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I’ll take it if it’s free

Recently I found myself having to explain what was meant by not doing an upfront analysis. Members of the team had been stopping people from recording information from a conversation as it was “upfront analysis” and “would be captured when we pick the story up”. To help with the explanation, I recalled an anecdote that Sal Freudenberg had used during my scrum training.

I thought I’d repeat it here, changed to talk about my eldest.

Party planning

Tom’s birthday is next month, and he is very particular about what he wants for his party. So in the last few weeks, we’ve booked a soft-play centre and started to organise invitations. We’re still a few weeks away, so we aren’t in the final stages but we are starting to get things ready.

We’ve known Tom was going to turn 4 since his third birthday, inevitable, really. However, we didn’t start planning straight away. Children are incredibly changeable, and what he liked a year ago bears no relation to what he’s into now. It wouldn’t have made sense for us to plan another pirate party. We just knew it’d be a waste of time.

However, as the year has gone along, we’ve spotted things he may like at his party: a particular candle (expensive), a few places he might like to hold the party (not my house), a present that he’ll love (and is educational). Small things that we came across without looking out for them. It didn’t cost us anything to save the link or grab a flyer.

Now we are in the real planning stage; they’ve proved invaluable. We don’t have to hunt for a selection of venues; we can show him the pictures. We know we can get hold of a Batman candle for his cake.

We didn’t start planning and arranging his party until a few weeks before. If something came along, we tucked it away, knowing it may be helpful later.

Take it while it’s free

For me, this is the meaning behind not doing an up-front analysis.

We know things are going to change, so we don’t go into detail. However, taking a quick note of something that seems important now doesn’t cost us anything. It may save us a lot of time and energy later down the line.

Of course, it may not.

For more article’s on analysis, read Essential Skills – Critical Analysis

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