Tuesday, 10 August 2010 01:00

The BA and the PM

Written by

(With thanks to Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter").

The vision shined upon the project,
Shone with all its might:
It did its very best to make
The plan seem smooth and bright--
And this was odd, since projects grow
From hidden dark of night.

The BA waited sulkily,
Because she thought vision
Had no real meat to back it up
Yet budgets were all done--
"It's very rude of it," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The team was set as set could be,
The keystrokes start to fly.
You could not see a coder 'cause
They busied on UIs:
No time to architect things right
Only time to fly.

The BA and the PM
Were walking close at hand;
The BA wept o'er missed requirements
Such projects were in Stand-
-ish and Gartner and Chaos
Such projects would crash land!

"If seven JADs, each with models
Analyzed half a year.
Do you suppose," the BA said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the PM,
"The deadline is too near"

"Oh Stakeholders, come walk with us!"
The PM did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the UI veil:
We cannot do what vision wants,
With luck you cannot tell."

"The time has come," the BA said,
"To talk of many things:
Of business rules and process too
Of re-en-gi-neer-ing
And why root causes were left out
And whether screens DO things."

"But wait a bit," Stakeholders cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For most of us are scared of change,
Don't make us talk of that!"
"No hurry!" said the PM.
He smelled a sly way out.

"A Use Case now," the BA said,
Is what we chiefly need:
Its what it does, not how it looks
That gives our project speed
Now if you're ready, Stakeholders,
We can work out the true needs."

"But not from us!" Stakeholders cried,
Turning a little blue.
"Asking us to think so hard
About the things we do!"
"The project's fine," the PM said.
"Don't let BA bug you."

"It seems a shame," the BA said,
"To play them such a trick,
The vision could be made to work
If we just work on it!"
The PM said nothing but
"You think the screens are slick?"

"I weep for you," the BA said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears she analyzed
Important gaps of largest size,
Wrote them down, turned them in
And then kissed them goodbye.

"Oh Stakeholders," said the PM,
"You've had a pleasant run!
You told us what to build on screen
We kept you happy, weren't it fun?"
"Couldn't care less!", as they confessed
The system pleased no one.

© Copyright 2010 Marcos Ferrer

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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