If I told you right now that I have 30 task for you to do for me, it's going take you 4 weeks, you are going to pay me $50 to get started, and when it's done almost nobody will care, you can't put it on your resume, and there will be no monetary return on investment. Would you do it? Sounds like a dumb idea, but people are doing it all the time and are loving it. In fact, they approach the tasks with unrelenting passion until it is done. If you haven't already guessed, I'm talking about video games.
So What Do Video Games Have to Do with Business Analysis in Real Life?
If gamers are willing to put this much effort into something that is NOT work related, get no money, and love it... why can't we bring this passion into the work we do in real life every day?
Well You Can. All you have to do is make work the game. What you actually do depends on where you are in your career, but I'll give some example for maybe a new business analyst to proactively gain experience, fully emerse himself/herself into the job, and have a good time doing it! Lets pick 2 things a BA should be good at. I'm going with...
- Process Diagramming
- Meeting Facilitation
In both cases, the best way to do get better at these things are with practice.
Next you set a goal. The numbers here really don't matter at first, because as soon as you reach them, you will be going for the next goal anyway.
- Diagram 10 process
- Facilitate 8 meetings
The game - diagram 10 processes and facilitate 8 meetings before the end of the month. GO! Create midway achievements. Fancy dinners or new shoes when you reach the midpoint and of course a big prize at the end. Include your peers, make it a race. Have statuses Level 1 meta analyst, Ultra analyst... etc. Make it fun and you'll be more passionate and it will become more enjoyable. This applies to everything: work, fitness goals, life goals, etc.
Real life example: Waze, a GPS app, is a tool that uses not only GPS, but the actual data from other cars on the road to find you the fastest route, automatically reroute you around traffic jams, etc. In order for it to work, people have to be using it most of the time. How did they convince people to use the GPS even when they already know how to get where they are going? Waze has achievements. You get points for reporting traffic, accidents, hazards, and for mileage. I'm currently Waze royalty (highest rank) because I use the app to drive to Nashville from Atlanta and back twice a month even though I've made the trip so many times, and I use it driving to work almost every day. People love games!
For the record, this isn't my original idea, the concept was born from a TED talk I watched that I haven't been able to stop thinking about since I first watched it almost a year ago. You can watch it here. Another inspiration come from #38 of 100 things people should know about themselves "Even the illusion of progress is motivating". Its amazing the places where we can draw inspiration.