Join Haydn Thomas for an in-depth discussion in this video Three "languages" in an organization, part of Insights from a Business Analyst.
Within an organization, we talk different languages. And one of the things you need to be aware of as a business analyst is probably the three most common languages that are understood. Firstly, you have strategic language. This is a sort of language that senior managers and executives talk about. Return on investment, expected outcomes, results, expectations, visions, values, missions, and to be honest, most people in the organization hear - "Blah, blah, "blah, blah, blah." The point being is this is the language that these executives talk on a daily basis to each other.
We then move into the second language in organization, and it's what we call tactical language. And that's where project managers, business analysts, and other project professionals use words such as work breakdown structures, risks, issues, actions, schedules, Gantt charts, requirements, stakeholders - these are words that we actually use as project professionals to talk about the activities that are needed to deliver against the project. Once again, everyone else in the organization hears, "Blah, blah blah". We then get down to what we call operational language.
This is where the people who are living and breathing the day-to-day processes, procedures, service level agreements, key performance indicators, exception processing, support, training - these are all the words that basically people are living with on a day-to-day basis. So, as you can start seeing, we've got the strategic language, predominantly done by senior management, tactical language, which are the people who are affecting the change within the organizations, and operational language, the people living with the day-to-day. As a business analyst, you need to be talking to people in the right language.
If you start coming in at a different language level, they're not going to understand you, and you're not going to build up that trust and relationship that's needed to try and elicit good, quality information from people. So, the real focus here is preparing and knowing who your audience is before you actually go and have those conversations with them, and determine the language, whether it's strategic, tactical, or operational, in preparation to those requirement sessions.