Its TSQL Tuesday time again, and this month the topic is being hosted by Steve Jones ( Blog | @Twitter )  The topic at hand is related to interacting with business users or more Specifically, “What issues have you had in interacting with the business to get your job done”


We are the people, they couldnt figure out!

We are the people our parents warned us about — Jimmy Buffett

 

A Different Twist

What If you were the business user who had the business “issues”?  I’ve been the business user that is the subject of every technogeek stereotype.  You know, the one who doesnt really know what they want until they see it.  Yeah, I was/am that guy.  As a matter of fact, Ive been that guy recently.  You see, I have two jobs that put me in that sort of position relatively often.  In my day job I manage a team of Database Professionals (Excellent ones I’d add! )   In my “night” job, I volunteer for PASS.  In both of these roles I often see the need to have something built and anytime something gets built by IT there can be issues. 

Change

In order to succeed at completing your job/project/task its often easiest to go ahead and plan on change.  Change is in my estimation at the root of 95% of all issues when dealing with business needs.  Things change often and no matter how many times you think things are static on both sides of the project equation (requirements vs development) they will surely change again.  Ive found that no matter how thourough I have been in coming up with a decent set of requirements before asking for work to be done, in the end something always changes.  Often I will have no control over those changes but, many times something comes up that changes things and this always causes the “issues” between both sides of a project.  Change is actually a good thing, If every project Ive been involved with were implimented exactly as first envisioned (no changes) I suspect things would be considerably different, and not in a good way!!

Communicaton

After sitting at both sides of the desk, you begin to realize the easiest way to eliminate issues between the people who have needs and wants and those IT Guru’s trying to make them a reality is a very open line of communication and trust.  Once you succeed at opening that communication line, all tasks become easier.  With open communication change becomes less of an issue and dare I say it: a bit more acceptable to everyone.  This is the first line of defense in solving  issues before they even become issues!

We’re not crazy

Despite rumors to the contrary the people who need work done AKA “business users” arent totally crazy and intentionally trying to make everyones lives difficult with constant changes.  Often times we are just as frustrated that our needs (or requirements) are changing as the IT Gurus are for having to accomidate those changes.  Once the communication lines are open between all parties, things get considerably easier and the impact of those changing needs can be efficiently weighed against the timelines, costs, etc of the task/project