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Infinite Possibilities Of Business Analysis In South Africa

Infinite Possibilities Of Business Analysis In South Africa News

Through their business analysis authority, insight and mastery the Business Change Management Group (BCMG) are catalysing the infinite possibilities of business analysis in South Africa.

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Inside Scoop On Inter-View Report Volume 3

Inside Scoop On Inter-View Report Volume 3 News

Learn how the business analysis portrait is helping the international business analysis profession grow, get the inside scoop on Inter-View Report Volume 3.

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Inter-View 2016 Ushers In A New Age Of Business Analysis

Inter-View 2016 Ushers In A New Age Of Business Analysis News

Now in its second year, Inter-View 2016 ushers in a new age of business analysis, by revealing insightful statistics on business change and project success.

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Inter-View Report 2014 Paints A Business Analysis Portrait

Inter-View Report 2014 Paints A Business Analysis Portrait News

Based on extensive research of the business analysis profession within context of South Africa, closely analysed to draw out meaningful patterns and packed with enlightening statistics, the inaugural Inter-View Report 2014 paints a business analysis portrait of the state of the profession in South Africa, free for all to access and leverage.

Business Change Academy conducted research, analysed the data and added infographics, all so that you can gain insight at the click of a button. Visit Inter-View Report and sign up to receive our findings as they are released.

Inter-View grew from a desire to better understand the broadening role of the business analyst, how they view themselves as well as their career aspirations. Saratoga takes a firm interest in the career path of our business analyst’s, investing heavily in personal coaching and community building. “Business analysts are strategic change agents; delivering business value is their core role,” explains founder, Joe Newbert.

The portrait offers employers greater insight into the psychology of their business analysts and can be used to assess the maturity of a competency. Business analysts themselves can form a greater understanding of the industry they’re in, see where they fit and identify opportunities.

As @Newbert suggests, “understanding the potential of business analysis and providing the right support to the discipline is critical”.

What does a typical South African business analyst look like? Inter-View has identified some fascinating trends – in age, gender, education, salary as well as deeper insights into their interests and outlook.

Visit Inter-View Report to subscribe for updates or follow Inter-View on Twitter via @BusinessChange. Inter-View is launching this October.

Are you looking for authority that elevates your true business analysis value? Go and get your copy of the Inter-View Report 2014.

‘2014 Inter-View Paints A Business Analysis Portrait’ originally appeared in IT Web on October 6, 2014.

About Business Change Academy

Business Change Academy is a training company based in Cape Town, South Africa. Founded in 2008, Business Change Academy provides accredited qualifications + short courses for project professionals seeking internationally recognised best-practice competencies in business analysis, solution development and change management.

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Strategic Insight Of Business Analysis For Winning Results

Strategic Insight Of Business Analysis For Winning Results News

Delivered by Joe Newbert as the closing keynote at BA Summit 2013, the Art Of War For Business Change made a rallying call for everyday project tactics to be executed with the strategic insight of business analysis for winning results by ensuring that benefits are managed in alignment with the organisations long-term mission and objectives.

The 2013 Business Analysis Seminar Southern Africa, BASSA2013, has come and gone. Southern Africa’s premier event for business analysts, which took place from 2 to 4 September in the heart of Cape Town, proved to be bigger and better than last year’s conference in Johannesburg. More than 200 delegates assembled for three days in the palatial Southern Sun, Cape Sun Hotel, on Strand Street, and were served a rich smorgasbord of incisive presentations, informative workshops and thought-provoking panel discussions.

The programme this year concentrated on business analysis in the organisation and the practice of business analysis, ie, its tools and techniques and the “soft skills” needed to succeed as a business analyst. To download programme presentations, please visit www.docs.sbs.co.za.

