Join Haydn Thomas for an in-depth discussion in this video On presenting information, part of Insights from a Business Analyst.
Humans predominately think in pictures, OK. That's a stock standard statement. A picture's worth a thousand words. As a business analyst, we spend a lot of time capturing information and it's predominately in a written form. So this is where you need to know the audience of who's going to digest the information. So one of the things I'd always encourage you to use is a lot of diagramming within your project, material, and documentation. Context diagrams, functional flow diagrams, things like that that actually show people how things fit together because ultimately then you can use that as a high level framework to then drill into the detail when people wanna go into it.
Most sponsors of projects will never ever read the level of detail that is expected of them. The point being is they'll read the executive summary which will be an overall snapshot of what's going on. They'll look at the pictures. And as long as it appears that it's going to achieve everything they want in a project, that'll be fine. There'll be other times where people wanna read the 37 different page document that supports one requirement because they will need to get into level of detail to understand it. So as a business analyst, we need to make sure that when we create our documentation, our packages, we put it in such a way that we can chunk things down.
So obviously at the very beginning, an executive summary, we then draw some pictures to sort of show the context and then what we do is we then start drilling it down to the point right down to when someone really needs that low level detail. Or more to the point, we can actually show them where it is, either using it as a hyperlink or an extension, or an [unintelligible] to a document. So in other words, we can reference it without it actually having to take up the whole document itself. So the real essence here is know your audience. If you know your audience, know the level of detail they need and the type of preference of the way the information is presented, you're gonna have a far better chance of them actually accepting it, making decisions, signing off, and moving forward.