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Tuesday, 19 May 2015 10:31

BA-elzebub’s Glossary Five - The ‘C’s

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My brilliant readers know this piece of fun. Get credit in my next blog by offering more “C”s (and “D’s”) in the comments at bottom.

C: The letter C, as in the acronym CDCTCX. Also used in the acronyms CZSG and CSZG, among others.

C Language: A coding language that does not tolerate ambiguity, just like all the other coding languages (Turing Machine Interfaces). Just like the strength of steel in a skyscraper does not depend on stakeholder preference.

C Level: Description of stakeholders who don’t seem to “C” very much that they don’t want to “C”.

Cache: Another word to not use with business stakeholders. Examples: “You don’t have enough cache to implement that solution” or “We will have to trade cache with the end user systems” or “We can get it done with enough cache.”

Call Center: Primary user interface, when the actual user interface is an afterthought (or designed by “experts” in computer science – see computer science).

Centralization: The solution to overly distributed systems, originally implemented to solve over-centralization.

Change Control: A process to bring the pace of change within the grasp of the businesspersons in charge, regardless of the pace of change outside the organization. See “Wishes and Horses”.

Change Control Bored: Yes, they are.

Coccyx: See CYA.

Code: An illness marked by a stuffed nose – e.g., “I hab a code.”

Computer Science: An extremely advanced topic, understood by all, apparently; at least by all the business people who think they want to tell IT persons what to do (no BA would ever do such a thing – these discussions are negotiations with facts, constraints and additional costs, not political mandates or battles of will)*. You would have better luck with construction Architects, who would simply refuse your business, instead of trying to do what you say, to your ultimate pain and skyscraper collapse. You know who you are, and it hurts your organizations, so stop it and get jobs you are qualified for, like saying “No milkshakes today” and “Have a seat while I measure your foot”.

Consensus: A formal misunderstanding adopted by all for the common good.

Constraint: A choice denied. E.g., “No building above high tide.” Or “No systems that could actually work”. See Kerneled.

COTS: Commercial Off-The-Shelf software, usually found laying around on some golf course, by lucky coincidence (the rep said so) perfect for complex business needs.

Costs: A set of facts typically hidden behind a sales price by vendors desperate to foist them on you.

Cost-Benefit Analysis: An analysis performed to evaluate the value of a particular solution approach as long as it doesn’t offend the ego of the sponsor who found it on a golf course.

Critical-Path: Any path leading to change. Example: “Why are you doing that”? “Because it might work better.” “That’s the wrong way, it’s not how we do it, don’t make me critical-path you”

Crux: The center of an unsolvable problem, or as BAs call it, Wednesday.

Customer: A stakeholder from whom secrets must be kept, for reasons that escape this particular BA, probably because I am not your customer.

CYA: Don’t make me spell it out for you 

Cynicism: A skill that can be useful in analyzing the meaning of certain stakeholder elicitations, if only one could keep up! Example: “As long as we don’t have to implement the website, free Medicare expansion sounds pretty good, let’s finally pass the ACA.”

Enjoy! And give BA-elzebub (not me!) some “D’s” below (Disagreement, Database, Cynicism, Customer, Cost-Benefit, Critical-Path more) should your Cranium Crave Creative Comprehensibility by Chuckling Colleagues 

* “Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” Richard Feynman, re: the Shuttle Discovery investigation.

“There is a lot more reality in computer systems than there are either wishes or horses.” Anonymous, re: almost any enterprise system you can name.

Don't forget to leave your comments below.

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Marcos Ferrer

Marcos Ferrer, CBAP has over 20 years experience in the practice of business analysis and the application of Information Technology for process improvement. Following graduation in 1983 from the University of Chicago, Mr. Ferrer joined IBM in Chicago, where he worked on requirements and systems implementations in diverse industries. His recent projects include working requirements for the Veteran's Administration, introducing BA practices at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and creating bowling industry models for NRG Bowl LLC. In November 2006, Marcos Ferrer is one of the first CBAPs certified by the IIBA. He has served as an elected member of the DC-Metro chapter of the IIBA, most recently as President, and assisted in the writing of the BOK 2.0 test.

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