Tips for Business Analysts: How to Write a Business Summary

One of the primary jobs of a Business Analyst is often to provide summaries of a business unit, department, or even a whole business as part of a business modeling effort. We have to be prepared to produce more than just models and diagrams and use cases. We must be able to summarize the nature, structure and character of a business as well.

I thought today I’d provide an example of the summary of one such description. I wrote this about 13-years-ago for an exercise in teaching how to write such a document. We looked at the fast-food restaurant McDonalds as an example, and I took as my focus the restaurant operations. (as opposed to delivery chain, backend operations, etc…)

Without further ado, here’s an example of how to write a business description summary in clear, and understandable English fit for executive sponsors.

Andrew Midkiff, Guest Blogger

The Encoding of Gastronomic Utopias in America:  The Construction of an (Arch)typical Kroc.

Our investigation of the structures of significance within the context of a late 20th c. McDonalds begins by presenting a perspective of the physical environment wherein the geometric and topologic economies operate as grids of certainties: networks of predictability and predication for the staging of behavioral routines, and episodic frameworks for inter-nutritional contact and avoidance.  In this sense we will see the restaurant as a matrix of ideological instruments for creating and sustaining an edible complex.

We shall see that the inner space is delimited by the panoptic locus of the counter from which perspective the customer and employee, the eater and the eaten can participate in their dialectic of consumption.  We will investigate the ubiquitous sign of the “golden arches” which serve to encompass Ray Kroc’s own regime of legibility within which fast food and its imagery (which is to say its ideologies) can be reckoned with, in the dual sense of that phrase — simultaneously _coped_ with and _thought_ with.

Dominating the view of this locus of commercial volubility is the menu, a given but dynamically changing matrix of food choices.  The menu is never neutral.  The surfaces and boundaries of dietetic dogma, the visibilities and occlusions of taste serve to track, measure, control and predict behaviors over space and time.  The realities it fabricates and maintains are invariably fictive — an ideologically-invested perspective on the proper gastronomic realities of individuals, groups and classes. In this sense, there is no menu which is not in some way a utopic fiction — or, more accurately, a matrix of varied and often conflicting fictions.

Thus the menu actively participates in this simulcrum of cuisine by establishing and maintaining a particular form of subjectivity — a perspective from which given, eaten meals cohere and appear ordered, legitimate and nutritious.

Enjoy! And for more hints on how to write this way, let me suggest the works of Donald Preziosi.

Andrew