Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Artful Matchmaking

Fanning the spark of an idea for an IT project is always a tricky, precarious task. Somewhat like internal marketing, a Business Analyst is selling a vision. More than this however the analyst mentally surveys the capabilities and availabilities of everyone he knows and attempts to match this to a vision that he can impute to the desires of management. So it feels very much like matchmaking, except in the business-to-project realm.

To the managers you are selling an investment. Your job is to convince them that they will get an honorable and lucrative return on their investment in equipment and manpower. To the software developers you are selling professional advancement, knowledge enrichment, and a reasonable amount of job security.

And similar to romantic matchmaking sometimes you have to use a bit of deception in order to get the parties together despite their different opinions. Many times you will actually have a deeper awareness of the best interests of the managers and programmers than either party will know alone. Hence a bit of artful promising goes a long way. Is this unethical? Not if you're careful to make sure that the ends justify the means.

It's all about some balance and possibilities and getting folks over the hump of their current comfort levels to move them through a low spot to finally arrive at a new, higher comfort.

When an idea is just a concept -- before it is even a glimmer in a manager's eye -- when it is just a spark of "I wonder if it might make sense..." or "maybe we should look at..." the Business Analyst combs the psychic brainwaves of the company's employees and decides what is Possible.