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I went to the NZ IIBA BA Development Day last week. It was worthwhile and I would recommend it to any business analyst in New Zealand wanting to further their career.
This one-day event was broken up into 3 streams: Equip, Evolve, Enable.
I was late in registering and was unable to sign up for any of the workshops. Here is a summary of the presentations I saw.
Mary Gorman was the keynote speaker. She spoke about how today’s business analysts need to be able to adapt to deliver value to the organisations they work for. Business analysts need to focus on the goal of the business rather than focusing on the role of business analysis.
Deanna Hughes talked about how many business analysts do not take control of their career. Without knowing what they want to do how can they understand their own development needs? “It's too easy to work in an area of expertise and discover you're not an expert after five years.”
Helen Chesterman talked about how business cases are arguments, not documents.
Sponsors are emotional beings and sometimes make decisions that go against the recommendations in a business case. This can be because the sponsor’s values and the organisation’s values are often not included in a business case.
Business analysts often feel uneasy about being emotion into the workplace, but emotion brings value to the company. Business cases need to include, with the facts, ties to the company’s vision. This adds emotion to the case, making it easier for the sponsor to align the business case with their values.
A traditional business case is factually based, including the estimated cost of implementation, and there turn on investment, and the risks of delivering and of not delivering, and the recommendation. It's a logical argument. It is missing the elevator pitch.
Bruce Anderson spoke about the value of a business analyst focusing on the enterprise provides to an organisation.
An enterprise BA makes the CEO look good by feeding the right information.
Mary Gorman talked about how understanding just the business rules or understanding the data is limiting.
Different types of rules:
Categorisation helps us see if we are missing some rules, and if they are balanced.
All rules are not equal. Analysts do not have time to model the world. Analysts need to understand which policies have the higher priority to prioritise work.
John Barris talked about how business analysis is all about understanding the business for the purpose of changing it. Requirements analysis is just a part of this. Analysts need to move from focusing on requirements to being business change specific.
The IIBA has educated BAs as to what a BA is. We need to be able to prove the value of BAs to others. Focusing on business instead of features is focusing on the overall outcome. To do this, BAs need to understand the business to understand the desired outcome.
We need to move from a requirements artefact/document focus to a business focused change. These artefacts can constrain the real requirements.
We need to change from writing documents to solving problems. Business-centric change is impact, risks, and results focused. A builder will talk about what the new kitchen will be like, not the specific requirements.
How to evolve your skills to be a business change advisor.
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