As was the case at last year’s conference, day one of BASSA 2013 was devoted to training workshops. Overall, five workshops were conducted: two in the morning and two in the afternoon with one workshop running the entire day. A noteworthy feature of this year’s workshops was that three of the five workshops were facilitated by international guests, each an expert in their own fields: Elizabeth Larson, PMP, CBAP, CSM, and CEO and co-principal of Watermark Learning, a globally recognised business analysis and project management training company; Ronald G Ross, principal and co-founder of Business Rule Solutions; and Gladys Lam, a world-renowned authority on applied business rule techniques and principal and co-founder of Business Rule Solutions.

Each year, these workshops provide delegates with the opportunity to gain invaluable, hands-on expert training. A particularly pleasing trend to note is that, this year, workshop attendance was up 50% on last year’s figures.

The tone for BASSA2013 was set on day two at the plenary session featuring Ronald G Ross, (BRSolutions.com). Ross kicked off the conference with a fascinating presentation entitled “What is it that makes your business smart?” His ability to articulate the relationship between business processes, business rules, business decisions and business strategy had the delegates glued to their seats for the entire session. His statement that “business rules establish the specific boundaries, hard and soft, of the space in which smart (or dumb) processes can operate”, and his philosophy that business rules keep smart business processes “honest” rings true, particularly in the context of business analysis. You can follow Ross on his blog via RonRoss.info and his tweets @Ronald_G_Ross.

The closing keynote presented by Joe Newbert, of @BusinessChange, made use of the Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” to illustrate how the role of the business analyst calls for patience, insight, attention to detail and planning. You can follow Newbert via his tweets @Newbert.

Coincidentally, Ross, in his plenary presentation, also quoted from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” specifically: “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

A highlight of BASSA2013 was the introduction of a mobile application, available on iOS and Android devices, allowing delegates to view details about conference tracks, presentations and speakers. Of the 200-plus delegates attending this year’s conference, just over half downloaded and actively made use of the application. Usage can be broken down as follows: 49 Android users (unique and active) and 52 iOS users (unique and active).

Delegates were also able to view a live Twitter feed from the conference, as well as sponsor contact information. Click on www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKE2KtDb9hM to view a video demo of the mobile application. The following statistic illustrates the success of this initiative: the active tweeting of 84 conference delegates ensured that 77 522 people were reached during BASSA2013 over a period of three days.

The success of BASSA2013, the second conference of its kind to be held in South Africa, has cemented its reputation as an event where business analysts, managers and leaders in business can come together to debate and understand how the business analyst can drive out business value and support strategic business change. Throughout BASSA2013, a common remark expressed by delegates was that “they were so glad to hear that other BAs have the same questions and struggle with the same issues that they do”. I believe this illustrates, in small measure, the return on investment each delegate received as a result of the opportunity to network over three days with leading experts in the field of business analysis and with their peers. Business analysis in South Africa is alive and well!

Watch this space or visit the IIBA Web site, or the IIBA-SA Web site to find out about developments regarding next year’s exciting conference, BASSA 2014, to be held in Johannesburg. A special word of thanks to the BASSA2013 organising committee: Steve Erlank, Janet Wood, Lesley Blencowe, Lucy Davies, Peter Aspinall and Natalie Smit of www.sbs.co.za, and Ryan Folster, without whose unwavering commitment BASSA 2013 could not have been the resounding success it was.

So here’s looking forward to BASSA 2014 in Johannesburg. See you there! And in the words of one of the presenters at BASSA 2013:

As @Newbert suggests “Have ego-strength (and I don’t mean a big-head!). BAs need self-confidence and the ability to endure stress and sustain belief in their position; BAs mustn’t bruise easily.” 

Are you ready to up your strategic business analysis game? Take the next step on the ladder with our Business Analysis Practice course.

‘Strategic Insight On Business Analysis At BA Summit 2013’ originally appeared in Mail & Guardian on October 8, 2013.

About Business Change Academy

Business Change Academy is a training company based in Cape Town, South Africa. Founded in 2008, Business Change Academy provides accredited qualifications + short courses for project professionals seeking internationally recognised best-practice competencies in business analysis, solution development and change management.

