Engaging Stakeholders in Online Collaboration with Amorie Van Rooyen

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In this conversation, Amorie Van Rooyen and I explore harnessing the advancement of data, knowledge, and visualisation tools to engage stakeholders in online collaboration.

Amorie is a business architect with Metropolitan Momentum by day, and a business analyst all day long. She turns business strategy into solution design and pays what she knows forward by being a business analyst mentor.

Here are just a few of the highlights in this episode:

๐Ÿ“… ๐Ÿ˜ค ๐Ÿ”’ "I remember the day I got so frustrated because I couldn't influence decisions." Amorie started in account management but felt frustrated when unable to influence priority decisions because her hands were tied. She then got involved and learned about business analysis fulfilling her need to help. Amorie formalised her skills, evolving into a business architect while retaining her business analyst mindset.

โ›” ๐Ÿ“„ "There's no excuse for a BA to go into any stakeholder engagement with a blank piece of paper." Amorie shares an AI-powered tool she is impressed with that generates mind maps based on sentence input. She found it useful for her planning as the tool provided valuable insights and framed new ideas. Amorie says the tool eliminates the excuse of business analysts ever going into a meeting with a blank page.

๐Ÿšจ "You get those people that are human lie detectors." Amorie values in-person human interaction but prefers online engagement. She believes the key to online engagement is about fostering meaningful conversation and ensuring people feel heard. Amorie listens to the tone of voice and picks up on nonverbal cues to establish engagement is established, after which brainstorming and designing become easier.

๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿฉธ ๐Ÿค• "It's a sharp knife. And if you use it irresponsibly, it will hurt you."  Amorie thinks that using AI without verifying or validating it is dangerous. She says where to avoid taking its output as truth and simply copy and paste it. Amorie thinks that's the risk that we have, but it's a personal risk if you want to take the chance.

๐Ÿ’„ โš™๏ธ "The lipstick can change frequently, but the mechanics behind it can have a longer longevity." Amorie says solution design can be challenging as businesses want flexibility and plug-and-play options. She sees that some capabilities have longer longevity while others require frequent changes. Amorie encourages business analysts to understand which requirements are high-frequency and which are not and to have a game plan for managing them accordingly.

๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿป ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป ๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿป "Previous generation BAs are becoming mentors for the younger generation." Finishing up with a simple idea about how different generations can mentor one another through their unique perspectives.

Tune into the episode below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your podcast player of choice. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Business Change Academy skills development and career building business analysis courses.

The transcript of this episode can be read here.

  • [00:54] How Amorie got her hands dirty in the business analysis profession
  • [03:45] Business analysts are no longer a luxury; they're an absolute necessity
  • [07:07] Taking your preparation for online collaboration to the next level
  • [14:58] Accessing data, managing business knowledge, and facilitating online collaboration
  • [17:43] How AI usage is creeping into our work and leaving us with no excuses
  • [22:55] Using data to verify problems, needs, assumptions, and requirements
  • [25:57] Past lessons learned and bringing them back into the next piece of work
  • [29:07] Evolution and advances of online stakeholder collaboration into the future
  • [36:07] Depreciation of technology solutions and the frequency of emerging choices
  • [44:02] Personalising the approach to your stakeholders' demographic or generation

What was your favourite quote or insight from this episode? Please let me know in the comments. ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿง  Add your brains to the  ๐Ÿ‘‰ Future Business Analyst survey.

Joe Newbert 0:00
Hey everyone, it's Joe. Welcome to another episode of the future business analyst podcast. My guest today is a Maury van Royan, a business architect with momentum metropolitan by day, but a business analyst all day long, she transforms strategy into solution. And she pays what she knows forward by being a business analyst mentor. Welcome, Amy. Thanks for coming on the pod.

Amorie Van Rooyen 0:29
Welcome, and thank you for the invitation opportunity. I'm really grateful.

Joe Newbert 0:33
Yeah, I'm great. I'm grateful that you are here that you are braving this. I start the same question every time really is I want to know your backstory, what it is that drew you to the career? Was it planned? Was it an accident? How did you arrive as a business analyst?

Amorie Van Rooyen 0:54
I think the interesting part is I think a lot of us is that it found us along the journey, I started in my corporate career, what they call that account management, which was a liaison between business and IT. And I had to facilitate a lot of these IT projects. And it just felt like it was just one big list needed to get done. And I remember the day where I got so frustrated because I couldn't influence priority decisions because I had not the knowledge or the ability to influence because of getting involved. So I had to get my hands dirty within the projects to influence the prioritization. And I think that's actually where it started up. It was that moment of, I want to make a difference I want to influence but my hands were tied. And that's how the analysis and then at that point, my manager, as a passionate, I'm not sure I think you may be no as vana could see from Ned bank, so she was my manager. And she's the one that introduced me to business analysis. And that's where it actually started because it gave me a language and an avenue to fulfill this need that I had to help out. So that's actually where it started. And then it started more like an informal, homegrown, but it's business analysis. And so I did FDI, which actually gave it more structure and depth. And that's where we launched off. That was my legs on a Forbes days. So and eventually evolved into momentum. And then which I'm now actually more business architect, but still all day long business analyst.

