Sunday, July 24, 2011

Customer driven Vs Business driven projects

There are many different kinds of projects but most of them can be categorised in either customer driven projects or business driven.
In customer driven projects, the investment is judged based on the benefits derived from customer goals. The centre of the project is customer and utmost care is given to the customer needs. In such projects, the requirements from the business can be modified to align with the user stories. The discussions between the stakeholders is also focussed on what customer wants.
As a Business analyst, I have also seen that many customer driven projects are more focussed on the customer experience and hence the requirements are sometimes derived from the customer designs. This means that the customer design is in the driving seat and also might lead to siginficant scope creep based on customer tests.
On the other hand, the business driven projects are judged (read evaluated) based on the benefits derived from business goals. In such projects, the requirements from the business cannot be modified and the discussion is focussed on what business wants. I have noticed that in such projects, tracking requirements to functional specs, to test cases, to user test scripts is very important from a scope perspective.
Although, there is never black and white. All the projects have both customer and business goals. However, for a successful delivery and also from a senior management communication perspective, it is very important to understand the direction of the project before hand. A concious effort should be dedicated to understand as to which goals (customer or business) has more weightage in order to achieve a successful project delivery.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Empire Avenue - The game

Recently, based on the suggestion of a colleague got into a game. It's the Empire Avenue. It allows people to collect their different social networks and assigns value to it. People who like to see numbers, EA is a treat for them.
It also allows you to have your own stock symbol and allows people to trade in you. Imagine, I can buy you (your stock) and you can buy me. Well, it is actually a very different way of connecting. You buy me only if you are interested in me (as in to connect with me) or you buy me because you know that I like been into social networks and hence my stock price will always increase which means I am a good investment.
Another interesting thing it does is indexes. It has different indexes based on people's interest. You could be on a Finance index or a Designer index. It simply depends on what your interest is and guess what, you have an opportunity to become the CEO of the index. As you perform more and more social network activities, your points increase and you rise from a share holder to an employee to a manager, to Sr. manager, Vice president and then the CFO, president and finally CEO.
When Google+ is challenging Facebook, social networks like EA have a good chance to allow people to connect in innovative ways. I am sure if you are a person with presence in different social networks, EA will be something that you will find fun with.
And if you are on EA, do not forget to buy GVW.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Google+ beyond Introductory stage

If we had to apply the product lifecycle to Google+, then it is passing through its Market Introduction stage, mind you, its' not even public yet. You can only get to it through an invite from others. The same strategy was used for gmail.

It is fair to say that for any social network, the introduction stage, growth stage are within a very short span of time. The real test is to remain the maturity stage. Facebook has been able to do it, where myspace failed badly. Innovation is the key, I would say.

Google is known for its innovation and hence we can expect a solid growth stage. 10 million users in the introductory stage was possible only because it is Google, I am sure in another 2 to 3 years, the social networking market landscape will have completely changed.

One thing that Google can really leverage in developing a strong social network is Android. I am sure that the phones will really help Google to have a strong growth stage and possibly a longer maturity stage.

And, believe me, if Google+ remains a bit longer in the maturity stage, then unless Facebook comes up with something totally different, it have a good chance to enter the saturation and decline stage.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Business Analysis - A new face!!!

If one goes to the website, a whole lot of information is available about Business Analysis but been from the ever growing community of Business Analysts thought will put some points here which I think are important to be a Business Analyst.

I thought about writing this, as today someone asked me about this profession and that is when I started thinking about the skills required.

According to me, Business Analysis is about talking to Business as a representative of Information Technology. Now, the position that a BA get's into is that the Business will never consider them as part of Business and though been a part of IT, BAs are never technical. However, a true Business Analyst is a person who could manipulate both sides in order to bring benefits to the organisation, as a whole. 

BA is the missing link between information technology and business and according to me needs the following skill sets: Ability to talk sense, understand people, to be able to show that he/she understands technology and most of all  a smart communicator.

