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Why Use Observation?
Observation is a valuable technique in business analysis and other professions. It helps understand daily job tasks, uncover hidden information, and reveal the current state. By combining observation with other techniques and skills like emotional intelligence and active listening, valuable insights can be gained. Proper planning and clear communication are essential for successful observation. Virtual observation and empathetic listening skills are also important in today's technology-driven world. Building relationships through listening enhances the effectiveness of observation.
Observation uncovers hidden information
Observation is a technique that helps uncover hidden information about someone's daily job tasks and the current state.
Combining observation with other techniques enhances its effectiveness
Observation can be combined with techniques like active questioning, focus groups, prototyping, and task mining to gather more insights.
Proper planning and clear communication are crucial for successful observation
Planning ahead, setting expectations, and ensuring clear communication are essential for successful observation.
Virtual observation and technology play a significant role
Virtual observation through screen sharing and recording interactions, as well as using technology like cameras, has made observation easier.
Listening skills, including empathetic listening, are key
Being a good listener, active listener, and practicing empathetic listening are important skills for effective observation.
Building relationships through listening enhances observation
Asking questions, practicing empathetic listening, and building relationships with participants improve the effectiveness of observation.
- Observation and its Benefits
- Skills and Planning for Successful Observation
- Variables and Types of Observation
- Combining Observation with Other Techniques
- Virtual Observation and Listening Skills
- Building Relationships through Listening
Observation and its Benefits
00:01 - 07:36
- Observation is a technique used in business analysis and other professions to understand the daily job of someone and uncover hidden information.
- Job shadowing is a common form of observation that provides valuable insights.
- Observation helps reveal the current state, including rules, policies, and gaps in requirements.
- It can be combined with other techniques like active questioning and focus groups to enhance its effectiveness.
- The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) Guide and its online version, the Knowledge Hub, offer resources for learning about observation.
Skills and Planning for Successful Observation
07:08 - 14:41
- Emotional intelligence, self-awareness, communication skills, active listening, and note-taking are important for effective observation.
- Proper planning, setting expectations, and clear communication are crucial for successful observation.
- Observation should lead to actionable outputs that can be used in future project stages.
- Integration requirements benefit from observation as it provides valuable information not found in documentation alone.
- Being an outsider in a service or consulting environment has pros and cons that need to be managed effectively.
Variables and Types of Observation
14:12 - 22:06
- Variables can cause users to deviate from the typical workflow, which is critical to understand.
- Performance anxiety or other factors may affect user behavior during observation.
- Building trust with participants through emotional intelligence and interviewing skills is essential.
- Proper setup and clear communication help participants understand the purpose of observation.
- There are two types of observation: active observation with questions and passive observation without interaction.
- Observation helps learn about the current state, even when planning a new system.
- Leaders who dismiss the importance of observation may miss crucial information.
Combining Observation with Other Techniques
21:37 - 29:39
- Observation can be combined with techniques like prototyping and task mining to gather insights.
- The choice between one-to-one observation and using tools depends on team size and desired level of detail.
- Tools like task mining capture quantifiable data such as task duration.
- Understanding rules and policies often requires talking with someone in addition to observation or tools.
- Preparing a sample output file based on current data can provide clarity for the future state, but it may not be considered observation.
- Spatial skills may be relevant in certain contexts when making observations.
Virtual Observation and Listening Skills
29:21 - 37:12
- Observation can be done virtually through screen sharing and recording interactions.
- Virtual observations make it easier to capture and study interactions.
- Technology allows observing someone working in a physical setting through cameras.
- Project management and business analyst roles have distinct focuses, but business analysis planning is essential for both.
- Good observation requires being a good listener, active listener, and empathetic listener.
- Honing empathetic listening skills leads to learning more information during observations.
Building Relationships through Listening
36:42 - 39:25
- Asking questions and practicing empathetic listening help build relationships and encourage sharing of information.
- In the next episode, Yulia Kosorinko will discuss how to hire a business analyst from a leader's perspective.