Joe Newbert 2:40
Yeah, it's funny, right? The the skills. I mean, you know, in a way, some people say a business architect is a form of business analyst, right. It's like a specialist role in the space, but but you're quite right behind this stuff. We have a breadth of tools really, that we can use to do many things.

Amorie Van Rooyen 3:01
agree with you. And I think that's what makes it so beautiful. I have to continuously shop and still keep my business analysis skills sharp. And because it gives me the edge and the business architect capacity. And I think that's what makes it so beautiful along this journey is that it's still my heart. And even though it's expressed in a different way during the day,

Joe Newbert 3:24
yeah, no, absolutely. And what sort of changes in the business analyst space? You've been doing this a little while? Right. So I'm sure you've seen a little bit of an evolution a bit of a shift over the years, what sort of changes have you seen that have been sort of quite, quite prominent over that time?

Amorie Van Rooyen 3:45
I think for me, the biggest thing was, and I think I made a note of it during the day where I was getting my thoughts ready. It's a difference between business analysts that was a luxury and it became now more and more a necessity. So I think that would be the biggest shift even where I am currently. In the corporate space, more and more need the need for it versus in the back and the past was, if you could kind of use some within the background noise kind of thing. The other part that shifted was for me the post here actually is the coaching part of the last two years coaching, becoming I would say that's the shift I think maybe that helps a business analysts getting that growth is the accessibility to coaching and mentoring I think especially with COVID people went a lot online and started recording the experiences and and videos. I think that may be open up a lot of us too sharp and a lot of our ability soft and technical. Um And I think that might, that in itself, for me is a shift is the fact that we are a much more professional. And many wise, I think that made us stand more out in conversations and handling ourselves in our profession in within a business context. I think that was for me, really beautiful. I was at the PDD dive for the IBI, and I was just so impressed about, you know, the professionalism. You know, it's not just like a little business analyst. It was really not how everybody handled themselves. It was something to be proud of, and I haven't been there for a while. And I was like, wow, we've come a long way. But we could be proud of where we are now.

Joe Newbert 5:47
Yeah, I think so too. I think we've, I mean, I haven't seen obviously, all of the professions and how they've transitioned, sort of over this, this COVID, I've obviously only really been privy to the kind of people that I interact with on projects in change, you know. So it's the usual kind of people like project managers and product managers and testers and things. But I do think, within that the way that the profession has sort of risen to, or will, I guess the opportunity of what the last few years has brought us has been quite remarkable, as you say, a lot of people have just been giving, paying forward offering expertise, support, help, knowledge, whatever it is online, and I think we really did have a great opportunity to tap into the world, to tap into this profession, and use that to help lift ourselves. I mean, it's wonderful feedback that you're given on the local PD D here. One of the questions I want to ask you on this is because the last few years have been quite different to all of the years before. Which of your skills do you think have gotten sharper, due to the nature of how we've had to?

Amorie Van Rooyen 7:07
Yeah, I think I'm giggling because those who will be listening, and those who know me, is Mind Map. I'm kind of well known for Mind Mapping. But I think the biggest shift for me was personally, online collaboration. Because of people not being audited, I'm a visual thing kind of visual understand, which means audit audit of, it was very challenging for me to follow, just on a listening basis. And I actually started using visual ways to get the conversation focused, collaborative, and making sure that when we walk away, we've got a common understanding, which we always did. But I come a bit stronger for me as a, it's my thing. It was very important to me to anchor every conversation of a common understanding. So that is sharpened a lot. And then Mind Map, which I always did, became my superpower, but also my partner in crime. In many of the conversations, especially when a conversation went, like popcorn, then I will, from a facilitation point of view, I'll open up a mind map and just bring the conversation back, people start hearing themselves because they see their own words in front of them. So that shifted a bit. And then I think, because of the way you had to prepare for in conversations, it wasn't really time for that fluffiness you know, when you go to some of the meetings, yet, there's that five minutes fluffy conversation was less of that, which means and time was very precious. So you, I really did stakeholder management seriously, like prepare for my conversations and still do. But it went to a next level for me preparing the conversations, make sure it's impactful. And I think because I was at home and less distracted, I had more time more strategic, a lot more strategic with my conversations, compared to what I would do in the past. I think that was for me, personally, the significant shift in my personal growth from a business analyst and I think that's what I'm sharing now with the BAS around me, is making them that consciousness from a stakeholder management point of view. You have to personalize sometimes you have to narrow in listen out empathy, you know, that whole thing. But I think also because of covert because of where people were mentally. I think I that's also why I did a little bit more effort to lighten the burden of the anxiousness because people was already carrying a lot of that anxiousness around, and now you bring in a meeting now you bring change. So I was I had that emphasis to say, No, this is safe, this is good. And so that change management, but stakeholder management is so so close to my heart.

