There aren't any wrong answers.
According to the trainer on the business analysis course I went to: there are no wrong answers, only different people's interpretations. I tested his assertion and it may be true, at least in his training room. When our team made deliberate omissions the answer was not wrong. Even when our team made diliberate errors the answer was not wrong. In fact, when we made deliberate misinterpretations the answer was not wrong. I toyed with the idea of drawing a data flow diagram which looked like a duck.
I think other people were testing his assertion too. When one team proposed amalgamating the "Customer Order
" with the "Stock
Ledger" while maintaining separate "Back Order
" and "Stock
Receipt" data stores, the answer was not wrong either. What the trainer did say was "an Order data store and a Product data store would be another solution", and he was surprised no team had thought of it. Ironically, he was standing next to another team's big colourful data flow diagram featuring an "Order File" and a "Product File". (I don't know why they both changed "stock" to "product", but they did.)
We learned other things, tarred with the same authority:
1. When do you write the specification? Whenever is most sensible.
2. We learned about Exhaustive Decision Tables which could resolve a decision in all circumstances. Somebody asked what the question marks meant. Somebody else pointed out the footnote which identified the question marks as "unresolved".
3. We learned the difference between Business Process Review and Total Quality Management. If you had a process which took a fortnight: BPR would reduce the time by ten percent; TQM would reduce the time to a day.
He regretted we couldn't go into some of the topics a bit more: "We only have four days, not five or six or seven or eight. Five or six or seven or eight would be too long anyway.".
And in return for his knowledge I was able to give him some advice about his people skills. When he told me he was "going to get a smile out of me" and struck me lightly on the upper arm, I told him "not if you keep hitting me".Better now.
Last night I went to the theatre to see The 5th Door