One of the things I love most about the holiday season is being able to turn on the TV and find a slew of good holiday related movies. As I was watching a few of my favorites this year, I realized that almost every character possesses traits of a business analyst. After-all, a good business analyst is a communicator, a facilitator and a problem solver, just to name a few…and, there wouldn’t be a good movie on earth without one of these core elements to establish a good plot.
In the world of the BABOK®, the traits that characters display are known as Underlying Competencies. If you can master this set of skills, being a successful business analyst is only a matter of applying these skills appropriately to your current situation. In this list of the Best (or Worst) Holiday Movie BAs, you’ll watch and see how some of the most memorable holiday characters showcase the underlying competencies of business analysis.
Underlying Competency: Problem Solving
BABOK Definition: Defining a problem involves ensuring that the nature of the problem and any underlying issues are clearly understood.
Movie BA: Clark Griswold | Christmas Vacation
Clark might first be considered the last true family man, but he is also an excellent problem solver. When confronted with a troubling newel post, he took decisive action that immediately solved the problem at hand.
Underlying Competency: Conceptual Thinking
BABOK Definition: Conceptual thinking is about understanding the linkage between contexts, solutions, needs, changes, stakeholders, and value abstractly and in the big picture. It involves understanding and connecting information and patterns that may not be obviously related.
Movie BA: Jim Hardy | Holiday Inn
Want to learn how to think conceptually? You may not want to follow Bing’s path and end up in a Sanitarium, but hey, can’t argue with success. What a concept! Nothing like a little rest in a mental institute to get clarity and broaden your perspective.
Underlying Competency: Business Knowledge
BABOK Definition: Business knowledge is required for the business analyst to perform effectively within their business, industry, organization, solution, and methodology. Business knowledge enables the business analyst to better understand the overarching concepts that govern the structure, benefits, and value of the situation as it relates to a change or a need.
Movie BA: Buddy | Elf
Clearly Buddy knows the North Pole, and this guy isn’t fooling him!
Underlying Competency: Ethics
BABOK Definition: Ethics require an understanding and focus on fairness, consideration, and moral behaviour through business analysis activities and relationships. Ethical behaviour includes consideration of the impact that a proposed solution can have on all stakeholder groups and working to ensure that those groups are treated as fairly as possible.
Movie BA: George Bailey | It’s a Wonderful Life
This might not be the most famous excerpt from this classic holiday movie, but it is an awesome example of someone who puts other’s interests above his own and exemplifies ethical behavior. I know I’d want George Bailey in my corner, especially after his encounter with Clarence.
Underlying Competency: Personal Accountability
BABOK Definition: Business analysts take responsibility for identifying and escalating risks and issues. They also ensure that decision makers have the appropriate information in order to assess impact.
Movie BA: Ebenezer Scrooge | A Christmas Carol
We all know that the willingness to take ownership for outcomes resulting from choices, behaviors and actions isn’t always easy. People like Ebenezer Scrooge, who are unable to step back and see the big picture, sometimes require the intervention of a ghost or two before personal accountability is fully realized.
Underlying Competency: Trustworthiness
BABOK Definition: Trustworthiness is the perception that one is worthy of trust. A business analyst being considered trustworthy may offset the natural fear of change experienced by many stakeholders. One important factor in being consider trustworthy is presenting a consistent attitude of confidence, so that colleagues and stakeholders consider the business analyst’s demeanor as strong.
Movie BA: Kris Kringle| Miracle on 34th Street
Doris and Fred might not have known that they could believe in Kris Kringle, but Susan trusted him implicitly.
Underlying Competency: Organization and Time Management
BABOK Definition: Organization and time management involves the ability to prioritize tasks, perform them efficiently, and manage time effectively. Business analysts are
constantly acquiring and accumulating significant quantities of information, and this information must be organized and stored in an efficient manner so that it can be used and reused at a later date.
Movie BA: Kevin McCallister | Home Alone
Without a plan in place and the time management to execute his plan, Kevin might have ended up with his guts full of lead. 1, 2, 10!
Underlying Competency: Written Communication
BABOK Definition: Written communication is the practice of using text, symbols, models (formal or informal), and sketches to convey and share information. An understanding of
the audience is beneficial to effectively use written communication. Presenting information and ideas requires selecting the correct words so the audience will understand the intended meaning.
Movie BA: Mark | Love Actually
I love this scene! Sometimes the written word is more powerful than the spoken word and this is a great example of how a few words can make a profound impact. (PS: I’ve always wondered, what would have happened if Peter had answered the door?)
Underlying Competency: Leadership and Influencing
BABOK Definition: Leadership and influencing involves motivating people to act in ways that enable them to work together to achieve shared goals and objectives.
Movie BA: Frank Cross | Scrooged
Empower, inspire, innovate, maximize. These are a few descriptors of effective leaders; leaders who mentor, influence and guide people towards a shared vision. This is what it is always like, right? Unfortunately, there are also the stereotypical tyrants who rule by intimidation like this character from Scrooged. If you are in a leadership position, do the opposite of Frank.
Underlying Competency: Creative Thinking
BABOK Definition: Creative thinking involves generating new ideas and concepts. Creative thinking may involve combining, changing, and reapplying existing concepts or ideas.
Movie BA: Ralphie Parker | A Christmas Story
Ralphie’s composition daydream is a combination of some really wild creative thinking. Creative thinking begins declining after age 5. Oh to be a child again!
Underlying Competency: Adaptability
BABOK Definition: Adaptability is the ability to change techniques, style, methods, and approach. By demonstrating a willingness to interact with and complete tasks in a manner preferable to the stakeholders, business analysts can maximize the quality of service delivered and more efficiently help the organization achieve its goals and objectives.
Movie BA: Jack Campbell | The Family Man
When faced with a new, unfamiliar reality, Jack adapts well to his new role as Dad.
Underlying Competency: Learning
BABOK Definition: Learning is the process of gaining knowledge or skills. Business analysts must be capable of applying that level of understanding to determine which analysis activities need to be performed in a given situation.
Movie BA: John McClane | Die Hard
Let the debate of “Is Die Hard a holiday movie?” ensue! Regardless of your stance, we can all agree that John McClane is a character we don’t want to mess with and while he may be stubborn, he also shows that he can learn from others.
We hope you had as much fun reading this post as we did putting it together. Do you know of other Holiday Movie BAs? Let us know and share below in the comments.
On another note, thank you for being a part of our BA Community this year! We love getting to share and collaborate with such an awesome group of people and look forward to more in 2016. Happy Holidays!
– Kaley and everyone at B2T Training
Also published on Medium.