Joe Newbert 10:17
It's really interesting to to to to say that you found time to think more strategically. I think that's wonderful. I mean, a lot of the narratives I heard was it, it became a bit like back to back meetings all day long, you know, there was zoom fatigue, because actually, in many ways, we sort of at first were like, well, how's this gonna work? What are we going to do? And then suddenly, it was meetings all day, all day long, which obviously took away? I mean, certainly for me, it was like that times took my time away my ability to think before and I had to do a lot more on the fly. But I like to hear your preparedness, I think. I think sometimes when we speak to stakeholders, we don't always prepare quite as well as we could or should. Why don't you give us a little sort of peek maybe then into what goes on to on to your mind map, you know, understand the concept of a mind map, but what sort of things are you using it for what's on there?

Amorie Van Rooyen 11:19
I think it's maybe not what's on there, it's maybe more the thing about what it's used for. I did a at the conference, I did a session on it, because I wanted to share the power that's within it. And it's not about the tool itself, it's actually just speaking to the hearts of visual thinkers, because I think they kind of lack visual thinkers not text. It's not just auditory they can have. And it's also. So that's maybe where it started. So mind map is usually used for the decomposition. So that would it would did it traditionally was used, even in the educational system. Kids are taught to use mind maps to decompose knowledge into break them into Association, and then you form connections. So it's very similar what I do in the day job, I can use it from a project work breakdown structure, no breakdown in, I use it my BA planning and monitoring. So if I have to plan my approach, I get my things down. I would use it in a way in elicitation, specially depending on the elicitation, where I'm have got 30 minutes subject matter expert, and I need to get as much as possible. But sometimes they also don't know yet what they are saying or thinking. So I use it as a way to help them organize their thinking about what exactly what you want, you know, figure out the problem from the need from the requirement. And that was a way to visually shift the show the thinking. And then I would use it as requirements walkthrough. So it's a different way from a PowerPoint or executive summary, to kind of focus that it's the diversity of it's amazing. Because of my intent. I started discovering its diversity because my intent was time is precious. So I needed the conversation focused, I needed to get to the depths, I always, I always joke with my senior executives, I says, when I have 30 minutes with you, I suck you dry. The guys always know it's tiring after my sessions, because of the questions I asked. And I have to think and that and I think that's the beauty of it. It's got so so much diversity, with online collaboration or so now with being remote. It has really, really gave me depth into a lot of what I do.

Joe Newbert 13:50
Yeah, it's a wonderfully versatile. It's a wonderfully versatile technique. I like using it for taking notes as well. I mean, you go in with a structure a bit of an agenda, you can put an acronym around around the trunk. And I think it sort of Trumps taking notes sequentially. Because it all people don't talk in sequence. They're all over the place. So capturing in a mindmap form allows you to put things in the right place straightaway. It's a great, great way to synthesize a word that perhaps is not associated with us often enough. It's always that analyst, but there's so much synthesis that we do as well. My Maps are great there. Okay, so so so I'm just thinking now we did this sort of pre COVID thing. We've done a little bit of a COVID thing, so maybe we should start looking a bit forward, especially given this is the future business analyst podcast, right. If we follow the trends that you've seen, in sort of, where do you think we're heading to what do you see coming?

Amorie Van Rooyen 14:58
So I think what I The three things that really came out standard mind when I think of this question was, which are always wanted. And I think it's like my wishes being granted, is having access to more data to verify assumptions, verifying requirements and needs and problems. Because in the past, it took, you know, when you have that intuition, when there's a need rising, you've got this intuition feeling it says it's not really the need. And then you don't have enough data to work with to question it. So you have to take the word. Now with the data accessibility we have these days, I think that makes it for me exciting to have that mechanism from instead of using user interviews and user observation, we've got now data to speed up the validation and verifying a lot of these things. So data, I think it's for me exciting. The other one, and I think it really dawned on me this, this week, my last week also, is business knowledge. So one of my things is, like I said, I'm prepared for my meetings, which means I never go in with a blank page, I never expect a business person to explain their industry to me, from my 101 perspective, I always go prepared. And with AI, I have much more accessibility to speed up that knowledge and that acumen in preparation of my sessions or my engagement. I think that's the exciting part for me, because I used to have to connect with other Bas, or SMEs or some we read up on Google. And it's again, a speed thing. It took longer time to do my research and get to that speed. Third thing would definitely, but I think it's close to heart as online collaboration and facilitation. I support remote work. I also support to an extent hybrid. But I think we could do a lot more online collaboration facilitation. I think there's some fun things that's lying ahead for us.

