Monday, January 16, 2017

Artful Champions

There's an old saying, "every social war is a battle between the very few on both sides who care and who fire their shots across a crowd of spectators." Analysis is very much like that. You have perhaps two or three managers who have different opinions about what your objectives should be, and a couple large groups of customers who care in the collective sense, but who individually just view your project with the valid skepticism of the small part it plays in their lives.

To really nail down the ethos, and for a large project to succeed, you need to have (or manufacture) a champion for each of the user, customer, and business interest groups. These champions needs to sincerely stand up for the benefits and beliefs of their group, and be gregarious enough to express them.

As you cycle through the balance points you then build up goodwill amongst the champions, and this enables you to negotiate concordance on the more difficult decisions.

This can be an especially hard sell: first, when a champion is less than sincere in standing up for their group. Secondly, when a champion changes employment, through their own choice or otherwise. And thirdly, when you can't get sufficient permanent heavy artillery support from a senior manager to resolve those instances where negotiations fail.

A solid 25% of full-metal Analysis involves the psychic steps to avoid these three pitfalls.