He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.

The above famous quote describes the function of Business analyst aptly. In my earlier article, I explained the high-level tasks which business analysts have to perform. To bring the right value as part of a day to day work, you need to ask the right questions.

Day by day business and IT teams are getting together with application understandings and there is a very thin line between the roles which business and IT people are performing. With a better understanding of applications, business users have started thinking about possible solutions and requesting the same as part of the requirement. You need to ask the right questions to understand the problems.

The right questions will go to multiple levels. Never hesitate to ask questions. Continue with your questions unless you understand each scenario and each business rule. For any process changes, understand why the order of steps needs to change, you will not know what else is impacted, what additional requirements are needed to support the change, or what potential problems might this change create. Always assume that the information given by stakeholders may not be correct or full so ask the question and try to collect as much information as you can.

In summary:

  • Ask the right questions
  • Ask “Why?” until you get to the root cause
  • Ask questions until things make sense