Process Implementation

Exhaust Alternatives

Don't be surprised when you're asked, "Is this the only option we have?" because you should expect it. When you're tearing into a problem and breaking it into little bits to create a solution, it's easy to get tunnel vision. Not only can this be detrimental to the change you're working to implement, it's in complete contrast to what being a successful analyst is paid to do.

As an analyst it's your responsibility to explore each avenue to reach a goal. You have to consider ideas that have never been done before, and pick apart the ones that have become second nature. You need to entertain, but know when to rule out fantastic ideas and when to recognize that some solutions just aren't there yet. Using your skills you'll have the ultimate decision in your hands, but with this power will come scrutiny. Especially so when the organization is already reluctant to embrace change.

Identifying obstacles and contradictions probably is the most difficult. To be successful, the basic, underlying or root cause must be identified, not just the symptoms. Each obstacle or contradiction must be tested to see if another underlying cause exists. For example, is the obstacle to achieving a certain percent profit for a project shortage of funding, a failure to efficiently execute the work, not having the trained staff and proper tools and equipment to do the work or a failure to manage the work effort? Each obstacle must be subjected to analysis.

Kumpf, William A. (2004) Strategic Planning, ASHRAE Journal 46.8, Page 70

Once you've looked at every problem from every angle and developed your solution you will face questions about your process. Make sure you've done enough research into your decision that you will not be surprised by the questions you'll face during presentation and implementation. By this point, you should know the process and your recommendation inside and out. There should be no such thing as surprises.