Here’s a typical IT solutions scenario. (Well, at least in a smaller company anyway)
Someone emails you a requirement. (“Hey I need sales figures from all the back in the middle ages – 1990 to now as I want to see who have purchased from us before and contact them. Hehe”)
The IT/BA guy says “Okay great, here’s work to be done.” and goes to the system, pulls out the data and then formats it in Excel (Hmm… Arial font-size 11 seems to look pretty) and then sends it off. “TA-DA”
An hour later, the user calls and says that’s not what he wants and conclude you don’t understand the business. Sounds familiar?
That’s because at some point in our lives we have been guilty of doing this. (Yes I can see it in your faces).
As I learnt from a talk in Church (strangely enough), giving someone the gift of the solution (in this case) isn’t really it. Sometimes, you need to listen to the user, understand what he wants, even gently lead him to see what’s the best way to solve his problem and then work out the solution together. After a few iterations, and some more discussions with the user, the most appropriate solution is presented (“TA-DA”). And you’ll be appreciated so much more, even if the final solution is probably going to be the same as you first envisage .