15 April 2008

The Trust Requirement

Intelligent dialogues require trustful relationships.

In the previous post "Most Requirements are just Design Decisions", we invited BAs to rethink the rigidity of software requirements.

Relevant environmental changes or new knowledge should trigger corresponding requirements adaptation. Leading this process, a BA adds more business value to their organisations.

Unfortunately, requirements are just requirements for many BAs. They don´t have the opportunity to participate in the intelligent dialogues where strategic design decisions are made.

Effective collaboration between the IT function and other business functions can be a complex and difficult issue in many organisations. This represents a critical credibility problem that must be addressed both by IT executives and IT professionals.

The perceived credibility of an IT professional goes beyond his or her personal competence and integrity; it is grounded in trustful relationships.


Now I invite you to reflect on your professional relationship style. Is it effective to create and nurture trustful relationships? Here are some principles I have used over the years with good results.

Be a Good Citizen at Workplace. Genuine citizenship behaviour means to me to actively respect all fellow professionals and executives and foster a positive, constructive and productive work climate.

It is also important to have a clear view of what is bad workplace behaviour. David Maister highlights "20 bad workplace habits" from Marshall Goldsmith´s book "What Got You Here Won’t Get You There".

Reach Out and Touch. Try to see where you and your clients fit in the whole picture. Be open to learn, understand and appreciate their values, interests and the language they use. Then, get closer to them.

Promote Dialogue and Empowerment. I found myself many times eager to present solutions to users as soon as I grasped the most salient problem issues. I learned through experience that rich and frequent dialogues are key elements for more fun and effective processes, that generate better quality solutions and results.

Give Consistent Care. Respond quickly, reliably and honestly to your clients demands. Make sure you consider thoroughly how all your actions will affect their actions. Always be in the front with your clients during major software transitions.

Do these principles resonate to you?

Share with us your thinking about this critical issue for our profession.

I thank Raven Young for indicating David Maister´s post, that inspired me for this post.

Picture by Think Panama's photo stream.
Original at Flickr.


  1. Anonymous11:15 pm

    Fans of Marshall Goldsmith will love this program


  2. Raphael,
    I read the Trusted Advisor last year. It was my second Maister book.

    I find what he has to say fairly compelling and directly releant to my work as a project professional, eithyer a BA, PM or in otehr capacities.

    None of it is new, but he packages up well and it does help put tools and systems in place and open up your thinking.

    Thanks for the post.