We business analysts get a fairly good number of opportunities to work with multiple projects and multiple clients. I personally have been involved in more than 30 projects over the last 20 years.
As we spend a good number of years in the industry, it becomes quite difficult for us to remember what we did in a project, say about 15 years back. Sometimes people ask us about our experiences from those projects and it's indeed quite hard to remember information for so long.
Is it possible that we adopt some of the good practices that some of the methods offer? For example, Agile offers a very valuable technique retrospective. During retrospective, we analyze aspects where we performed well, where we did not perform well and what we can do better in the future.
Wouldn't the same thing be applicable to us as an individual business analysis professional?
I am proposing a Personal Project Respective (PPR) document which we should maintain for each of the projects that we participate in.
Information that we could include in the template could be
Who was the client?
What was the duration of the project?
What was the challenge the client was facing?
What kind of solutions did we come up with?
Did we try anything new with the client?
What outcomes were achieved through the project?
What were the key learnings that we had in the project?
These are few things that we can keep it written down so that it remains with us for long. I am 100% sure many of us would continue to work really late into our work life which could be 60 years, 65 years, or even 75 years.
I see a lot of professionals who continue to contribute, train, mentor younger professionals even at an age which normally one wouldn't expect to work. Having Personal Project Respective document created for each of the projects keeps our memories fresh of good times and bad times with specific project.
Here is a template that I designed to capture the information in these dimensions. You can download it use it.
I kept it purposefully within a page so that doesn't seem like a lot of documentation to do but still capture the essence in a single page. Over 25 years, we will have a 40 pages document that will be very valuable for us to observe how we have improved as a business analyst professional. If some of these learning that we had could be put into a method or a process, that will prevent the same mistakes in future.
I would be happy and obliged for suggestions to improve the template.