The Dangerous Question

PresenterJulian Sammy Format: Keynote, Track Session

Project Managers ask ‘When?’ This is a question of costs and resources. Business Analysts ask ‘Why?’ This is a question of purpose and intent. In this interactive session we use an experiential approach to explore a central challenge faced by business analysts: that our role exists to question the motives of our stakeholders. You will gain a visceral – and occasionally uncomfortable – insight into the threatening and aggressive aspects of the dangerous question. You will also discover approaches to using ‘Why’ judiciously and successfully. You will not leave with a new skill or technique. You will find a new perspective that improves your ability to use all your skills and techniques.

This session is 'advanced' because it is carefully structured to resonate with a worldview and mindset that is common to those who self-select the practice of business analysis. This includes practitioners focused on business rules, business process, business capabilities, business architecture, and business analysis. People who have self-selected disciplines focused on other questions may feel like a fish out of water - and may learn something important about the intrinsic motivations of business analysts.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the meaning of ‘why’ (you might be surprised).
  • Experience the psychological and cognitive implications of ‘why’.
  • Consider ‘why’ in the context of the BABOK® Guide.
  • Recognize when ‘why’ is the wrong question to ask.
  • Discover several surprising careers that are role-models for effective business analysis

Julian Sammy

A passion for business performance has driven Julian’s decades-long, evidence-based exploration of human behaviour, emerging technology, and information science. His insights are often surprising, and are shared in a provocative, engaging style in print and in person. Julian has delivered inspiring and informative keynotes, created and delivered many track sessions, and advised senior managers and executives from many industries. As the Head of Research and Innovation for IIBA, Julian led a global team of volunteer researchers in the creation of a scientifically testable theory of business performance. As a member of the Core Team developing the next version of A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide) for IIBA, he drove the collaborative development of the Business Analysis Core Concept Model — a work that is so fundamental to the profession that it is the foundation for the new definition of the profession. In March 2014 Julian Sammy and Kathleen Barret co-founded MicroMarketplace, to get on-demand expert advice to managers, one hour at a time.