Keep coming to Generalgyaan to know more about Business Analysis and more...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dependence or Over dependence on Internet

Recently, out of the blue, I raised an interesting question on Linkedin, it was not interesting, untill I got so many answers to it. I was overwhelmed with the response and the responses both. The question was "Are we over dependent on internet?" Everyone is talking about world getting smaller and smaller and it is becoming easier and easier to connect, thanks to internet as a technology.

The answers were quite interesting, people compared internet with utilities like water and sewage, telephone (now we can call this an utility), etc. I got many yes and many no to the question. While people might have realized that they are quite dependent on internet, some agreed, as I do now that we are not OVERLY dependent on internet. There were some stastics provided, which says that 1.3 bn people use internet but hello, this is only 20% of the world population (6.6 bn). Still 80% are not using internet.

So I think the question should had been for the 20% as to whether they are over dependent, I am sure that most would have said they are. People who are in sales and use internet extensively to find leads, do research on companies, would lose jobs, some people who are in recturitment, especially external recruitment who search profiles in social groups and online would be sitting at home as well. There can be many shuch examples.

Another point which was unnecessarily raised by me due to the flow of answers was, what if internet is not there tomorrow? Obviously, such thing would never happen and hence I thought not to ponder on this more.

Well, the conclusion is that people who think that they are over dependent on internet, it is completely a personal choice and immediately one can change habits to ensure that the over dependence is reduced. Someone has said that it takes 21 days to cultivate a habit. And it is completely your decision if you want to be over dependent on a particular technology.

You can always visit the question and its answers on the link below:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just Google it!!!

One of my friends' wife went to a Yahoo both in one of the IT job fairs and met a friend. In front of the entire Yahoo booth, she said "Don't worry about the address, I will GOOGLE IT". You can imagine the reaction there but then was she wrong? I told my friend this story and he added, most probably, even the Yahoo people might be saying the same thing. Google is famous, hello, good morning, this can come only from someone who has come directly from the stone age. Is this dependency on google, just dependency or over dependency. Why is it that one single day is not spent without google? You need someone's address, google it, you need to learn about something interesting, google it, you are searching for a new job or want to know about a job profile, google it, if you need to find about nearest joint to hang out, google it again. World has become smaller, is it because I can google anything in this world to know what is happening around? I am a regular reader of News, ask me where, obviously Google.

This, my friends leads me to a new word, derived from Globalization called it the same thing? Can there be one day, one single day without Google? If you also think the same way as I do then feel free to comment or atleast vote for the poll here...Happy Googling!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Social Networking

I have an account on Orkut, Linkedin, Facebook, Myspace and many others where I have already forgotten my ids. On Orkut I have all my school, engineering, MBA and office friends from India. I generally use this to say hi, hello and to be in touch with people. Facebook is good when I need to waste my time and play with some applications. Mostly my overseas friends are my group on Facebook and Myspace. I spend a lot of time on Linkedin, especially the answers section where I read answers of my interest and also try and answer or add value to the questions where I could. I think on Linkedin, people have maintained a professional level and they use it only for professional social networking. I could meet someone in the US through Linkedin and later could also help that person arranging an interview at my company. Not only that, I could get in touch with this person whom I have offered to help in promoting her new company in various social forums. I forgot, to add to all this, I have also become a regular visitor of Yahoo Answers which I think is a good forum if you are looking for something specific as people would have definitely either asked or answered over your specifics.

So what is this fuss about social networking right now. I know people who are sick and tired of social networks and would like to stay away from these. Is it okay to be away from the so called social networking phenomenon.

I think, in today's day it is very important that one is quite connected in order to survive. Competition is tough and world has become a battle field where everyone has to fight their own battles. As Thomas Friedman puts in his book "The World is Flat", earlier there was a time when Countries opened up and people used to think global at a country level, then came the era where people started thinking about companies from global stand point and finally now is the day when people have started looking at individuals from global perspective. Having said this, one should realize the importance of global connections and the kind of information a person can share and hence recieve through social networking.

The underlining art of social networking is give and take. One might not get anything unless one gives. Start giving first and then one point witll definitely come when it will be time to take rewards. Right now social networking is the buzz and all should be a part of it whether they like or they don't!!!