Key note from David Clarke – Will the Business Change Profession Be up to the Challenge of the 5th Wave of Computing
Most of the times key notes are inspiring, but this one was for reflection. When we ear Gartner and others presenting facts that are going to transform the world iInever believe them, not because I’m skeptic by the nature the work I do, but because they cannot be contrasted. For example, it’s being said that big data is the new information source to companies understand the world. I agree with that, but saying that zillions of data is being produced everyday, to justify IT investment and turn a decision maker into a person without strengths and ability to do new and improved decision making. But what is not justified is that most of that data is useless.
David talked about important things, curiously aligned with the presentation I gave at the BPM conference Europe 2012 and in the post BPM Agenda 2013.
He was telling that managers under their human condition are very bad predicting outcomes. He went to the story when he was working with Compaq computers and they were number 1 in the market, when Dell hit them. At the start the board did not believe that they could something, until they reinvented the business model (selling direct and customized computers), the rest is history … He picked that example to bring some light around of the characteristics of today’s business environment: volatility. Before companies sense new business models, most of them take months to replicate or even don’t have the capacity to do it and are are out of the market or lose a very important piece of the cake.
Them he emphasized the importance of human resource qualification and human soft skills. With the continuous erosion of outsourcing (I understood he was referring to the loss of Jaguar and Land Rover for example) qualified people get out of the country that are necessary to handle the wave of technology disruption, meaning that without proper human resources, the country (he was referring to England but this applies to every other country) will lose ground and growth with impact in people’s life (jobs). Other interesting point of view was about people need to awake up to reality. Recession when over will not bring things back as they were. Companies do need to the adapt. Because when the storm is over it will even get worse (other will take your place).
David presented the shift from the operations driven organization (lets use the real name: process) to the people driven organization. It’s not outside-in and inside-out anymore. It’s a network of flows that some cannot be controlled with the bring your own device attitude and the copy paste to a way of work like we do in our private life. It’s the customer driving organization.
I loved the provocation about forget IT. IT is there to be used, don’t complicate, integrate.
Tamsin Fulton – Design Thinking to Refresh Business Analysis
Tamsim presented how a business analyst can create a common ground about a concept in a single sheet of of paper (rather is walls full of sticky notes). Making things visual and let people do some hands on with the parts of the process (using cards as parts of the process). Remembers some approaches from Professor Edward Tuffle. Her view is as valid as any other BPMN process model that’s is easy to understand. I see Tamsin working also as a curator after a stretching sessions of endless process maps and make change happens to a new understandable vision that get’s buy in from the people. Then if it is necessary to translate the models for a workflow engine, for sure you can do it using other techniques.
Tony Buzan – Mind Maps for Business
I did not attend this session, but I’m a huge fan of mind maps. I leave here a comprehensive review from Penny Pullan (signed by Tony himself):
Some final remarks
Business Analysis as like other management domain cannot be scientifically validated. Thus there are lots of approaches, that can work and help to understand how organizations are structured and how people behave. Some analysis will end up in requirements engineering for software development, but ultimately they must contribute to business change.
There was during the sessions and the during the breaks a lot of discussion about what a Business Analyst should do, to evolve or not to evolve the practice, as also the typical turf wars between Analysts and IT and the way (I registered a lot of complains about this) how they are perceived by customers, semantically speaking what is the difference between an internal consultant and an external analyst.
I’m tempted to say that like in other profession and in life Analysts are what they want to be. The trick is you become a linchpin during your path on earth. Finding new ways to think, to structure. Thus stand up a make a difference. Every day of your life.