Without data we are nothing

Without data we are nothing

I was embarrassed yesterday.

Not because I tripped over a carpet tile in front of a glass meeting room full of people.

Not because I came out of the toilet with my flies undone.

I was asked about the business benefits of the project I’m working on, and I did not know what they were.

Being the professional that I am, I committed to the other person that I would find out and get back to them, today.

So I asked my project manager. She didn’t know either. Now that’s dysfunctional.

So I asked my business owner. They did not know either. Now that’s f*cking dysfunctional.

If you are thinking what I was thinking, then you will be thinking that I should have thought about this before someone else made me think about it.

Still with me? Good.

What this boils down to is that without this data I don’t know why I do what I’m doing. Surely someone must do, but the people closest to the project don’t.

So anyway after some digging around I found out.

And now I know what I didn’t know but should have known in the first place.

It’s easy to get caught up in the detail and day to day corporate ‘stuff’ that we do, but actually there is a lot of value in slowing down occasionally and reminding ourselves why we are doing it.

Knowing the value of our work is motivating and gives purpose to our day.

Also it brings a team together as you become focused on a common goal.

So, now I’ve written the benefits on the wall so it’s there for everyone to see, and I nor anyone else on the team will feel embarrassed ever again.

OK, maybe I exaggerated the last bit, but you get the idea – right?

What stats about your business or project do you want to, or should already know?

And most importantly do you know the business value of what you are working on?

If you don’t, then find out today and share the information, because without this – what’s the bloody point?

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There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Steve at 8:56 am

    Okay, so now you know why you’re doing this project – the problem to solve.

    How do you know whether your actions on the project, the plan and it’s execution, will actually result in solving the problem?

    And don’t just say “because that’s what the business case says”, or I will slap you with a soggy requirements document.

    Bonus points for working how long (in days) it will take before you can prove or disprove your team solved the problem.

    • now at 10:36 am

      Steve, you’re absolutely right.
      The next step is to use the knowledge to drive the priorities of the backlog.
      For every bit of functionality, for every process being changed you can now ask – does it help to achieve the benefits? By how much?
      But – first things first, you have to know what the end goal is.
      Unfortunately I’ve been surprised by how many people loose track of this basic principle.

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