Becoming a better BA – The Importance of “Rituals”


Becoming a better BA


In this post, I discuss a TED Talk by a doctor. The things that this doctor talks about are valuable for becoming a better BA.

In a TED talk, Dr Abraham Verghese says that:

“The most important innovation in medicine to come in the next 10 years: the power of the human hand.”

In this talk he describes how it’s the ritual that is often the most important thing for the doctor-patient relationship. It is the “human contact” that makes the patient feel that there are being cared for.

One interesting example Verghese gives, is the “ritual” of the daily rounds (in a hospital).

In earlier years, this involved a group of junior doctors crowding around a more senior one as they went from bed to bed to check on, and discuss, the patients.

Nowadays, this is more likely to happen with all the doctors sitting around a large table, all with access to print-outs, computer screens, etc, etc., without the patient even being present.

This is true for a lot of situations where there is some professional relationship.

It is the presence of the expert and the way they perform their ritual that gives the customer a sense of being taken seriously.


Verghese gives a great talk. Below the video I talk about how, what he says, is important in Business Analysis …


Becoming a better BA

The most valuable thing, (and it’s worth repeating), that can be drawn from Abraham Verghese’s presentation is

It is the presence of the expert and the way they perform their ritual that gives the customer a sense of being taken seriously.


You work with customers. You spend time talking with them to draw out what the actual problem is that they are trying to solve. Are you an expert in their particular field. Not necessarily. But you are an expert.

You know how to take what you hear, (and often what you don’t hear), and translate it into something that helps. Something that improves a situation. Something that adds real value.

It’s your rituals

But what is it that helps you achieve this? It’s your rituals.

It’s your rituals that show that you’re an expert


handshake2xIt’s the way that you interact with the client, and the stakeholders.



ConfidenceIt’s the confidence you have.



feedbackIt’s the way that you provide feedback so that no-one is left wondering what is going on.



presenceIt’s the way that you are present when you are with the client and they can see that you have their best interests at heart.


These, and many other small actions that you take when interacting with the customer, are what portray you as an expert.


Want to learn more?

Below is a selection of resources that I personally feel are relevant to this blog post, and will allow you to get more in-depth knowledge. I do earn a commission if you purchase any of these, and for that I am grateful. Thank you. (Important Disclosure)




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