Joe Newbert 17:10
Okay. Data, business knowledge slash Ay ay ay. online collaboration, right. And when you say I support remote work, I suddenly thought, yeah, we need like some kind of flag we can wave don't wait to show that we were part of the remote movement or something. But one of just, from what I heard there, you're using AI, that that was what I picked up. Not that you think AI but you're bringing it into your work right now? Did I interpret that correctly?

Amorie Van Rooyen 17:43
No, not enough. I think our surprise just to just for where this actually started, I haven't used it actively. But I saw the potential. And because it's not only in the week or two, one of my colleagues, I think he may be you know, Antoine was Dyson, he's also mindmap person and he was in my tracks in my session that I did. And because he obviously understood my heart for Mind Maps, and he sent me a little AI link where you would say like a sentence. But then, and then the answer gets expressed in a mind map form. So I had a little giggle of it. Okay, but what was interesting is I actually typed the sentence. And because we're doing a business analysis event, I actually typed it, planning an event for business analysis. Oh, my goodness, it gave you a beautiful mind map breakdown of the vote, you know, from a planning perspective, the seams, and we actually needed a week before that. And I think that's where I was like I was sold, just because of the level of detail. It gave me enough a breadth and depth and depth. That doesn't have to be accurate. But it it gave me a lot to think of it framed a lot of things, things I haven't considered of, I think that was for me, where I'm like, Okay, I've got a few projects coming up. I'm definitely going to test this out. I think that was interesting, because we're not sharing enough the knowledge we have gained as business analyst. So that is one of the things we tried to shift with were in our working space. I want them to share their knowledge. I don't like working with a blank page. And I'd like to pay lessons learned is very strong for me. I don't pay school fees twice. So if I could help somebody I will say in both ways, and I think the knowledge part was for me amazing because I think the other thing Joe for me, especially junior Bas is, you know how important it is to set a mandate in one of those meetings, especially a bit mid management. When a BA has that presence of they own the profession. And sometimes business knowledge is one of the success criteria. In that in setting that mandate in that presence in those meetings, so I think that's why I feel so strong at heart. But when I saw that mindmap, and that thing, I was like, no BA has an excuse to go with a blank page into any, you know, user engagement, stakeholder engagement. There's no more excuse. We've got everything. We've got so much knowledge at hand now. So I was excited.

Joe Newbert 20:27
Yeah, sounds exciting. Do you happen to remember the name of that tool offhand? Now to say it, or

Amorie Van Rooyen 20:35
I think I'll get it to you. Now while we're talking. Because it was Chad, something, I just want to get the exact expression of it. But I will send it I will explain that.

Joe Newbert 20:47
I can get it from you afterwards, I just think it'd be really interesting to drop that link in the show notes of the pod so that other people can have a play.

Amorie Van Rooyen 20:57
I've got it for you. Now. I found it. It's chat. It's chat, mind, God, tick, chat, mind or tick,

Joe Newbert 21:07
te ch. Yes. Okay. Awesome chats, mind dot tech, another great tool to have a play around with it is quite interesting. You know, often when we think about AI, and we talk about AI, we think of AI as this sort of big ominous thing. But what I'm actually finding is, it's lots of small micro AI moments, in a way, you know, that, I'm just building up little bits and pieces, and sure they're going to build on each other. And it's gonna get bigger, but it's like, there's a tool to help with this. And there's a little tool to help with that. And it's slowly sort of weaving its way into my work and finding.

Amorie Van Rooyen 21:48
And I think it's, it's speed, I think that's what everybody's about is the speed and greater understanding. And I think that's where I would use AI. Is that greater understanding? Like I said, because that's always what we said the competitive edge is how can you quickly respond to a situation that is changing, and it just makes you sharper, if you are quicker to respond to that change? And I think that's what makes it exciting the era that we are entering?

Joe Newbert 22:19
Yeah, no, it's gonna be it's gonna be a bit of a ride, I'm sure of that. The first item you mentioned was access to data, being able to verify things that are perhaps said opinions that are said, but just get our hands on some hard numbers. To do our work, what kind of questions are you look into answer with this data? Are you looking at strategic questions? Are you looking at quite operational tactical questions? What's data doing for you?

