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During a business analysis transformation project at a large organization, I had a quality assurance management executive ask me what the BOK says about QA.  Surprisingly little, and in my opinion, rightly so.  The quality movement succeeded in Japan, and mostly failed in the U.S., because in the U.S. QA was given out as if it was a separate job.

BA IS QUALITY, and I quote Edward Deming and his followers to make the point. 

“You can’t inspect quality into a product – the quality is already there.”  In other words, you must examine how you do things, not what you have done.

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”  Indeed, they don’t.

“It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.”  If only – so many projects work so hard so everyone can feel good about their contribution, as if every contribution was the “best”.

“We should work on our process, not the outcome of our processes.”  Can you spell BPR?

“Quality is everyone’s responsibility.”  Goodbye, ineffective QA Managers?

“If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.”  This is why elicitation of requirements is such a key “art” for BAs – how do you explain what else to ask?  Experience!

“Does experience help? NO! Not if we are doing the wrong things.”  BA is committed to doing the right thing – no wonder it struggles for status in the U.S.

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”  As demonstrated by the last two large IRS IT projects (look ’em up!).

And my contribution:  “If there is no significant change in the business, there is no significant requirement to analyze.”

More shall be revealed. Keep the feedback coming to [email protected].

Have fun!

© 2009 Marcos Ferrer