A New Year's Resolution?


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New Year CalendarBobtheBA here and the last time I blogged, we briefly took a look back at 2011. The New Year is a time when people make predictions, resolutions, and plans with the hope of change and improvement. It can be a very exciting time with anticipation to see if the predictions come true, resolutions are met, or if the plans were effective. What resolutions and plans have you made for 2012? I have to tell you though, I am not a big fan of New Year resolutions. More on this shortly.

Before you get too far, I recommend taking a look at the blog from Rich and Elizabeth Larson (7 Trends…) on Business Analysis in 2012. Do your plans take into account these upcoming trends and predictions? Over the last 20 years I have found it extremely helpful to stay on top of trends, predictions, and the general goings on of your industry. The more you can stay in touch with them the better prepared you will be to address any given situation or need. However, have you been waiting for the New Year to make your resolution and plan? We talk predictions and address trends all year long and I recommend that you should make resolutions and plans that way too. Why?

Consider this; there were over 24 million references to New Year resolutions on various search engines this year. People coach all the time to start the New Year right with a “realistic” resolution. Whereas I like the idea of “realistic”, there are a few problems that can get in the way of making a New Year’s resolution successful. Timing, commitment, and lack of understanding about what you truly need. This is why I do not like New Year resolutions. Most resolutions are made without a basic understanding of these things.

We often make resolutions because we think we want something. It is so easy to get caught up with what society expects, influenced by friends and family and the next thing you know, you have a New Year’s Resolution to live up to. What we should be focused on is what we actually need. Sound familiar? All good Business Analysts know that we should elicit needs right? Not to mention, what we “need” is rarely found at the beginning of the year and does it really make sense to wait all year to make a resolution?

I suggest that we need to create resolutions when the need arises or becomes evident. When the need is actually known you can determine your level of commitment and plan appropriately. Hmm… now does anyone see a problem with the way most companies run their planning process? A lot like New Year’s resolutions! Then a BA gets assigned and they spend half the year trying to find out what the true need is… well I think you get my point. So my challenge to you is to take control of your resolutions and make them when they make sense whether in March, July, October or the New Year, if they really do happen then. Just make sure you understand your timing, commitment, and most importantly, what you truly need and then you can build a plan for success in 2012 and beyond!

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