Amorie Van Rooyen 22:55
For me data is I think it's as both back and forward. So back is from a, from a cost perspective, you know, are we hitting the right nail? So it's back reflective? So it obviously would be? What's the volume really, so from and I think back is actually we know, when you get that typical business case kind of thing, cost benefit analysis, where you're trying to figure out, you know, you're increasing this or less of this. So data usually is used for me for to find patterns or quantify the problems. But it's also forward looking. So the exciting pause is when a change does get executed to start, you know, that what we, in the past, we used to call it not benefit realization, but harvesting. Okay, so we add a usually a tendency that when you go live, we always would want to look what is the six months harvest versus a 12 month harvest, after this thing going live? And I think that's where the interesting part is that data is to look at the harvesting parts, which is what you project it. Because I think that becomes exciting as a business analyst from an experience because if you could measure your harvesting, you become more accurate in your estimations and your speculations. And I think that's where the exciting part comes in. That's lying ahead for us. So I think we not really as business analysts, monitoring our own assumptions and things in the within the project and say, Can I have the following three, you know, things monitored, because I want to use it my own stats, but I think it will come. But for now, I could see the data. weenus is big. So it's it's there for us. And it's not just us monitoring it. It's the stakeholders, the sales, technical, even business, who's monitoring itself because I actually want to know, did my assumption and did our projects you work, especially think of campaigning campaigning is one of those that are high data monitoring. Just Whether we should find the next campaign B. So those principles are useful when we apply to projects.

Joe Newbert 25:08
Yeah, you said a couple of things. You talked about lessons learned earlier, and you talk about harvesting now, and you know, you said you don't pay your school fees twice. And when you talk about harvesting now, you're not you didn't mention like, so we know how much we made back, you know, it wasn't about the return on the investment. Your example was so that we can use it to better estimate the next one, which is like lessons learned, again, really. So I'm loving that I'm hearing from you that this stuff that we do at the end of a project is being brought back in to the beginning of the next change that we're embarking on so that we do learn and move forward, I often find that actually, we don't do that. I think that's remarkable.

Amorie Van Rooyen 25:57
I think I think that is what I actually do it personally, so that I don't wait for somebody to launch an hour actually open up a document of the project. And I just put down, you know, my own mistakes, whatever mistakes, what worked, what didn't work. I actually do a record of it, because it's not because you judging the project being right or wrong, but it's opportunity for growth opportunity. Could we have done it differently? Or why not to do next time, but I think it's it's because everything itself is a learning curve. And I think that's what makes it so exciting as business analysts as we have that to offer along the journey, but it's not just for myself, but for other business owners, I would use it as example. For instance, when you engage with this type of executive, my suggestion would use the following approach, because I saw across the project if it worked or didn't work, if you had work engaged with his team, so I won't even go to a team level, or a person level or a system level, or how did I do my research? So it's many things, whatever I felt like I want to take it's like treasures you take forward. And whatever didn't work you leave behind, or what was bad you leave behind but you move forward with the good. Yeah, that's what it's actually about.

Joe Newbert 27:16
Yeah, yeah, it is. Yeah, I think that's great. The third thing you're talking about is online collaboration. You've mentioned some words along the way. Mutual change management, you've mentioned that, you know, people have a level of anxiety about things, you've used the word, empathy. So far, I guess all of that stuff needs to come together in this, this sort of online collaboration. When we talk about online collaboration, I'm sensing with you, there's a couple of places we can do that one, we can do that within the work context. But two, we can also do it within the sort of professional community context, as well. Which one of those two, would you like to talk about? Which way should we go?

Amorie Van Rooyen 28:02
I think it actually doesn't mind we can I think my most experience would be in the corporate space. Yeah, we could maybe go there, because I think I've got a diverse and just experience of it. But yeah, it actually doesn't matter.

Joe Newbert 28:21
Alright. So So online collaboration from a work context, then, I mean, obviously, we're still quite new to this, it's still in its infancy, I can imagine that the kinds of tools that we use along the way are going to change as well. I'm sure we're all just scratching the surface of the buttons that are available to us in mural and Miro and all of that stuff. How do you see this developing? How do you see this moving forward? Do you see when you mentioned the word hybrid? That means that we might be hosting things with many people in in the cloud and many people in a room? How do you see this happening?

Amorie Van Rooyen 29:07
I think it's for me personally, the only reason why I'm saying hybrid is I picked up the ACE sometimes depending on time limitation that I would go to a face to face conversation because I sometimes though feel I get speed. It's all about speed. It's um, for me, it's not because of the speed but because of the the depths I need to get into a period of time. So we do very have little face to face, but from an online collaboration. Why I see it will evolve because you have access from an international perspective because what what happened the past we were very local, wherever you could connect with, you know, locally within your city. You kind of tapped into the knowledge now because of online. You you've got a vast accessibility from an international perspective as well. Um, with that said is, even though as fancy as what the tools could be, I still go with traditional online collaboration, because I still need engagement, I could put a mirror in front of a lot of my people, I still lose them. So my online collaboration, I still have to work a lot with a person is because some people just don't want to open up the mirror movers to keep, you know, type the sticky, it's just not the nature. So I'm not that expertise in the tool itself. But it's more the human interaction that I get in, I think that's where it is where I listened to tone of voice, you know, when those that are very those what they say, those lie detectors, but you get those people that actually is a human lie detector. So they would tell you about how they listen to the tone of voice, the spaces between your voice, you actually start learning that. So you pick it up. And through that is where the collaboration would come for me is I want the engagement, then the rest is easy, then you can go into brainstorming, and you know, doing designs and all those stuff. But collaboration is actually getting the person to talk. Yeah, to speak to voice to, like you're not seen, but you are heard. So I think that's where online collaboration for me is more than it's pretty and entertaining. And it's you had so much fun. I'm more at the person part because that's where we've got a big need is to get more that engagement. And otherwise, you get the President asked me I'm not gonna say,

