Welcome to BA Tarot.comBusiness Analysis Elicitation Cards
I created these cards for my own use, then lots of other BA’s and customers kept asking me for a copy so
I have created this site to enable people to order their own set of Business Analysis Tarot Cards and
to learn a little more about how they are used .
The cards can be used in many ways but mostly they are used for elicitation of strategy, requirements,
perspective and ideas especially in interviews and workshops.
Business Analysis Tarot Cards
Three versions of the cards are available:
What is all this about Tarot Cards?
Imagine you are in front of a client and you are trying to understand how the organisation is structured, what its strategy is and how you can help deliver an amazing solution? Where do you start? Do you dive into the detail, perhaps missing some core components? Does the client even know what their strategy or business situation is?
In your bag you have a deck of cards that helps you to elicit some of the details, with prompts to remind you (and the client) all the aspects of an organisation that need to be considered during Business Analysis Projects. Each card represents an essential aspect of the organisation and on the reverse are considerations that you can use as discussion points. That is the value of the BA Tarot Cards. Imagine how useful a deck of 42cards with 39 cards that have 6 business considerations on the back. That is 234 considerations that can be used to help elicit ideas, knowledge and information.
That is how the BA Tarot cards work, they act as a system for you to structurally investigate the business, its rules and enable you to pose questions to the user to help you investigate deeper. All presented in a handy protective bag combined with different techniques that you can use. – you can even create your own techniques!
About the Business Analysis Tarot Cards.
You will find a description of all the cards and their meaning throughout the site . The cards are not magic, you will not find any occult here. They are a representations of an organisation and how it functions. To find out more about their origins of the cards check out the Background Pages.
The Cards Page will give you an overview of the 6 suits of the cards and the additional cards. The 6 functions have been created to consider an organisation in an holistic way.
I use the cards for elicitation and consideration of much of the Business analysis process model. They are useful when looking at the overall business strategy and objectives, investigating the situation and considering stakeholder perspectives stages of a project. However they can be useful for the BA during the analyse needs stage too as a reflection on the holistic view of the organisation.
In summary: The cards represent the 6 functions of an organisation; These are depicted by the 6 suits.
Architecture (Or Organisation), Knowledge (both inside and outside the organisation), Resources (People, equipment and systems), Conduct (How the organisation behaves), Winning (It’s competitive advantage), Cunning (It’s Strategy)
Each suit Hearts, Circles, Triangles, Spades, Diamonds and Clubs have six corresponding cards:
The Castle, which denotes foundation.
The King, which denotes seniority. (or at least the impression of it)
The Queen, which denotes insightful or practical application.
The Joker, which denotes the actor.
The Knight, which denotes the do’er or owner.
The Sage which denotes the thinker.
As well as the suits and their respective cards there are some additional cards to represent overarching questions that I often use to extract requirements detail.
6 W’s Cards: These cards are always useful when investigating actions, activities and user stories. They have been a standard way of formulating or analysing rhetorical questions since antiquity dating back to Cicero in 43BC. Once you have Identified the activity, asking who, what why etc. will clarify further. The Final three cards, what I call “The Holy Trinity” are considerations that need to be remembered across the entire project or organisation. These cards should always be visible to remind you of the principal goals. “Value to the Customer”, “Value to the organisation” and “value through change” (usually the IT system in BA terms).
There are some instructions and techniques Here but the Analyst is free to use the cards as they see fit. I hope to expand on these methodologies as we find more applications. Often I simply lay down the aces in a circle and work through the cards with the subject to get their perspective on the business or their views on a particular issue. Inappropriate cards are easily dismissed resulting in a focussed set of issues.
On the reverse of the cards are other words and reminders such as this one on the reverse of all the aces depicting the BA Process model. Other decks have different content.
MAD about CRM and the New V3.0 version
Due to the success and feedback of the MAD about CRM version I created the V3.0 version which is fundamentally the same, but with a new BA Tarot logo instead of the MAD about CRM Logo. These two versions not only have a more corporate type face and different new logos but the content on the reverse of the card is associated with the subject matter on the front of the card rather than BA principals. This can help to discuss different aspects of the card in question.
Here are some examples from the v3.0 deck.
These cards have just completed testing and are for sale in the shop but because they are still in the early stages of development the stocks are low (so that I do not have to discard too many if I make a change). I have therefore called this pre-order as the cards could take 7 – 10 days to ship. I hope to get a reasonable amount of stock soon but please bear with me.