Lots of the people who Attend our training workshops ask us the same questions – what would be the best company analysis tools, what software should I use, can we have computers in the training room? But the Truth is, The more complex the software you are using, the greater the chance it will hinder, rather than help, the company analysis procedure.
Over a Decade ago now, A post by Scott Ambler, Software Modeling on Whiteboards, contended that the modeling tool with the greatest installed base in the world was the whiteboard. They are simple to use – no skills or training are required, and you find them in each workplace. Scott is the agile practice leader at IBM and author of many books on agile and UML.
Similarly, Alistair Cockburn put forward in his 2001 book Agile Software Development that face to face is the very best form of communication – especially when enriched with whiteboards, flip charts, paper or index cards. Watch Scott Ambler’s article on Communication on Software Projects that utilizes data from Alistair’s book.
As you move away From this circumstance, perhaps by removing the common medium or by no longer being face-to-face you encounter a drop in communication effectiveness. As the richness of your communication channel cools you shed physical closeness and the conscious and subconscious clues that such proximity supplies. You also lose the advantage of multiple modalities, the ability to communicate through techniques aside from words such as gestures and facial expressions.
OK you could argue, However, the world has moved on, smart phones, tablet computers, cloud computing are a part of our daily life. We now have a massive assortment of modeling and requirements management tools at our disposal.
So why have recent cbap training Business analysis posts trumpeted the advantages of such top edge tools as Etch a Sketch and drawing paper? And most of us know that agile was actually invented by 3M as a way of boosting post-it note earnings!
In the words of Brian Cooney, author of Separating Evaluation from Layout , would Shakespeare have been a much better writer if he had a word processor? If you believe so, grab your favorite word processor and write a sonnet that people will be delighted to estimate 400 years from now.
What is clear from all This is that the best instrument in the world is the one you are born with – your brain. Mastering it and implementing its enormous capabilities to your business Analysis problems is a much greater ROI than learning the most recent software toolset.