Monday, June 26, 2017

Speaking Engagement, Accomplished!

I am very happy to say that I didn't forget everything I wanted to say and somehow avoided making a complete fool of myself. Hopefully, I was able to give some folks some food for thought and to spur the imagination of young Business Analysts and maybe even Project Managers.

I am attaching a link to my presentation.  If you expressed interest in it at the conference, this should help you remember what we talked about.  Please use Notes View to see some narrative that is included for each slide.

If you have any questions or comments, or just want to chat, feel free to reach out to me.  You may reach me at or you can comment here.


The Importance of Understanding End User Workflows

Monday, June 12, 2017

Upcoming speaking engagement in Washington

Hello all,

It has been a while, hasn't it?  I apologize.  I have been horribly distracted.  Now, however my attention is forced to be focused as my first professional speaking engagement is coming up.  Yay!  I'm very excited.   I hope to have a lot of fun, meet a bunch of people, and learn a heap of stuff.  When I go to these conferences, I always get a little shot in the arm from talking to people that I don't know and hearing that they are working to overcome the same obstacles and solve similar mysteries.  It really helps to know you're not the only one out there doing this work.

I will be at the BA World conference in Washington, D.C. June 19-22.  I will be speaking on the 20th.  If you're a BA and have not attended one of these, you really should.  They help you get some fresh ideas and perspectives. More than anything, they're a chance for you to think about the work and not the day to day grind.  That's a luxury some don't get at all and most of us don't get enough of.

To learn more, visit the site for the Washington conference and watch for upcoming conferences that you can join in with.

The Art of Taking A Compliment

How many of you are uncomfortable receiving public praise?  How do you generally respond when people thank you or give you praise?  Isn't it strange that the one thing humans desire greatly, to be valued, causes so much discomfort when it happens?

How did it become so?  When did we all get taught that getting a compliment isn't the best thing in the world and to be grateful for them?  I don't know about most people, but for me, I learned it when I learned that "Pride goeth before the fall."  Who thought that was a good idea?  I mean, excess pride is a bad idea.  I get that, but having reasonable pride in yourself and your work is a good thing, right?  As a female, I think that I have been given a little too much warning on having pride, especially in my work-life.  I have been taught that no one likes a person who speaks highly of themselves.  I have been taught by my managers in reviews that no one can attain the highest score for their work because you're really just doing your job, right?  It's all a lie.

When someone pays you a compliment on your work performance, they most likely really mean it.  You did something that they think deserves recognition.  To pass off their praise as not necessary or really not being earned, you're doing them an injustice, IMHO.  Instead of looking away and playing it down, look them in the eye and say "Thank you."  That's all you need to do.  You don't need to explain yourself or qualify your achievement.  Just roll with it.

If the compliment doesn't seem genuine, say "Thank you." anyway.  If someone continues to pay you insincere compliments, you should speak to them.  They're trying to butter you up for something or are hiding something about themselves by trying to distract you.  Talk to the person and see if you can figure out what's really going on.  Maybe you intimidate them, making them feel insecure.  Maybe they feel like if they praise you all the time, you'll like them.  There are as many reasons for insincere praise as there are for sincere.  Talking to people to help understand their motives can help you be a more in touch and emotionally savvy person and that is never a bad thing.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Incredible Huge Shrinking World
Photographer: JAMES L. STANFIELD/National Geographic Creative

This image is one of the images in the National Geographic Iconic collection.  It was in an issue published in the late 60's or early 70s, if I remember correctly.  This image made a huge impact on a small, south east Texas girl.  I remember looking at her and thinking how beautiful this girl was.  I loved her dark eyes and hair.  I loved her complexion, I loved her jewelry and her clothes.  I wondered what she was like and what her life was like.  I really wanted to meet her.  Sadly, I was a small girl in a small south east Texas town, and I had never met anyone from India and I was pretty much certain that I never would.  The world was so huge, distances between us were enormous, and I thought "Why on Earth would someone from a place as wondrous as India want to come to south east Texas?" 

Today, I still think of this girl.  I think of how amazing a turn this old planet has taken and how it has become so small.  I think of this girl and wonder if she has been one of the thousands of her fellow Indians who have come to the United States.  I wonder if I may have already met her, and never even known I did.  I live in such a small world now.  I have met and come to know people from all over the world, places that I never thought of as a small girl, let alone seen an image of a native of that country.  I have worked with folks from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, far east Asia, the Pacific Islands, Australia, South America.  I am amazed at how different the world is today from the one I lived in as that small girl.  I love that I live in a city that is incredibly multicultural.  Houston is home to hundreds of nationalities and we all seem to get along.  Sure, we have our problems, but they seem to be much smaller than our commonalities.  

As a business analyst in I.T., I am perfectly positioned to work with diverse people from a wide range of cultures.  It is one of the best parts of my job.  Diversity in the workplace has brought us an amazing range of talent, perspectives, and capabilities.  It has also brought challenges.  Each side of the multicultural equation has had to work hard to come to understand and value each other.  It has taken some time, but now, in my workplace especially, I think we have come to a wonderful balance.  We understand each other's cultures and perspectives, we have learned to celebrate our differences and love our commonalities.  

Working as a BA today, the challenges are more of a person to person nature, rather than a culture to culture.  We are all now working on an even footing.  This is an age of wonder for our society and our business cultures.  It invites us to use the best from all of us and learn how to live as a single community, working toward our common goals.  This is exciting to me.  This is wondrous to me.  In many ways, I am still that small girl in south east Texas.