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3 December 2008

C.R.A.C.K. Requirements managers

Call in the S.W.O.T. team, we have a C.R.A.C.K. addict in the blogging community...

Dear B.A. readers

As our 'user representatives' you need to be a CRACK Business analyst.

Researchers (Barry Boehm no less) have looked at what makes the difference between effective projects and failed projects across many dimensions. One particularly relevant one is the personal attributes of the requirements manager.

What is most important and how do they break down into tangible things?

Collaborative -You work as a team member with both user groups and the development team. You are a boundary spanner and work across organisational boundaries.
Representative - You are genuinely representation the best interests of your (real) customers, and they know it. They have given you authority to represent them, not just at a formal level but at a personal level.
Accountable - You are willing to stand by your decisions, but you are also willing to wear the consequences of your mistakes.
Committed - You want the project to succeed to the degree you are willing to work beyond the requirements of the job description.
Knowledgeable - you have sufficient knowledge of the development process, of the customer domain and of good business practice generally, and this is sufficient to help you make on the spot decisions without having to refer all questions upline to frontline users or customers. This usually takes some sort of ongoing market research to establish and maintain.
Sure we can joke about the acronym, but take a look at what is needed to be effective as a customer representative these days.

It is likely you have strengths and weaknesses in different areas. It's worth collaborating with your friends in the IT team and in business units to help augment or develop any weak spots.

Further reading @ Tyner Blain under the ever so droll heading of "Crack users are addictive!"

Photo by eqqman CC @ Flickr