Details are the key to the delivery of a successful project. Walt Disney has been quoted as saying: ‘There is no magic in magic, it’s all in the details’. One could argue that his obsession with detail is the reason Disney is the household name it is today. You’ll also find the internet littered with quotes, idioms and sayings extolling the virtues of paying attention to the details and inversely, warnings about the consequences of not doing so. What is important to note is that a small detail can make or break a project.
Of course, you might consider this to be an exaggeration of epic proportions. However, it’s fair to say that we live and work in a world of dominoes where if one important element is out of line, the rest don’t fall as intended. You may get to your required end result with a bit of extra effort or more likely with a lot extra if you placed more than one item haphazardly.
As a Digital Business Analyst working at Which?, part of the role is to gain an understanding of the product. You need to know about the goals, challenges, business and system processes. You are then able to distil the requirements into the more detailed components required for development in order to achieve that goal. The more you know a product, the easier it becomes to be aware of the details.
This does not mean that all details must be known and accounted for upfront to specify the requirements. Having the ability to know what the right level of detail is and at the right time is much more important. It is about identifying which details are the important ones, being able to accept that not all is known and plan for contingencies where possible.
The more aware you become of the details and the more familiar you become with a product or project, the more likely you are to start viewing it in terms of defects and areas for improvement. The Business Analyst’s goal is to improve things, so a critical point of view comes easy to us. The sites where I spend most of my working day striving to meet this goal are part of the free Consumer Advice service sites that Which? provides.
Which? Birth Choice and Which? Elderly Care are two smaller parts of the Which? Digital real estate. The sites aren’t a part of Reviews, that Which? is most known for, nor are they a part of Campaigns, lobbying for and affecting positive change. What they do provide alongside Which? Consumer Rights and Which? University, is free information to help people feel empowered to make the right choices.
At the recent British Medical Association Patient Information Awards, both Birth Choice and Elderly Care were Highly Commended by the judges and Which? Birth Choice was the outright winner in the Special Award for decision-making.
Ironically, we are in the process of rebuilding and redesigning Birth Choice and so are very much focused on the details. Not only do I feel very proud to be part of the team working on these sites, but winning these awards is also a reminder of what a big impact the little things can have.