Akbar Birbal images

Are you asking the right questions?


This is the story of Birbal, the intelligent minister from the court of Akbar who was known for his presence of mind and sharp wit.

Akbar Birbal 1

Now the story goes like this since Birbal was popular in Akbar’s court and also a favourite of Akbar hence there were few other ministers who were jealous of him. Mulla Nasiruddin was also one of Birbal’s rivals in court. Once it so happened that Mulla comes to Akbar to complain that he favours Birbal and then Akbar decides to take both of them through a test to judge and show his impartiality.

Akbar Birbal 2

One fine day when Akbar is relaxing in his balcony and there was a marriage procession on the street and being curious Akbar wanted to know more about the marriage in the city and called Mulla to find more about it.

Mulla goes down, gets more details and comes up to Akbar.

Akbar – Who is getting married?

Mulla – Noor is getting married.

Akbar – Who is Noor getting married to?

Mulla – Let me go and find out.

Mulla runs down and finds out that Noor is getting married to Salim.

Akbar – Where is Salim from?

Mulla – Let me go and find out.

Mulla runs down and finds out that Noor is getting married to Salim from Fatehpur.

Akbar – Where is the marriage happening?

Mulla – Let me go and find out.

Mulla runs down and finds out that the marriage is happening in the city Convention hall.

Now Akbar calls Birbal and asks him to find out the same thing.

Akbar Birbal 3

Birbal goes down and gets more details.

Akbar – Who is getting married?

Birbal – Noor is getting married to Salim from Fatehpur and the marriage ceremony is happening in City Convention hall at evening 8 PM.

Akbar Birbal images

Now the test and the results are obvious why is Birbal Akbar’s favourite.

Now the question to all of us is do we want to be a Birbal or do we want to be a Mulla.

Most of us Business Analyst Professionals need to ask questions and collect relevant details from the stakeholders while conducting the requirements gathering exercise.

How often are we prepared well enough for this and ask the right kind of questions and collect enough details?

The skill also lies in using the right tools if we use an appropriate and detailed template for the requirements gathering exercise we may come out as Birbals and become the favourite of the Akbars in our work place/client assignment/Project/engagement.

Here is a sample of something that we have developed over the years and found useful and successful in most our projects. Take a look for a detailed presentation on a SRS template.

Picture sources – Moralstories.org, parablesmythslegends.wordpress.com, mythologystories.wordpress.com


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I write on Business analysis and other management related concepts/tools and day to day ideas, you can reach me at Ananya.pani@AdaptiveProcesses.com


About Adaptive Processes


Adaptive Processes provides CBAPCCBAECBACPRE, Agile BA and other business analysis certification training online and consulting needs for Individual or Corporate either online or offline. Adaptive Processes is an endorsed education provider of IIBA®, Canada and IREB®, Germany.

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Ananya Pani

Ananya Pani

CEO at Adaptive Processes
Exec Management (IIM Bangalore), ISO 27001 Lead Auditor, ISO 9001 Lead Auditor, ISO 20000 Lead Auditor, BS 25999 Lead Auditor, Six Sigma Green Belt

I head global sales and operations role at Adaptive Processes.

We have grown our international business over 100% under my leadership.

I also coach and mentor business analysts in their pursuit for achieving CBAP, CCBA, ECBA and CPRE certifications.

18 years of professional experience in Software (Processes – CMMI, ISO9001, ISO27001, Statistical Process Control, SEPG.

Held positions in Phoenix Global Solutions,Infosys, Sasken and iGate. Consulted several clients including iGate, Ness, and Reach Technologies.

CMMi, ISO 9001-2008, ISO 27001, ISO 20000, BS25999, Process Consulting, Software Quality Assurance, Process Consulting, Process Definition, Process Improvement

Specialties: Requirements Management, Requirements Analysis, Requirements Engineering, Busienss Analysis, CMMi, ISO 9001-2008, ISO 27001, ISO 20000, BS 25999, Process Consulting, Software Quality Assurance, Process Consulting, Process Definition, Process Improvement
Ananya Pani


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