Tuesday, September 30, 2008

End of a good project

For the past 8 months I have been working on omio. We got it from being just a mobile deals aggregator (for the UK) to also being a social network around mobile phones with reviews, ratings and stuff. Ruby on Rails was fun too... but then, that's always true, isn't it. Today was the last day of the project.

I have to say it's been a blast all throughout. First in Chennai with a new office and an extremely smart and totally insane team. Then in Pune with Sid, Aman, Deep and Anand... lot of fun.

Sid is rolling onto a .Net project and I did not try to hide the devlish pleasure I got watching him install Windoze on his machine :P But well, it's time he got out of his comfort zone. These rubyists... I tell you.

Aman, Deep and I remain on the beach (or bench, if you will) for a while. Hopefully something good will come out of it. Aakraman anyone?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Business Analysis and Quantum Physics

I recently read In search of Shrödinger's cat. It's a wonderful introduction to quantum mechanics; The basic (and intriguing) problem of the elusive electron acting as a wave and a particle at the same time.

Analysis is very much like observing the electron in the classic two slit experiment. The business domain is like a wave traveling through the two slits. But the moment we analyze, we make it boil down to one reality by asking it How, What, When and Who.

Waves give you a probability distribution, while particles give you one of the possibilities as a reality. Looking at a business problem, in the wave form is better since it let's you choose a reality that solves the problem well.

For Example: Let's say the business problem is "I want to let my customers know of the new offers I have so that they can take advantage of the offers and I can make money"

This is the problem in it's wave form. The reality can be one or more of email, website updates, RSS feed of offers, people going door-to-door, mobile advertisement vans and a million other options including telepathy, albeit with low probability perhaps.

The problem is that clients come and say "I want to let my customers know of the new offers I have by email so that they can take advantage of the offers and I can make money" and it takes a while to get into a mode where you challenge every reality and go back to the wave form, by asking "Why"? Why is the only question that let's you go back to the wave form.

The more we procrastinate our observation, the better will the chosen reality suit our problem. Agile takes this approach with the concept of the last responsible moment for a decision. It let's future remain future and hence full of possibilities.

Smart Business Analysis

A bunch of business analysts have started this blog recently. I hope to contribute to it more regularly than I update this blog. I will keep cross-posting here and linking good articles.

I hope to save smart business analysis from some of my more weird philosophies and analogies in the future. I thought I'll pick up a good practical BA problem for the first post there but ended up writing about "Business Analysis and Quantum Physics" for some reason.