Author: Alan Gibson

What Gardening can Teach us About Process Analysis

In August this year I was informed by my better half (sponsor/programme manager/project manager) that we were going to re-do part of our garden.

It wasn’t a big job, compared to the overall garden, however a border of around 15 feet long and 4 feet wide was to have the bushes and plants removed, stone and membrane lifted, sieve out the rubble from the existing soil and replace with fresh compost.

To finish this off we would fill the space with colourful flowers, which we would maintain on a regular basis (TOM)

Having worked in change for over 12 years, the planning kicked in straight away, which jobs would be done in which order, when were the best days to tackle the jobs etc etc. This was met with initial resistance from the Sponsor, however through careful stakeholder management an approach was agreed, which met our shared vision.

As we progressed, I couldn’t help make the comparisons with uncovering and analysing processes which form such a large part of the Business Analysis role.

It wasn’t until we started lifting the existing membrane that we started to understand the size of task that we had set ourselves. Our initial analysis had underestimated the resource (time) required, and as I was dealing with a very difficult stakeholder, I knew a re-plan was not on the cards. The only option was to proceed at risk.

Let’s consider the existing bush/plant roots as historic processes which underpin the product, the bush or plant. The newer plants/bushes had shorter roots, not as tangled with other roots (inter-dependencies), they had been planted in a logical fashion with more soil preparation. As such these roots were easier to find and remove.


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