4 years, 10 months ago

The importance of analysis

Link: http://www.etc-architect.com/?p=314

The analysis I am after here is the understanding what is wanted and what is needed and how to express this schism and document it in a way that others can understand.

Usually a lot of people such as architects will constantly ask for the requirements without being clear if they want to know what is needed, what the stakeholders ask for or what the person writing the requirement thinks themselves. In a worst case scenario the requirements are just copy and pasted with a few changes from another project or previous similar requirement. A good example for this when we are searching for a new architect. Usually most people will take down 10 lines in 30 minutes as they cannot be bothered to invest more time. Then HR usually will eliminate most of the input as they cannot reach anyone for comment as they usually cannot understand what you asking about. Finally you spent long hours and days reading resumes that are clearly no good as well as interviewing people that HR believe are qualified. If instead of this you would have spent a day on analysis and another day with HR and 1 hour on telephone conference with the recruiters you would usually save a lot of time as well as getting the person you are after.

Another key aspect in analysis is that you will need to document unresolved conflicts instead of creating a compromise. Usually no one likes a compromise implemented, but a lot of people can live with a solution that is not theirs as long as there are areas where the solution reflects their views. So to many analysts think that it their job to resolve issues instead of analysing and documenting. The same is true of areas where the owners are unsure, as it is important to capture these areas instead of resolving them. Solutions can often be build to reflect this and enable the users to apply different options in this area, so treating something as a variable instead of a constant.

The last thing I often find wrong with analysis is the gap study against best practice. While that gap analysis is needed it is always quite important that it is not done by the same analyst that is doing the main analysis, as he will either do all interviews with the ideal solution in mind and as such deliver a flawed as is analysis or he will use the enterprise knowledge as the the best practise with minimal external input. So usually it is good if at least two independent parties are involved in the analysis.

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