Collaboration Techniques

Lateral Leadership: Tips for Leading Colleagues Even If They Don’t Report to You

Lateral Leadership: Tips for Leading Colleagues Even If They Don’t Report to You

You can cultivate leadership skills even if you don’t have any employees under you. Here’s how to be a natural leader and motivate your co-workYou can cultivate leadership skills even if you don’t have any employees under you. Here’s how to be a natural leader and motivate your co-workers laterally.ers laterally.

Spinach and Wisdom

Spinach and Wisdom

Spinach was never my favorite vegetable growing up. That green soggy and slimy mess on my plate just wasn’t something I was interested in eating.  “You know there are starving children all over the world. You are not leaving that table until you finish eating your spinach.”  Our response was “Get me their address.  I will mail it to them.”  That was not an argument that would win over Mom.

Collaborating Large and Small – Sharing Knowledge Far and Wide

Collaborating Large and Small – Sharing Knowledge Far and Wide

Being a good collaborator means sharing the knowledge you have gained, lesson learned and how you overcame roadblocks.  Sharing our knowledge gives our colleagues a leg up so they can learn from our success and failures.  How can you be a better at sharing your ideas to get buy-in and agreement?  Sharing is caring!

Fail Fast - Fail Safe

Fail Fast - Fail Safe

In business we are told from the very first day on the job that failure is bad.  Avoiding failure is more important than succeeding and we go to great lengths to avoid it.  We put ourselves into a make believe world where no mistakes can be made and we over work ourselves to the point of exhaustion all in the name of 'not failing'.  Deluded in the belief that failure isn’t an option, we are at a loss on how to handle failure.  How can we fail but still succeed?

Measure What Matters: Sensible Measurements and Metrics

Measure What Matters: Sensible Measurements and Metrics

We love to measure things.  How many steps we take in a day, how many emails we have in our inbox, how many miles to work, how long it took to commute and the weather. But do those measurements have meaning?  Are they adding value?  Let chat about metrics and business analysis.

Transparent Collaboration: Becoming a Learning Team

Transparent Collaboration:  Becoming a Learning Team

We get busy.  So many details are flying around that cubicle.  Knowledge and information gets gathered up into emails and files on hard disks.  The amount of information that we human beings produce on a daily basis is staggering.  So how can we collaborate and share information within our teams and with our stakeholders more effectively?

Being a Minimalist - Minimal Viable People

Being a Minimalist - Minimal Viable People

As business analysts we face the question when setting up a meeting for discussion or decisions: “Who really needs to be here?  Who has the power to make the decision?”.  Good communication and effective meetings require those questions to be asked but that invitee list could wind up being hundreds of people in a large organization.  If you are looking for a specific decision to be made on a specific issue or capability, then getting the meeting down to a small core team is important in order to ensure the decision is being made quickly.  This is where Minimally Viable People comes into the picture.  Minimally Viable People is the concept that a small group performs better by making decisions with higher quality while being representative of the larger group.

Maximize the Minimal – Minimally Viable Deliverables

Maximize the Minimal – Minimally Viable Deliverables

Being required to produce documents that create massive information bloat and don’t add value is frustrating as it slow projects down and creates additional project cost that isn’t needed.  It’s a headache for Project Manager, Business Analyst and everyone on the team.  What information or deliverables do we really need for the project but that won’t bury us in information overload.

You Can’t Fake It – Be Authentic

You Can’t Fake It – Be Authentic

We all get that impression or vibe sometimes that just nags at us and says “is this person real?”  You can’t always put your finger on the exact reason you feel that way but it causes you to not trust that person.  Authentic should be just as important for works of art or salsa as it is for people.  People need to be authentic to themselves.  It's time to get authentic with yourself.

Virtually Better

Virtually Better

Virtual online meetings and training have certainly gotten a bad reputation over the last few years.  It was like you were listening to a radio station that wasn’t quite tuned in.  You just couldn’t quite hear and see everything that was going on.  You were being talked at but didn’t get to talk back or ask questions.  The writing on the presentation was in tiny print and unreadable.  There is a BETTER way.

Remove the Competition

Remove the Competition

We hear those words constantly: We need to be more competitive.  Competition is good and competition is bad.  When it’s your company’s product against another companies’ product it’s good.  When competition is within the team things go bad and teams become less than productive.  Team Members are so busy trying to sabotage and undermine each other they forget the reason they were all brought together in the first place – to make things happen. 

Is Bias Destroying Our Decisions?

Is Bias Destroying Our Decisions?

Bias is a business analyst’s and organization’s worst nightmare.  It leads to a decrease in product quality and creates a bad environment in which to make decisions and leads the project team to see the entire world through rose colored glasses.  Bias can cause a chain reaction of bad decisions and miscommunications causing all sorts of problems on your project.  Bias also creates a world in which change and innovation becomes nearly impossible.

We Learn Best By Doing

We Learn Best By Doing

Remember when you first learned to bake cookies?  How about when your dad showed you how to use a hand saw?  I’m confident you didn’t learn those lessons by reading a book or having you sit in a classroom.  You learned them – and always remembered them – because you got to see how to do it in the real world.  You got to apply what you learned right way. 

Being a Life Saver - Onboarding New Project Team Members

Being a Life Saver - Onboarding New Project Team Members

In general, when the new shiny project appears - we forget to on board ourselves with other roles such as the project manager and other team members.  We assume we all know what our roles are and what we are going to deliver but most of time we aren’t quite singing the same song.  That's why when someone new joins the team that on boarding is so important to the project.  The best time to set expectations of activities that are to be performed by each team member is best.

Strategy: Define Roles and Responsibilities

Strategy: Define Roles and Responsibilities

Congratulations lucky Business Analyst a career opportunity of a lifetime has just been assigned to you!  Ah the smell of a used car salesmen that is coming off your manager is so refreshing in the morning.  Whether you are being “volun-told” or volunteer, understanding roles and responsibilities for any project help avoid conflict.