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What promise are you making?

When the business analyst shows up with their specification (via whichever approach), it always takes the shape of a promise: “If you do X, you will get Y.” That promise is often obscured. It can be accidentally side-barred or unwittingly camouflaged, but all useful business analysis makes a promise.

The promise isn’t the same as a guarantee. It’s more like, “If this works for you, you’re likely to achieve…”

And so we can invite stakeholders on a journey to a better place. Or promise that if they change the pattern, they’ll begin to relieve the tension. Or that the enriched role will offer them new possibility … We’re not talking about objectives here, but these objectives give you an insight into the kind of promise I’m talking about.

“Reduce the number of abandoned baskets,” is a promise about customers.

“More desirable features,” is a promise about quality and growth.

“Respond to enquiries faster,” is a promise about productivity.

“Products that satisfy stakeholder needs,” is a promise about reputation.

“More meaningful contribution,” is a promise about employee satisfaction.

Your promise is directly affiliated with the change you seek to make, and it’s directed to the people you seek to change.