It is a simple question, however if you answer yes and
were asked follow on questions you may be in a position where you made
assumptions on what you ‘think’ the business is all about rather than on concrete information.
A good example of this is when someone in the business
says that functionality in a particular application is not working as it
should. If you truly understand the business you should be in a position to
validate if this particular issue is impactful or not. From a consumer perspective many things are tested long before they are unveiled to the consumer base to ensure that something will be liked (and purchased) by the masses rather than disregarded.
The trouble is that when we don’t fully understand our
business we enter into a seemingly never ending loop of assumption and treat
all things with equal amounts of importance. This will work for a while until
we spend time working on one issue when we should have worked on another which
ends up impacting the business.
out of the equation
We often get caught up on ‘loudest voice’ activities. If this
term is new to you, I am referring to the work that gets done by who might
escalate something the most rather than its impact on achieving business outcomes.
Taking an objective look from a step back will allow you to look at the big
picture. The trick is that while you will still need to address the loudest
voice you need to manage what really matters to the business and ensure those
who are escalating understand the reasoning behind it
you don’t know
For some, admitting that you don’t know something is
difficult but it is the first step in the journey to understanding. Look at
this in terms of what knowledge is:
Validated – Information that we know to be
accurate through a source of truth
Assumed – Information that we think we know or
are certain we heard somewhere, but not validated
Uncertain – Information that may be different depending
on the person you ask
Unknown – No one is sure of the answer
Separating these items will allow you to get a good sense
of the knowledge about your business. This will position you to see what
information you don’t have and also what is assumed. The later will like may be
assumed by others so sharing what you learn about your business is an important
part of the understanding process.
The key is that when you look at the information you have
to not get discouraged on all the data that cannot be validated. It might be a
daunting task however this should be looked at in terms of a marathon rather
than a race. This is simply an opportunity to learn about your business and
improve relationships with people who work there.
Labels: BRM, Business Relationship Management, Continual Service Improvement, Customer service, ITSM, Service Delivery