Corrinne Brits, Lead Business Analyst at Shoprite Checkers, shares her training experience having recently completed the Business Analysis Practice course.
Here’s what Corrinne had to say about her training experience:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background, both personally and professionally.
I am a natural communicator and prefer a variety of things to focus on. I have 2 teenage children, and it is always interesting to see their reaction when I try and explain what a Business Analyst does!
At home I always have creative projects planned that help me switch off from work, and I love entertaining and connecting people at the same time.
How and why did you become a Business Analyst?
A friend approached me to assist with developing training material, to earn part-time income. One day the customer she provided the service to approached me, when I delivered the material, and asked a number of questions of what I have done before. I actually thought they were looking for trainers, but a few weeks later I got a call from the same customer requesting a meeting and at the same time offering a 6 months contract for a Business Analyst. I really thought it was a joke, but the meeting happened and I was given a few simple scenarios and I was asked how I would address them.
Months after I was placed in the role and I asked the lady from the contract house ‘Why me?’, as they could have chosen a number of people in the industry. She replied that a number of people cross her path daily and she knows the fundamentals of what a Business Analyst should have — I will always remember her saying,
… a Business Analyst is born, the rest of the stuff you can teach someone (e.g. tools and methodologies).
After 6 years I was drawn to the “Beautify Cape Town” project and moved as a Business Analyst into the Retail Industry. Although nervous at first, I soon realised ccxfhow easy it was to relate to retail and how dynamic the different aspects of a retail organisation can be. I have now been a business analyst in the retail industry for 11 years, for different companies, and I still learn every day.
What aspects of being a Business Analyst are you most passionate about and why?
Being in sales during my first few jobs, I developed multiple ways to communicate with different walks of life and I enjoy working through a problem statement, positioning the options and enabling a conversation to drive a decision.
A big part of the business analyst job is to do the ‘homework for a community’ within the organisation, and for an executive to make an informed decision.
As I work with senior levels of business, I want them to know that I have an understanding of their particular situation and the issues I can assist with.
What were your objectives for attending the course and were they met?
Yes, the Business Analysis Practice course is geared towards providing focus to business analyst’s on the strategic elements of their roles today. Some of these strategic components are about finding opportunities and managing relationships to add value, whilst other components focused on more tangible ‘stuff’ such as the analysis outcomes we provide.
Another objective that was met was confirmation that I am positioned correctly within my organisation; to add value to my team and to my business stakeholders through the skills the I’ve acquired.
What was the most valuable learning on the course – did you have an AHA moment?
My AHA moment was realising the benefit that teams and stakeholders will benefit by using the concepts I learned on the course.
There is a firm place for the business analyst role in organisations — organisations have so much pressure on improvement and need a business analyst to work alongside them to be tuned in and understand the business needs to the appropriate level of detail.
Being passionate about what I do and knowing I can make a difference puts a huge smile on my face.
How has this course helped you in your career? How are you using these skills?
My biggest learning on the course was the insight to use the various techniques in a manner that will benefit everyone in a number of planning activities and when unpacking scope of project deliverables with business stakeholders.
PESTLE Analysis is now one of my ‘base’ frameworks to get the sticky conversations and decisions going!
Overall the course helped me to understand the external factors that influence the organisation, weigh-up objectives between departments for the same initiative and guide the business towards the correct set of options.
Have your colleagues noticed an improvement in your work approach?
It’s early days, but already my approach has changed positively.
Now I tend to ask more direct and to-the-point questions, as well as posing more guided questions to the business stakeholders, …
by harnessing the new tools and techniques within the overall approach that the Business Analysis Practice course gave me.
What would you tell somebody who is considering doing the course?
The course is incredibly relevant to my work, on a daily basis, and for this reason I would recommend it to anyone who was thinking about enrolling on it.
You will enrich your business analysis toolkit — and you owe it to yourself, if you are a passionate business analyst.
When the course finished I was excited to be a Business Analyst again, because there is a real place for us and I believe the learnings will prove we are an extension of a number of other roles in the organisation.
What did you enjoy most about the BCMG training experience?
The best formulated case studies and assessment questions that are relevant to the business analyst role at the moment, alongside many great interactive exercises for each module.
The trainer (Joe Newbert) encouraged a difference of opinion by acknowledging different perspectives. He truly has a passion for people and what they need to be as a business analyst inside the organisation. Joe clearly keeps up to date with the ever-evolving role as a business analyst and he facilitates from experience.
Are you planning on taking any more courses with BCMG in the future? If so, which ones and why?
I would definitely like to enrol on BCMGs Commercial Awareness course.
If you want to follow in Corrinne’s footsteps and earn yourself an IIBA endorsed certificate from the premier business analysis training programme in South Africa, download the BCS Certificate in Business Analysis Practice information pack now.