Editorial contact

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Amazing Power Of Business Analyst Competency

Amazing Power Of Business Analyst Competency News

Business Change Academy’s business analysis advisory model enables organisations to rapidly implement and harness the amazing power of business analyst competency, to improve the bottom-line results of business projects through a holistic framework that caters for the diverse levers that contribute to mature delivery.

Imagine it. You’re a business analyst working in a high-performing organisation; one that cares about your development and growth, and equips you with the skills and tools needed to deliver true business value. As a member of this supportive community, your role is clearly defined and you’re encouraged to evolve within your field – and to continually challenge yourself!

The rapid pace of change, together with the increasing need for benefits management and delivery within organisations, contribute to the increasing demand for business analysis skills. The professional life of a business analyst can be challenging, and the infancy of the profession leads to frequent misunderstanding of principal tasks and responsibilities.

Saratoga have come to recognise that the work of the business analyst is about more than simply developing and managing requirements. In the role as collaborative communicators, Business Analysts are regularly called upon to uncover the root cause of problems, challenge assumptions, and to act as change agents that assist organisations to better understand themselves. Ultimately, the role of business analysts is to create and facilitate business value.

It is these insights – together with the desire to mature the competencies of the Saratoga business analysis team and its individuals – that prompted them to establish a formal business analysis body within their organisation. This required an earnest commitment from the top, and the concerted effort of a core group to drive the growth of this community. The long-term objective was to proactively counter performance-hindering factors and to provide our business analysts with a platform to share experiences, expertise, knowledge and skills.

The importance of community in professional growth

This highly specialised discipline requires unique skills in analytical thinking, as well as an innate understanding of technology and the development process. The International Institute for Business Analysts (IIBA) Competency Model was selected to identify the behaviours and outcomes of the “successful business analyst”.

An internal forum was established at Saratoga to provide a space in which to safely raise challenges encountered within projects, where business analysts seek coaching from colleagues and develop soft and technical skills. Additionally, it provides an opportunity to exchange best-practice concepts, to help new members integrate into their role and projects, and to share ideas or improvements. A key benefit of an internal business analysis community is the collective focus on professional development. The community is instrumental in not only helping the group form its own sense of identity, but a common voice facilitates organisational engagement in the role of the analyst in the organisation.

Championing business analysis as a service

Recognising that the challenges and benefits experienced are not limited to Saratoga, Mohamed Bray, along with

Joe Newbert, MD of @businesschange, worked to develop a Business Analysis Advisory Model to help other organisations build and sustain their own communities. The Business Analysis Advisory Model is centred on business analysis assessment and maturity and is both a framework and an implementation programme to assist companies to develop roadmaps during this process.

This approach recruits, develops and mentors the best business analysts, who integrate with client teams and ensure the best possible outcome on software engineering projects. In addition, this approach enables the concept of business analysis as a service (BAaS) that provides client teams with the flexibility to scale as required.

This model defines the eight main competencies of a business analyst as: eliciting requirements, creating the business requirements document, structured analysis, object-oriented analysis, testing, end-user support, IT fluency and business process re-engineering. This offers a more structured, systematic approach to identifying and addressing any skills gaps within the team.

By forming a business analyst community within the company, it has also given us the ability to share experiences that others can learn from. These gatherings also create opportunities for re-use or synergies between projects, leading to increased business value. In this way, a culture of continual personal development is fostered – and members are challenged to pursue personal mastery. It is our hope that the Business Analysis Advisory Model used at Saratoga will play a significant role in the transformation of business analysts as agents for organisational change.

Is your goal to build a solid business analysis practice? We understand that no two practices are the same, nor have the same challenges. How can we help?

‘The Power Of Business Analyst Communities’ originally appeared in IT Web on September 6, 2013.

About Business Change Academy

Business Change Academy is a training company based in Cape Town, South Africa. Founded in 2008, Business Change Academy provides accredited qualifications + short courses for project professionals seeking internationally recognised best-practice competencies in business analysis, solution development and change management.

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