Joe Newbert 31:43
Yeah, I'm gonna challenge. You know, it's harder for people not to answer you, when you're sat right in front of them in the same room. It feels a little easier for people maybe to duck a question to turn off their camera to not get involved. And so definitely, I think you're almost saying your senses were heightened by by this, as you say you're now looking for different indicators, different clues? Because yeah, those ones aren't there. And it's funny how that that that has happened. I suppose it's not funny, but it's just something I've thought about recently, I've often looked at been looking at the things that I've lost through being remote. And I haven't necessarily focused on Well, what are all the things that I'm much better at now? Because of it.

Amorie Van Rooyen 32:32
That's true. Yeah, that's true, we've actually gained a lot. It's, it's so true. So true.

Joe Newbert 32:40
One of the things that I have to stop, listen, I am far better at explaining things than I used to be because I could rely on a white or just being there. But now I have to be much clearer. In my words, I need to be much more structured. When I say something, I have to have strategized it just much better explaining things. Now, it's quite, quite incredible.

Amorie Van Rooyen 33:06
I think I haven't sharpened third. But I think that's where visualization is one of my biggest skills. So it's because sometimes I still don't express it. Sometimes the words because of people's language and the understanding of certain terminology, you can easily get lost. I think that's where visualization mindmap to an extent because it's more words, but I do a lot of visualization in my conversations. And that helped me to get the understanding across where you said, your articulation, your wording helped you a lot. To sharpen that to be more precise, I actually use a lot more pitches, I would I've got a online whiteboard, I've got a tablet with a pen, if I have to. I will open up a visual quickly. Now we'll use a couple of shapes just to navigate and it's basic prepositions that sometimes people get understanding when they say, is it before or after? Is it in front of the back? Is it the front end or the back end that you actually referring to? And I actually just use the pictures so that they are understanding we are there or you are here or you're down here. And that has been amazing. And many of my conversations say okay, what are you talking about the line? Are you talking about the block or the circle? And it is amazing because people use especially when they popcorn. So some of the people you lose quickly, so they think you still at the circle, but you actually shifted. So I'm actually sometimes literally using the pictures I those who know me know, I will quickly open up a whiteboard or some picture before you and let's use a picture as a way to navigate the conversation. So that's maybe one of my other things I do as an online collaboration is using a form of a pitcher to look at the conversation Question but it's at a top down look. So you're 90,000 feet view and you're looking on to the situation. So I will draw that type of picture, not in it. So what nice about it every become everybody becomes objective. So everybody pulls out, and then you look from top down objectively, to the situation, that problem the solution. And that kind of helped me a lot because people got not so attached, they sit sat with me in that high seat, looking down. So that in itself also helped a lot.

Joe Newbert 35:36
Ya know, they're great for navigating and I guess calibrating recalibrating people, you know, you can sort of bring it back beautiful, know where they are. But it's not all going to be plain sailing, all of this, this AI this knowledge, this data, this online collaboration, what challenges do you reckon, might be in our way, or we might find along our way, as we go forward? What are they going to be the biggest ones?

