Analysis is only half the job; the other half is design.

21 Feb

It is me… again πŸ˜€ I would like to talk today about the design, and different approaches to it. Analysts need to think while building a system, about design problems in fundamental different way than the managers and other members of organization. People as a source of information are very valuable for an analyst as they reason about things in different way. According to Daniel Dennett people take one particular stance towards changes, innovation etc.
There are 3 stances:
1. Physic stance: we use our basic sense of physics to predict things, such as when we wonder, β€œWhat would happen if I pour sand on a fire?”
2. Intentional stance: we use a different part of our brain to anticipate how an intentional agent (like a plant, animal, or person) will change their behaviour in order to get what he, she, or it wants. When we predict what the tiger that’s chasing us will do when we turn to duck in a cave.
3. Design stance: we use our understanding of human intentions as they are embodied in designed objects, such as when we pick up a new tool and wonder, β€œHow did the person who made this intend for it to be used?”

So analyst designing a system tries to optimize to obtain some desired effect. This means that we’re taking one of these predictive stances about what will and won’t work, i.e., what will let our personas achieve their goals. Which stance is it? I don’t think anyone adopts the physical stance when designing. No one perceives users’ behaviours as defined by strictly physical forces. I believe the design stance is the default stance people take when designing and it’s the wrong one. In the design stance you can change the tool to fit the task. Turn the hammer around. Pull off the metal part. Only instead of working with hammers, you’re working with your sense of users in the world. When we design this way, we serve ourselves and the systems more than we do the people who are using our stuff, and that’s a way to ensure that people do not love your product or service. The intentional stance is the right stance for design, since it respects users’ goals as something largely fixed, and which we have to accommodate with the smartest design possible, or they will change their behaviour, and go to a competitor. Well saying that I need to come back to my last post: β€œDo we need him or her?”. Analyst is needed as only person who can focus on details like the above can create the right system and only that person will have enough time, resources and IT knowledge to succeed with the project. Till the next time πŸ˜€




4 Responses to “Analysis is only half the job; the other half is design.”

  1. sad112567137 February 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    very interesting post! πŸ™‚ is there any other stances or skills you think are beneficial to IS analysts?

  2. sad112540853 March 7, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    what do you think is the most important skill that a system analyst should have? Great blog by the way πŸ˜€ it was really interesting πŸ˜€

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