For many, many years I have used all available sources to keep up to date on what I do as a profession. Back in the day, I would read good old paper magazines being circulated in offices I worked in, venerable publications like ComputerWorld, Datamation, and Information Week. As the internet grew, the sources became websites and email newsletters, then blog postings by noted writers, followed by distribution through twitter and its accumulator services like paper.li.
But lately I find my sources are repeating the same topics over and over again; Agile, BPMN, Use Cases versus User Stories, etc.. Have we climbed on to a plateau of methods and methodologies? When was the last thing to come out that made a difference in the way Business Analysts provide better results?
My focus for a long time has been Requirements, their discovery, documentation, and use in delivering solutions. At least a decade ago I wrote posts on what combination of requirements techniques have worked best for me; I have seen nothing since then to change or add to that set of techniques.
I am trying to decide if this is a good or bad thing. I do miss the days of exploring new approaches, all the way from Structured Analysis & Design, through to Business Rules Management. I like to think my attention span is not that short, but I ask "What's next?".
Now, I will not say that having a stable set of techniques is a panacea for Business Analysts working today; getting opportunities to use them effectively is still as much a challenge as it has ever been. When I do get that opportunity, the work is still as fulfilling as ever.
But still: What's next?