Amorie Van Rooyen 36:07
I think the make the fact that using AI and its sense without verifying or validating it, I think it's going to become for certain bas dangerous, where they take it as truth, or they tried to get away with it, and copy paste. I think that's the risk that we have. But it's a personal risk if you want to take the chance. But I think that we I think it's a sharp knife. And if you use it irresponsibly, it's gonna hurt you. But I think the challenge is that I would say for me, I won't say, just in the eye, I think me what I picked up today was also that the frequency of change, sometimes we've got a tendency to call it scope creep. And I sometimes say it's not scope creep is the frequency of change of the business because of a project takes a bit too long. It's perceived as scope creep, but it isn't business changes. And I think that's where we're going to have to help manage the change within the context of your claims management, for instance, how are you to quickly handle the change of certain drivers that you knew upfront is a potential risk? And I think that is navigating the within the requirement, I think that's for me, we know business is going to change, we know chain technology. But as we knew in the midst of a solution design, even something popped up that you didn't expect regulatory change came out of nowhere, and we need to respond within the month. I think that responsiveness is to sacrifi how does it impact our solution quickly? It's nowhere to blame. But as to you know, what I feel like it's like an organism that breeze and your requirements and your solution or whatever you work with, is going to be coming more like an organism that is movable, and you have to make sure it's movable, and not that these fixed pieces. And towards the ploy, you can't say different word because it feels like sometimes a bit waterfall. I think that's maybe where that would be definitely one regulatory heavily, it's really hitting many wives. That table. And the other thing was, for me, there was another two things, challenges is lifespan of solutions. Okay, we were used to that a solution we were in the boss taught, you know, software's got a three year depreciation kind of thing with the speed of what we have, they could ask for a new solution and next year. So I think that's the interesting part is that the solution can easily get replaced again, especially if you think of your open source type of things, when it's a plugin type of concept or things like that, it easily gets replaced. So you need to be quickly respond. So you can't go back and say, Let's do as is again, you actually have to somehow have something accessible, that you can adapt within 12 months from now, if they want to replace that plugin with something else. So the frequency of software changing, I think that is for me, in itself a challenge. Because you're going to do this again in 12 months. It's not like when we're done, we say for the next 20 years. Like right. And then the other thing I dawned on me the other day is the amount of solutions that are up that could solve the problem. I think that becomes a challenge in itself. Because usually in the past you had like three or four options. That was about it. Now you could solve the problems in so Power Apps is open source stuff. You know, it's amazing what people can do to solve the problem in many ways, which makes now again, do I spend more time in the requirements understanding the need the problem, or do we shoot in the dark and hope we should we should write because there's so much you can't go through all of them. I think that's for me, I still experience it is the amount of options we have now compared to the past? Is is a challenge because, yeah, you know, yeah. Others would say, No, I love it.

Joe Newbert 40:18
You lay quite a few rocks in our past there, I think as we, as we move forward, some of them big Yeah. Yeah, I suppose the variety of options of choice that we have is just growing all of the time, you know, startups, all of these little things like these micro solutions that can solve things. Yeah, and the solutions we put in place might not be around as long because that world is changing so fast, then you actually need a slightly different solution to the solution that you had yesterday, I think, I mean, if I, I'm talking to a business architect here, right. So the two words that pop up that were popping into my head was capability model, you know, if you've got a capability model for the organization, right, the things that it does, the products and services, the way it goes about it, then you can allocate those capabilities to particular applications, which means, I know it's not quite as easy as what I'm about to say. But it means that you could sort of lift one out and put another one in, in its place, as long as that's where that bullet is there.

Amorie Van Rooyen 41:29
And I think that's where some of our solution designs becomes a bit challenging, because business wants that flexibility, they want that ability to plug in plug out, which makes your solution design that extra extended thing that you have to do to offer this because this actually becomes a success criteria in itself. You know, but I think it's luckily not on a whole capability stack that you have this, it's your certain capability pieces that are that are easily, you know, a high staff turnover kind of environment, versus some of your capability pieces are more, I've got a longer longevity, which is good. But if you're depending where you are applying as a bi, I think you need to be conscious about being Okay, think so think about a website, it feels like it's every second day, we've got a new user interface language and designs and styles. It's like they like changing websites every two, three years, because that needs to be fresh. So that in itself is where you need to make sure that you are chi that the lipstick part, change is frequent. But the mechanics behind it can have a longer longevity. And I think for business analysts to understand that the components sometimes helps, why certain requirements or high frequency way others are not. When you talk about non functional at the back versus when it comes to a user type of interface requirements. I think that's maybe the interesting part we will be going as business analysts is to start looking at our requirements. And actually, you have a game plan. And when you do requirements management have a longer period as you have a game plan by saying I'm aware of this, I'm aware of this, and then you manage it accordingly. It's not like one size fits all.

Joe Newbert 43:19
No, no, it's not. And yeah, there's gonna be you know, we need the words nimble, possibly, I'm trying to stay away from the word agile, we need to be quite nimble in doing this, yeah. Some of that stuff's looking forward, right? So looking forward at what's coming and that might, like, stop us in our tracks a little bit slow us down. But what about people who sort of look backwards? Or perhaps stay in the past? Or, like, this is how we used to do it five years ago? I'm gonna keep doing it this way? Is that gonna present some problems?

