Rules of Engagement

(How to deal with you Business Analyst)

For Developers

1.       We are Business Analysts, not Feature Leads. B.A. is acceptable. We do not understand jargon less than twenty years old.

2.       We are Business Analysts. That means we have written code, designed entire applications, managed projects, debugged networks and probably written winning proposals. While you were still in diapers. Show some respect.

3.       We know itís difficult. It was difficult thirty years ago, when we did it. But we didnít have graphical development tools, automated testing, help files, patterns, class libraries, auto-complete and wikis, whatever wikis are. Suck it up.

4.       You call yourself programmers? Have you ever loaded the code, a bit at a time, into the registers of an engineerís panel? Do you even know what an engineerís panel is? Your whatsit.NET does not impress us.

5.       We did the things you learnt about in your ĎHistory of Computingí class. We used punch cards, mounted tapes on tape decks, and read paper tape, with our eyes, not some dumb machine. We are your history; we are your Newton, your Columbus, and your Darwin. But weíre still here to remind you of it.

6.       We have forgotten more than you will ever know. Thatís the problem, weíve forgotten it. Please be patient, we probably have a manual back home.

7.       We are Business Analysts, we were Project Managers. That means we still have power but we have relinquished responsibility. So itís not our fault, whatever it is.

8.       If the behavior of the application changed then the code changed. Don't tell us it didn't. We will just laugh.


For Clients

1.       We love you, we really do. Youíre the reason we get up in the morning. But remember, weíre old. We could retire at any minute.

2.       If we say it canít be done, donít blame us. The architect told us. We could have done it, thirty years ago, with a batch of punch cards and a mainframe with less memory than your cell phone. Itís not our fault the secrets of the ancients were swept away in a tidal wave of Windows.

3.       We have your best interests at heart. We will never lie to you, though we may make statements with an unduly positive slant. We do prefer to walk on the sunny side of the street.

4.       You change your minds. Thatís OK. So do we. You are never wrong. Neither are we.

5.       We do not do estimates. Please do not ask, as this often causes offence. Upon request, the company will provide a fully qualified Project Manager to perform this hazardous function. We wish you all the best.

6.       Weíre Business Analysts. We donít investigate problems with your interface or your printer. You have Production Support for that. Theyíre just down the corridor, next to the broom cupboard. Theyíll be back after lunch. Probably.

7.     We do not schedule resources. Ever. We are not managers and will not take responsibility for the ignorance and indolence of others.