Being a BA means working in various teams, on multiple projects at the same time, with a lot of thoughts and ideas popping into your mind all over the day. Dealing with so much information is not easy; transforming this information into actionable and usable data is even more complicated. Lately, many bloggers are praising the power of Lists to handle this professional reality:
- An Elephant Really Does Have a Great Memory by Karie Price (Real World BA)
- Why “List” is a Dirty Word by David Allen
- What Else Did I Need To Do??? by Betsy Stockdale
However, I’ve seen many BAs trying to use lists to help them, but also seen many of them failing to use lists effectively. So, how can we use lists effectively as a BA?
For a long time, I had difficulties using my lists effectively. I had a lot of lists to manage various aspects of my work, but it was hard for me to extract useful data from those lists. Moreover, I had so many lists that even though I had created those lists to help me, I was spending too much time trying to find the right list to get the information I needed. In the end, many of those lists ended up in my trash can because they were not useful at all.
Then, I came across a small book by David Allen, Getting Things Done (GTD). In his book, David suggests a simple 5-step process to deal with the information we constantly receive (i.e. the stuff) and how to handle this stuff with simple lists. There is no magic behind GTD, but by following his tips, I’ve been able to dramatically improve the way I use my own lists, and improve the quality of my work as a BA.