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What is structured thinking?

Breaking down an unstructured problem into simple steps via a
framework. It helps a HR analyst to dive deeper to understand the required data
points rather than only the high-level details already known. Let us put some
context to it in HR analytics world.

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If you designed a model or delivered a project which took you
a longer time to deliver since you are new to organization or did not have
enough understanding of the problem statement then structured thinking would
help you in minimizing the timelines if applied appropriately. It need not
necessarily mean it is a pre-requisite, however it is an important
distinguishing factor between a good and a bad HR analyst.



Imagine a football team about to begin a match and the
captain does not know which positions are his team members supposed to play.
Similarly imagine a HR analyst without a structured approach to his study or
project. There is a very high possibility of rework as the HR analyst might
have not dwelled into the deeper attributes required for his /her analysis. In
the absence of structured thinking a HR analysts might have to change the scope
or have multiple discussions with stakeholders thus increasing the turnaround
time of the project. This might also mean credibility loss in case of critical
projects driven on stretched timelines.



Document the understanding of the problem statement
and vet it: It is always a good practice to document your understanding of the
expectation and get it approved by the business stakeholders. This helps in
being clear on the next steps than facing conflicts further during the reviews.


Outline your approach and the steps to be followed: Detail
out the kind of data required, the tests applicable on the variables. Define
the assumptions and the factors considered for performing the analysis. Make
sure you don’t deviate from the scope of the project defined via the problem
statement. Once you clearly have defined the steps it becomes very easier to
start thinking on execution and timelines


Keep data sources identified and secured: A HR analyst
should validate his assumptions and scope with the data availability. At times,
you may have to amend the assumption due restricted access to confidential data
or data not being available completely. So, the HR analyst should be very
obstinate in ensuring the data sourced and accesses are defined and secured


Develop a prototype of the output to be published:
It’s a good practice to share a prototype with the stakeholders to have a
glimpse of what the final product would be. In case of a model or hypothesis a
HR analyst can share a template in which the outcomes / observations / insights
would be shared. This helps in clear alignment with the stakeholders to avoid
future conflicts.


clear timelines and stick to the plan: Once you have all the inputs ready share
a detailed plan of your project. This would help in ensuring right planning is
done to execute and invest time for ideal deliveri

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