Saakshi Nagpal

Archive for the tag “Decision making”

Titanic : 3 lessons for a Business Analyst

Some make it big.

Some make it legendary.

Some make it an epic failure.

Titanic , the tragic ship becomes the inspiration of many books, movies , remake In 3Ds. Titanic (the movie) was the first english movie I saw chupke-chupke on cable TV, its charm has totally mesmerized me. The sinking scenes made me cry. Being a kid (I would be in 6th standard) I learned how to act at the time of crisis, how to keep updating our decisions sensing the need of the hour and how to keep your cool. (Of course , how to stand on the deck of ship *wink *wink )

I managed to watch Titanic 3D three times since it’s release and thought the learning can be extended to any domain.

Here are the 3 learning’s as a Business Analyst (BA) from Titanic.

1.    Oh yeah , I know it all 🙂  

The mighty and glorious Titanic was believed to be ‘unsinkable’. For that reason, it did not carry the required number of lifeboats. This was one of the biggest causes of loss of life on the ship. The belief that the ship was unsinkable ultimately led to disaster.

Lesson for BA : Your experience and knowledge (read as assumptions) are so powerful that they directly affect how you think, learn and work. When you believe something to be correct, you act in accordance with that knowledge (assumption). Ours is a world where people don’t know what they want and are willing to make us go through hell to get it. Identify, challenge, figure out loop holes and move beyond any assumptions that could ultimately spell disaster for you.

2.      Overconfidence is Catastrophic

Overestimating the capability of the Titanic led the captain to make several perilous decisions. One such decision was to abandon the safety drill of lifeboat practice in lieu of a recording a faster sailing time to New York. Another such decision was to increase the speed of the ship, even though a neighboring ship had turned off their engines believing that the waters were treacherous.

Lesson for BA : Invest good amount of brain and time on effort estimation. Follow work break down structure and project plan religiously. Make the team be on same page and try to maintain a journal titled – lessons learned. Keep reviewing the status and the problems faced. No project can succeed without management support. The best sort of management support is the kind in which management doesn’t find out about the project until it’s a success.

3.    Address Limitations

The creators of the Titanic feared nothing. They had built a ship that could overcome the major weaknesses in ship design that caused so many ships to sink in the past. But the ‘mathematical certainty’ did happen 😦

Lesson for BABeing able to design workarounds we can do magic !! We can push our limits and deliver a better, more flexible, robust software product and please the customer, but still there is always a scope of ‘out of scope’ features pouring in. Be specific and clear about these, and address them well in time. Save your well toned neck 🙂  No matter how much you say it to be a demand problem, it’s a technical limitation, accept it. There is always a room for beta version or next phase of release

 

Source : This article is highly influenced by the original one at http://www.greatmindsinspire.com/5_Life_Long_Lessons_that_we_can_Learn_from_the_Titanic/Default.850.html

Hope you all agree with me. Have some more learning / suggestions, please drop in 🙂

Saakshi

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Something gone wrong !

Hi folks,

How are you?

I hope you must be in the best of spirits of your health and also on the road that leads to LIFE.

You must be wondering about the title of this weblog. Chill. Relax. Nothing has gone wrong (presently) in my life. It was just a thought across my mind while attending a team meeting today. (Boss, I am sorry nothing sort of this was on agenda and definitely I was attentive,it is just a random thought.)

Earlier I imagined what life would be, if it is well documented. That weblog was all about planning. Here, I am talking about execution of the planning discussed previously and the fate of decisions that were taken.

I am a Business Analyst and belong to IT sector; I tend to see LIFE as a long term engagement project. For me success of project LIFE depends upon the decisions made while it is on planning and development phase.

Before I go further into Root cause Analysis of why something goes wrong, I have few questions for you.

Q1 :How do you make decisions?

a) Are you influenced by peers?

b) According to your experience?

c) Blindly follow your gut?

OR

d) As per your comfort level?

It depends from person to person  and sheer luck, following  any one of the above can either rocket you on cloud 9 or corner you with a bottle of wine and a jaw dropped expression saying ‘something has gone wrong.’

Q2 : How sure are you with your decision ? Do you regret?

When I was a kid I was always running away from water (you guessed right 🙂 , I somehow managed to skip bathing every second day) my father  used to pick me up on his shoulders and without warning threw me in a big bucket. I was shocked at first but then laughed out at the trick he’d played.

He taught me a lesson, ‘whenever you want to achievesomething, plunge straight in.’

Traveling through all those growing years, I had quickly (yes, I regret 😦  ) forgotten this lesson . I am only …oh, how old I am!! Hmmm…. were you expecting that I will disclose my age…leave it. I had already nurtured many enthusiasms (starting something on my own , enrolling to MBA classes , going for walks every day , learning dance , studying Spanish and French ,blabla , blue  blue ) which I had abandoned as quickly as I had taken them up.

I am not afraid of difficulties rather I always stand upfront to face challenges. I was scaredof forcing myself to choose one particular path and missing out on others. I am afraid of committing to myself. I always wanted to follow all possible paths and so ended up following none.

Every project by default has a fate – failure, unless and until you firmly decide to be on one path and drag it to success. There are no optimal solutions pre-written or tree structures made to crack the mystery of success.  Similarly, Life is complicated. One has to follow certain paths and abandon others at times, only to prove that they were not the right ones, but it wasn’t as bad as choosing a path and then spending the rest of life wondering something had gone wrong.

Probably , it is the law of life (I m pretty young to say ‘fact of life’) that not everyone could escape the dark night even if someone has never made a decision , even if someone lacks courage to change anything because in itself it was a decision!! (Proud to be an Analyst)

Well, my dad also says, ‘the time when it goes wrong it’s actually teaching you something.’

Are you still worrying that something has gone wrong?

Cheat sheet for you:

Nothing in the world is completely wrong, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

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