Amorie Van Rooyen 44:02
I think it's depending on the demographic, and I'm picking it up. And in many of the stages, I think it's the generations is depending on who you're working with. And I think that as a business and stakeholder management, if you know, you're using a certain generation, then you know you, you're gonna have to approach it a bit differently. And I think it is, and I don't think it's just a generational thing. But I think it's a mindset thing. If you don't have a growth mindset, then you tend to be the one you could be, you know, holding on. And I think that's the challenge where we haven't that's what I love about being a business owners in those situations, is how did you present it be and I think that we we as business and as a way of presenting something, to help somebody to move forward. Look at the opportunity that lies ahead for that person find it, it takes hard work, it's a preparation, but if you Spend that efforts, I promise you, you will bear the fruit because that person feels it. That's it. Okay. You in the situation? This was your baby you birth that it was your system? I totally get it. Let them vein, there's some there's lots of ways that you could do it. But I think yes, is a lot going to be holding on. Yeah, baby. I think that we will never get away that is those will always be there. But I don't think it's an opportunity for us to practice benefit realization, for instance, I always see this opportunity, there's something in your skill set that you could utilize, and help that person to move forward. And it's actually still what you always do, you just personalize the bit. So I think they still. But the second part, I also think is these two things where we we want behavior changes, I think that's also something that's always been to me that I've got, I got a different view, when people say it's a customer centric, I still have a part of me that says it's not always the customer, because sometimes we don't want bad behavior. And if we allow the customer to ask, but he wants to do it the way he wants, then we continue with the bad behavior. Something like paper versus digital. So if we always accommodate the pipe, because people don't want to change, we're going to incur overheads. So those are the the example sometimes we I think that's the change thing, we have to guide people to the new behavior. And again, it's the benefit part. So I sometimes think differently about it,

Joe Newbert 46:45
ya know, when it's important to look at it from all the these different angles, the world is moving, some people don't want to move with it. Perhaps that older generation, there are other people move in with it a whole lot quicker, because it's what they used to. It's all they've ever known. Which might lead me to this question, actually, you know, we're gonna have some people, some bas may be we're a bit stuck in their ways. They've always done it this way. And so they keep doing their work in that way. And we're going to lose them along the way a little bit as well. But how are perhaps we're going to need to adapt these future generations that are coming through now, Gen Z's and stuff, how might that change things?

Amorie Van Rooyen 47:35
I think it's interesting, because I think that's one of them, I would say that would be one of the challenges. And for Bas, as those whose I still sometimes feel like they still writing have a 20 year back diploma. And they still using that same frame. That would be a challenge for those people in the future. Because we're all going but but for the Gen Z's I'm, I'm just amazed at their hunger for learning to knowing. So I think they already got that growth mindset, they are ready there to learn, knowing it changing, expect change, they actually expected before it's really their sharpening different ways that are much more open to find a different way. And not always just mechanical. So they would start maybe mechanical to give them a frame. And then they would have evolved with the personalization. But I think the biggest thing, I think what also for me exciting in the one sense is that the old word or the the previous Bas, or the previous generation bas are becoming mentors, for the younger generation from a wisdom and understanding of a few things. Because the past does reveal a lot of wisdom for us to take forward. It's not like you just look forward past has a lot we could learn from. And I think that's the exciting part. And I think how the event we want to have at our corporate is actually to bring those two planes together so that the seniors become mentors and bring that wisdom through. And the juniors already there to be late to be shepherd through this and I think that's the exciting part because they the seniors become a more need. They've got a purpose again, and a different way. I think that's gonna I'm excited to see what plays out with this plane coming through.

Joe Newbert 49:37
Yeah. And as you're talking about that, I'm thinking that this actually goes two ways, right? Like the old teach the young and the young. also teach the old you know, if they say they're expecting change, perhaps they've got a bit more foresight about what's coming in. They've got some wisdom to share sort of back in order to reciprocate as part of that that mentoring relationship with Which brings me to the end of this. I think I'm gonna thank you for sharing your wisdom with us today. I appreciate you coming on. Amory and yeah, thank you for sharing

Amorie Van Rooyen 50:14
our thanks Jarrah. And I think I love what you're doing to challenge our thinking and giving us a hope for the future.

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About Amorie Van Rooyen

Amorie Van Rooyen (/in/amorievanrooyen/) is a business architect with Metropolitan Momentum. She has fourteen years of experience in Information Technology, with the last ten years spent in the business analysis and business architecture domains. Amorie's knowledge helps her execute business strategy through solution design, which results in benefits realisation and she pays it forward by being a business analyst mentor.

About Joe Newbert

Joe Newbert (/joenewbert) is is a consultant, a writer, a speaker, but above all, a teacher. As Chief Training Officer at Business Change Academy, he delivers some of the best business analysis training on the planet. He co-authored the original IIBAยฎ Business Analysis Competency Model and served as Non-Executive Director on the IIBAยฎ South Africa Strategy Board. Joe is Showrunner at the business analysis podcast network OneSixEight FM and Editor-In-Chief at the Inter-View Report. And he also writes in fits and starts on Newbert's Blog.


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