Work-Life Integration

A good friend of mine said once that he doesn’t practice work-life balance; rather, he practices work-life “integration.” That was an interesting concept, and consequently, I discovered I do pretty much the same thing. The great thing about being a practitioner of business analysis (regardless of title) is we get to do things in our work life that we actually enjoy doing in our personal life and get paid for it!

Case-in-point. In my personal life, I am planning an international event for one of my hobbies. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that makes me more, in general, a “project manager,” but all of the sudden a few weeks ago, we were faced with a major change in our plans brought on by a breach of contract by our event venue. I sat right down with a list of the options available to us, and immediately made a chart of “types of” attendees and the impact to them, in order to make a good decision about how to proceed. Once I realized what I was doing, I stopped in my tracks. Then I kicked myself for not already having that list of attendee types (known in my work world as “stakeholders.”)

The BABOK(r) Guide refers to “business analysis” as “the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.” So there I was, figuring out how to enable the change in our event (the “enterprise”) venue by defining the needs of our attendees (stakeholders) and coming with with solutions that would be of value. I even typed a sentence similar in correspondence with some of the stakeholders that said something along the lines of, “I don’t believe there’s any further value for our attendees to pursue this option.” Woah. Heavy. Have I achieved work-life integration? Seems so!

Not to go too deep, but I would submit to you that your life could be considered an “enterprise.” And since life is all about change, it’s important to define your needs so that you can implement solutions to those changes that deliver value to your life. And the lives of your family. And everyone you ever happen to interact with. So, really – aren’t we all practitioners of business analysis? Or maybe we should call ourselves, Life Analysts.

OK – now I’m off to copyright that and monetize it. LOL!!

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  1. Diana Harvison

    What an excellent example! I love how you’ve applied it. As analysts, we often find ourselves analyzing not only work, but life too – often without even realizing it. We should do our best to be cognizant of it in all areas. I love the idea of being a “Life Analyst”!

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