Monday, December 31, 2012

Johnny Business Analyst

This football season has been an full of surprises for those following the Texas A & M Aggies. With the move to the SEC, and a new football coach, expectations for a winning season were a bit tempered. But, as few predicted, the Aggies have prevailed to completing a regular season with a 10-2 record.

What contributed to allowing the Texas A & M players, and specifically Johnny Football to thrive and quickly come together as a winning team?

As the Austin-American Statesman noted in an article on November 16th - "A & M offense is very informal, but highly efficient" - simplicity is key and there is minimal playbook documentation. Johnny Football was able to use his abilities to execute and avoid the overhead involved in managing complexity.

There is more than just the playbook and the on-field performance. The best programs today in college football have moved into managing even the little details - "the process". Fortune Magazine put together a great article, Leadership Lessons from Nick Saban, on how Nick Saban, Alabama Head Football Coach, has learned through years of coaching football, that the focus of building a great team has to be on the "the process", and then winning is an outcome of the daily pursuit on executing on all the details.

As a business analyst, when you enjoy watching the remaining college bowl games for 2012 season, think about how excellence on the football field can support your own understanding of pursuing excellence as a business analyst - 1) Simplicity of Requirements 2) Avoid the overhead of complexity with minimal documentation 3) continue to use the BA process as outlined in the BABOK Knowledge areas in your daily BA activities.

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