Most people use the words “Product” and “Solution” interchangeably because the distinction doesn’t seem very important.
It might seem like a subtle difference to most people, but Business Analysts have to understand the difference because it has a material effect on the way we do our work.
Process + Product = Solution
When you’re helping your company design a solution, you have to make sure that the business side of things is as clear as the system side. That’s why we say that a complete solution must include the designing out of business processes/procedures along with the system features.
Simply stated, a solution is a combination of business processes and system features.
Don’t Let The Tail Wag The Dog
This is a big mistake that many IT departments make. They ignore the business side and focus strictly on the tech, hoping that the business will somehow re-align itself to the product they’ve built.
Trying to isolate the system from the way the business needs to function is a surefire way to end up with a system that doesn’t do what the business needs. You’re chance of experiencing this is a lot higher if you’re a BA who reports into the IT department. Especially when the IT department you’re working for has a shaky relationship with the business side.
IT departments that are low on business acumen usually run a much higher risk of delivering solutions that miss their targets.
Your goal as a BA should always be to deliver a complete solution, not just a product.
This can make your job much tougher because you now have to negotiate with your own managers on behalf of your business stakeholders.
It’s a fight worth fighting because it will help you arrive at the right answer in the end.
- You should focus on delivering complete solutions instead of just a product or system.
- Doing so might make your job harder, but it will make you a much better BA.
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