A Change in Perspective

Let me start with a very profound quote I came across today, it said “Any ending is a true beginning”.

Would you be very surprised if given a situation and fixed set of parameters you would think in two very different ways depending on the hat that you are wearing, a high five if you would dear reader and this post details how my thinking changed when I transitioned from the role of a Project Manager to a Business Analyst.

It was my first requirements workshop as a BA, the tool being demonstrated before the actual user requirements would start being discussed and documented was an assessment utility to fit into the organization’s training landscape. My first moment of surprise was when I realized I was actually looking at the features the utility offered without comparing it to PeopleSoft HRMS (for the record it is my favorite ERP and gold standard for a HCM application till date and no I have not worked on Workday yet and that I promise is a story for another post). In my past life as a PM I would compare the utlity to PS HRMS endlessly, feature wise , user interface wise endlessly.

And my next moment of surprise arrived when we got down to discussing the interfacing of the assessment utility with the legacy applications, as we were working out the brass-tacks of the cross application interface and the changed thereof in the legacy applications to accommodate the same I realized I was not resisting the suggested changes at the application level with words like “why has this to be in my application”, “my team does not have the bandwidth to accommodate this change” etc.

Now this was a major shift, as a PM I would insist on keeping customizations in the applications I manage to a minimum when I had to work on interfacing with a third party application i.e. TPA and would argue endlessly on not wanting to tinker with the delivered records and pages and here I was suggesting changes in a delivered page to display data being published by a TPA, wow , my earlier reluctance to customize, expose my application to TPA was replaced by a willingness to understand the user’s needs and design a solution that would seamlessly enable data to progress logically from its point of generation to the intended power user and end user pages….

Was I surprised, yes, did I like it, yes again and did it change the way I looked at a requirements gathering session, absolutely…

You see I realized earlier I would restrict my perspective to the applications I managed as a PM, how this change would impact the existing release schedules and would critically examine if this change would add any value to the application at its core, as a PM I was doing what I should but I was not looking at the big picture of a cross functional implementation, I was not thinking of what the client needs, I was not helping the client convert his vision into a tangible application.

There dear reader I experienced the liberation that a change in perspective brings, my thinking shattered across the margins I had drawn for it. In short I had underwent a paradigm shift as Franklin Covey calls it in his amazing book “the 7 habits of highly effective people”.

Now with my BA hat I look at a situation in its grander scheme of things, I put the client needs above my habit to look at how this adds value to my application, I focus on converting the client’s requirement to a scalable, easy to use and manage application, I think of all the data points regardless of the application they lie in rather than my application and its interfaces.

THAT was my Eureka moment….

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