Perspective 5 - The System (Part 1)

Hello everyone!


Now that we have wrapped up Perspective 4 around Business rules, and had our special bonus interview with Robert Thacker on Process Mining and Process Automation, it’s now time to talk about Perspective 5: The Systems. If you have missed the previous Perspectives you can find them on my blog.


First, we should start with defining what a system is for the purpose of this perspective. If you have ever studied the concept of systems thinking, you know a system is defined as more than just technology. A system in the context of systems thinking consists of interacting, interrelated and interdependent components to form a complete whole. So, a system is made up of many components, not just technology. A system consists of the organization culture, framework, processes, resources, technology and more. However, for the context of this perspective we will be focusing on technology. We will focus on what a system is from the standpoint of technology, how systems work independently and with other systems, how to identify systems, why having this knowledge is important, and finally we will wrap up with the system context diagram technique as a way to visualize systems.

Before we get started there is one item I do want to address. There may be some of you reading this post that are business analysts, and I want to address a question I receive a lot from business analysts in regards to, what technologies do you have to know in order to be a successful business analyst. My answer to that question is, it depends! There is no way you can learn every single technology/software language out there. You will lose your mind. It’s just not a realistic goal, and you will swirl forever trying to keep up. However, there is some reflection you can leverage to determine (1) do you need to know certain technologies to be successful in a certain industry? (2) What technologies do you need to know to be successful in your role if that is required? (3) Do I want to work in an environment as a business analyst where I have to be a technical business analyst? Here are some reflections to consider:

  1. Determine if the business analyst role you want for your career is focused on the business side, technical side, or you’re open to both.

  2. Based on the business analysis roles you are interested in pursuing, determine if you see patterns of technolog