REFERENCE MATERIAL
  23. 23. SO WHAT DOES THE BABOK SAY ABOUT CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION? Purpose Business analysts must be effective in generating new ideas for approaches to problem solving and in generating alternative solutions. Definition Creative thinking involves generating new ideas and concepts, as well as finding new associations between or new applications of existing ideas and concepts. These concepts should be innovative and appropriate to the situation. In addition to identifying and proposing alternatives, the business analyst should be effective in promoting creative thinking in others by asking questions and challenging assumptions. Effectiveness Measures Measures of successful creative thinking include: The successful generation and productive consideration of new ideas. Application of new ideas to resolve existing problems. Willingness of stakeholders to accept new approaches.
  24. 24. WORKING RELATIONSHIPS DesignAnalyst ------ ●All teams sometimes look for the most creative and innovative way to form the solution within their disciplines Client ------
  25. 25. SO WHERE ARE OUR OPPORTUNITIES TO BE CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE? Analyst ●Issues & Problems ●Stakeholders ●Product Design
  26. 26. CREATIVITY WITH ISSUES AND PROBLEMS ●We are in the business of solving issues, and without issues and problems to solve, is there any need for Analysts? ●Don’t we have a toolbox full of ideas on how we identify the problem and break it down into smaller problems? Instead of seeing an issue or a problem, couldn’t we create a culture where we see it as an opportunity to create solutions and innovate?
  27. 27. CREATIVITY WITH STAKEHOLDERS ●How we deal with the emotional interpretation by our clients ●Inspiration, energy, enthusiasm, drive, professionalism, creativity and innovation... ●Be creative in ways to get the best out of everyone you work with from every discipline in every situation AnalystClient ------
  28. 28. CREATIVITY WITH PRODUCT DESIGN DesignAnalyst ------
  29. 29. HOW INVOLVED DO WE GET IN DESIGN?
  30. 30. CREATIVE WITH PRODUCT DESIGN ● Analysts tend to have the relationship with the client Product Design ● We share the stakeholder’s vision (expectation of the end product, screens, look and feel, and solution) ● Analysts tend to deliver the solution to the client
  31. 31. WORKING RELATIONSHIPS DesignAnalyst ------Client ------ ●All teams should look for the most creative and innovative way to form the solution collaboratively
  32. 32. SO WHEN BUSINESS ANALYSTS BUILD ON THEIR CREATIVE POTENTIAL AND INNOVATE, DOES IT CEASE TO BECOME CREATIVE TO RE-USE? If you shake that pattern about a bit you get something new – otherwise it is the same old pattern and same old result
  33. 33. REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE - CREATIVITY WITH RE-USE ●Creativity is using the same things & seeing the same things as other people but creating something new ●Of course, re-use is a good thing. (it cuts down on re-work, which cuts down on time and effort) It’s not only you who is looking at this reference architecture, and people have different perspectives
  34. 34. THE BEST EXAMPLE OF RE-USE? 118 elements, building blocks of a whole world
  35. 35. ●What is wrong with simply following due process to produce what the customer is asking for? ●Surely discipline done well is the difference between a successful and a struggling project? So why do we as Analysts need to be creative?
  36. 36. Is creativity and innovation key as a method for Analysts to demonstrate value to their clients? ●“Your idea of doing it like that was genius !!” It is more likely that if you find a creative and innovative way to work it will save on time and effort
  37. 37. “That is what you asked for, so that is what you've got?” Where is the added value in that? Is this “unleashing the potential of the mind”? WHAT DO WE GET ALL TOO OFTEN? Clients pay inflated costs for skilled analysis, but some simply ask the client what they want and write it down Isn’t the bad perception of IT is as a result of an army of diligent and dedicated IT professionals doing precisely what they were asked to do?
  38. 38. Is creativity and innovation key as a method for Analysts to demonstrate value to their clients? ● Lets keep our profession in demand One thing is for sure, without the drive to come up with breakthrough ideas and the confidence that a creative and innovative solution exists, it is unlikely that one will be found ● Lets be regarded as those clever analysts who will come and solve this problem ● There are rules and guidelines in every profession and in every walk of life ● We need to promote a culture of creativity and innovation within ourselves and within our organisations
  39. 39. SUMMARY ●Where can Analysts “unleash the potential of the mind”, express their creative side and have the opportunity to innovate? ●Does the current trend towards methodologies, templates, frameworks and reference architecture catalogues stifle creativity for Analysts? ●Is creativity and innovation KEY as a method for Analysts to demonstrate value to their clients? ●Does it cease to be creative to re-use?
  40. 40. SO WHAT NOW? Not only with the products that you have contributed to but with the culture you have developed within your teams Some of you will identify a need for a slight amendment in attitude, approach Some of you have the right attitude and just don't know how to apply it Take a moment to reflect on the legacy of creativity and innovation that you have left in your wake personally
  41. 41. QUESTIONS?
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