Evozon has recently challenged us to explain what we do, or a topic we are passionate about in a way that a 5 year old would understand, so I asked myself:

How do you explain business analysis to a 5 year old?

I first turned to Google, who had a couple of interesting suggestions: that a BA is like a phone charger, or this way too complex one. Then, a suggestion that a business analyst is like a person that asks you what toy you want for your birthday sparked my interest.

With Christmas approaching, I realized that business analysis is a lot like when parents help young children write to Santa Claus for Christmas.

That being said, here is how I would explain the (overly simplified) business analysis process to a 5 year old:

Christmas is getting near. You’ve been a good child and you’d like many things from Santa. But you know Santa can only bring you one gift this year.

In order to help, your parents will ask you questions to identify what you need the Christmas present to do or be like. We call this, understanding the business problem. The result of this process is what we call the requirements.

Your parents will also help you identify which of the characteristics of the present are most important to you. We call this prioritizing the requirements.

In some cases, your parents might do some searching to see if a present that meets your needs is already sold in stores. If they find one, they will write to Santa that you want that specific present from a store. This is called using a commercial off the shelf (COTS) solution .

If a present that matches your needs doesn’t exist in stores, your parents will compose the letter to Santa detailing what you need and read the letter out loud to you before sending it to Santa to make sure you agree that’s what you want. We call this documenting and validating the requirements.

Once you agree that the letter describes what you need, your parents will send the letter to Santa and work with his elves to build the present that meets your demands.

Your parents will keep in touch with you and Santa’s elves regularly to make sure that the present being built is indeed the best that it can be and make sure that you get it in time for Christmas. We call this process, delivering the solution.

In the same way the business analysts will help businesses identify their business needs, help them prioritize these needs and work with a team of specialists to deliver the solution that best matches the needs of the business.

How would you explain business analysis to a 5 year old?

PS: In researching the article I came to realize that sometimes kids are the best business analysts

Article written by: Sergiu Pocan

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