Jimmy thinks

We spend a lot of time doing, and thinking about business analysis. And sometimes we write down what we think! Here’s what we’ve been thinking about lately.

Feedback welcome! Do reach out if you have any feedback or questions. Views are all our own.

Functional dysfunction 🟢🟡🔴⚫️

Not all systems work perfectly and many don’t work well at all. Dysfunction is another axis that can help us understand context.

Part two of the context series, because if context is king … Dysfunction is Queen!

Context is King! 👑

Doing great business analysis is context dependent. So thinking about our environment is kind of a critical starting point, no?

This article digs into context and poses a model for locating where you are right now!

What to do when things are on fire!

Your how-to guide for projects on fire! In this we cover how business analysis can play a key part in putting the fire out, approaches for finding and tackling the big problems, tips for getting everyone on the same page, and tools for staying sane under pressure.

Plus some real talk about when it’s just not worth the effort.

The Alignment Model

This very simple project model helps explain why some problems are harder to solve.

And can help you to identify when to pull a U-turn, even if the signs tell you not to!

There are no spoons

A short esoteric rant about the (BA) universe.

Oh and also the Treachery of Images.

The business analyst primer!

Not sure how to get the best from the business analysts on your team? This primer can help!

There are five things you have to nail. Read the primer to find out more.

BA à la modes!

BA roles all look really different! Each focuses on different stuff and requires us to act in different ways.

But maybe there are patterns in all the “it depends”? And maybe those patterns could help us talk more meaningfully about our role … Introducing BA Modes!

Don't add gasoline to the fire!

Everyone knows that you don’t add gasoline to a fire. But when the fire is metaphorical (like a project that is struggling), it is less clear what will make it worse.

Here are five things to avoid if you’re on a project that is on fire.

Stop, drop, and roll!

You know that feeling of dread when things aren’t going as well as you expected? Same! Been there and done that!

The trick is to admit when you’re on fire. And then, sometimes, things we learn in primary school are useful, even when we’re old!

On the meaning of "required"

Requirements are the thing we do as business analysts—they are really the only constant “output” expected from us.

And yet, I’ve been wondering if we’re focusing on the right things when we do them …

Ten learnings from ten years as an agile business analyst!

The realities of business analysis when you’re on the ground in an agile team feel quite different than the theory you read about. Here are my top ten learnings from boots-on-the-ground business analysis!

Analyse, Connect, Do!

Good outcomes are created by taking a iterative, people-centric approach, to getting the right things done.

Having a map helps!

The Jimmy book club!

If Jimmy ran a book club, this would be the reading list! The books on this list are those that have influenced, inspired, and/or challenged my BA work the most. It’s a varied list, which makes sense because the business analyst role is itself varied.

After all, the easiest way to keep learning is to keep reading

Down the systems thinking rabbit hole!

The performance of any system is more about how the different parts work together, then it is about how one part performs.

If true, to positively effect the system, we need to understand how business analysts impact it.

BA as team infrastructure!

Infrastructure is the things in the background that make things work like plumbing, roading systems, or traffic lights. And infrastructure for teams? Information!

The missing business analysts!

Business analysts are great and do rather a lot of helpful things!

Yet, for some reason BAs are usually relegated to lower-tier positions within organisations and on projects, and I’ve been doing some thinking on why that is…

The un-Jimmy methods!

There are many techniques and tools that can help you to be more BAweome™. Here’re my guide to some of the best resources online—tools and techniques that I use regularly and rate highly, but which don’t make appearances as a Jimmy Methods.

I think of them as the Un-Jimmy Methods!