In 2013, BA-Works team decided to write a book that would help them share their experience and know-how in the field of business analysis. The team formed a working group that was responsible for content creation, publishing and marketing of the book. After nine months of hard-work, the book was ready to be published on amazon.com.
Unfortunately, the team was disappointed with the sales numbers of the first print. The book sold only a few copies in three months’ period. The team was confident about the quality of the content but feeling that there was something wrong in positioning and marketing of the book. BA-Works team decided to apply design thinking methodology to solve this challenge.
The book working group who ignored to get the feedback of target audience during the preparation of the first print, decided to talk to as many business analysts (BAs) as possible. The target group was classified under two personas: BAs with experience of less than 3 years and experienced BAs who has team lead or BA manager roles in their companies. Especially the people who participated in BA-Works’ training courses were interviewed. The points raised by interviewees were then grouped and analyzed on affinity diagrams. The working group identified the following insights:
- While the experienced group was more interested in getting mentorship, BAs with experience of less than 3 years were mainly interested in learning about BA methodologies and techniques.
- The target audience mentioned that they liked thin books which they could easily take with them for short business trips.
- The title of the first print was “Thales Way of Software Requirements Management.” Almost all of the research participants mentioned that this title sound like an old book rather than being an authentic and attractive one.
- When they were asked about their search criteria for BA books, research participants said that they used either “business analysis book” or “business analyst book” keywords. When they were asked the reason for adding “book”, they said there were many categories at e-business web sites and this way they could get a more to-the-point listing.
Based on these insights, the book working group decided to split the content into two separate books. Rather than adding new sections, some parts of the content were removed to make the book more concise and easy to read. The quotation from famous novelist Antoine de Saint Exupery inspired the team at this point: “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” In simplifying the content, an Einstein quotation was also remembered to prevent the risk of ‘false simplicity’: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
After all of these design thinking & doing efforts, BA-works team published the book as “Business Analyst’s Mentor Book.” The team started to check the sales numbers with a big excitement. In a few days, the sales graphics started to appear like a rocket. The book sales increased exponentially each following day. Within a couple of months, the book was listed as the best seller in ‘Amazon System Analysis and Design Category’.
As reviews started to appear about the book, the team felt more motivated because they could see that the insights they got during the design thinking efforts came true and were the main success factor.
There were some negative comments because they were expecting more information and examples about tools and techniques. BA-works team decided to leverage this insight in creating their next book.
In 2015 they published “Business Analysis Methodology Book” which mainly included business analysis tools and techniques. A real-life case study with sample project documents and diagrams was also included to explain the tools and techniques more practically. Within a few months, this book also achieved to be listed on ‘Amazon System Analysis and Design’ and ‘Consulting’ categories.
These two books sold thousands of copies in more than twenty countries since they were published. This accelerated BA-Works team’s efforts to be a global thought-leader rather than a regional one. It also helped BA-Works team to be an open organization that is not only motivated by creating “the new” but also “sharing” it.