A Business Analyst's guide to survival in the Middle East


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Based on my experience of having worked in Dubai in 2009-10. A funny take on the work culture and the people I met while working as a individual consultant.

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A Business Analyst's guide to survival in the Middle East

  1. 1. Business Analyst’S Survival Guide to the Middle EastBased on my experience of having worked in Dubai from2008-09 as individual consultant.My fun take on some of the nuances of work culture and mindset of peopleworking there. From the nearly extinct….*^%$ Panda
  2. 2. Golden Rule 1: Camouflage and in this case “suit up” Barney Stinson of HIMYM has the copyrights. Looks are deceptive but out here it counts. The only way you can get the Business Users to take you seriously.
  3. 3. Yea..Yea..I know U are Young..Ruthless..Innovative..blah..blah.. But take my words..It’s not the Jungle you know.. Don’t be in a hurry to show off your true colors.
  4. 4. Being Pays..The only place on earth where saying “How do I know” is second skin. Sohere is the secret to survival.. Every time you hear this..Breathe In and Out..slowly..count 10 and then open your mouth..
  5. 5. Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponents fate. - Sun Tzu Golden Rule 2: Sensei Sun Tzu said it all..Practice Practice Practice.. Till you perfect this look… So Mr. BA par excellence..dont forget the Puss in the boots in you..
  6. 6. Golden Rule 3: BA Gyaan passed on from last of celestial beings..**Some say it’s copied right out of the BAVedas and others say it was carved on broken part of the nose of the Sphinx..Once lost but revealed again…
  7. 7. You would wish you had this poster on your forehead while meeting your stakeholdersAll forms of Amnesia is rampant out here…especially selective amnesia.. The only weapon you have is your only trusted friend MOM.. Golden Rule 4: Shoot off MOMs immediately and get agreement
  8. 8. Out here..Projects…Life…Planets…they all love the circular pathsGolden Rule 5: The are no straight lines in nature or life..or PROJECTSDon’t be disheartened when you have to revisit all that you have done and start over again
  9. 9. Copyrights with Leo and Mozart http://www.artbusiness.com/signart.html What’s a piece of art without a signature !!! Golden Rule 6: Every document you create here is a piece of art.. Print..Bind..and get it signed.Each time you go to someone and ask him to sign it, it will sound like “Will you please put your neck in the noose for me ??” but just ignore those sounds..devil loves to play with a BAs brain
  10. 10. The Ricky Gervais Way… Always leave the office late, especially when the boss is still around. You could read magazines and storybooks that you always wanted to read but have no time until late before leaving. Make sure you walk past the boss room on your way out. Send important emails at unearthly hours and during public holidays Copyrights with Ricky http://tombammann.org/office-skillsGolden Rule 7: The Show-Man rule. The spot-lights never go off from you
  11. 11. A wise Client out here once asked, “Mr. BA, which is the only correct way of decision making?” o Consensus o Majority Rule o Minority Rule o Averaging o Expert o Authority Rule without discussion o Authority Rule with discussionGolden Rule 9: Always remember. This jungle believes in the Wisdom of the crowds.
  12. 12. But always keep this picture in your mind..no matter what you hear from any one..
  13. 13. Frustratingly Annoying Questions??• Who is going to drive it??Beware… territories are clearly maked. You risk the wrath of other BAs if you overdeliver• Is this the approved template??Even if they do not make sense, follow it• Is this approved??Once approved, the document becomes sacrosanct• Does X approve of it??It’s a political powerkeg. Personalities run the show. So tread carefully and avoid sparks..Frame your answers for these questions..you will face these too often
  14. 14. And finallyThe BA Anthem..
  15. 15. If you can VisualizeRequirements when all aboutyou,Are simply vague and looking upto you,If you can dig out MOMs whenall men doubt you,But make allowance for theirdoubting too;……………And yet dont look too good,nor talk too wise:If you can innovate - and notmake guidelines your master, If you can talk with End-If you can Analyze - and not Users and keep your vision,make analysis your aim; Or walk with Sponsors -If you can meet with Deadlines nor lose the gory details,and Perfection If neither Off-shores norAnd treat those two imposters Geo’s can hurt you,just the same; If all men count with you,……. but none too much;If you can bear to hear the If you can fill therequirements youve recorded, unforgiving minute
  16. 16. Surviving is not enough.. More on this latter..Hope you had a good time reading this.. Criticisms welcome  Sarbashrestha Panda sarbashrestha@gmail.com