Blackmetric BA Digest: Useful links & articles for business analysts
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BA Digest: A round-up of useful BA articles from the web


Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to this month's edition of the Blackmetric BA Digest, a useful round-up of BA articles and news from around the web.   I don't know about you, but I can't quite believe it's nearly December!  As we head towards the festive season, it is a good time to reflect on some of the progress in the BA world during 2016.

One item which warrants particular attention is IIBA & KPMGs Impact Study "Business Analysis Positioning for Success".  This global research paper reflects the views of over 3,200 BA practitioners and 100 business leaders.  It discusses the need for a greater focus on value-driven analysis, and also discusses the perception gap that exists between what  business leaders & CEOs think BAs do and what we actually do.  I am sure for many of us this study reinforced our gut feelings, and it certainly provides useful food for thought.   If you don't want to read the whole paper, it is summarised in a short video too.  This is well worth reading/watching, and I am sure each of us will reflect and think about what it means for us, our teams and our profession.

This year, we have also seen the launch of IIBA's new competency based certification scheme.  If you are considering taking IIBA certification it is worth checking out IIBA's website for further information.   IIBA are offering a discount for the first 100 candidates that sit the exams before 31st December, so if you you have been thinking about applying for the exam, now could be the perfect time! If you need any assistance getting certified, please don't hesitate to contact us at Blackmetric as we would be delighted to help.

We've also seen so many other exciting initiatives in the BA world.  The Business Analysis Conference Europe goes from strength to strength, and was extremely vibrant this year.  Planning for the BA Conference Europe 2017 is well underway -- so keep the dates 25 - 27 September free in your diary!  And if you have an interesting story to tell, perhaps you might consider submitting a presentation (the 'call for papers' will open in February).  The Building Business Capability conference was a massive event this year too, and of course there were many more regional events run by associations such as IIBA UK and BCS.  Both organisations offer very reasonably priced events, which are great for professional development and networking.   If you haven't yet been to one, it is well worth considering for 2017! 

We hope you enjoy this edition of BA Digest. As usual, we have carefully curated a selection of links and articles from around the web--these are included below--we hope that you enjoy reading them! Please drop me a line if there is a topic that you'd like to see included in a future newsletter, or if you find an article that you'd like to share.   And if you do find this newsletter useful, please feel free to forward it to your colleagues and connections They can sign up here to receive the newsletter directly. 

Finally, to keep with the festive theme of this month's newsletter, we have included a new section below, where we have negotiated some discounts and special offers on products that you might be interested in from some of our friends.  We hope you find these useful too.

Kind regards & I hope to catch up with you soon,

Adrian Reed
Principal Consultant
Blackmetric Business Solutions Ltd
Business analysis consulting & training

T: +44 (0) 23 9298 4546

PS - Are you on Facebook? Be sure to follow our Facebook Page too!
Your BA Digest Reading-list: A roundup of useful business analysis resources 

Quick reads & resources (if you have 5-10 minutes):

1. How DMN Is Different: In this article, Bruce Silver (author of DMN Method and Style) explains why Decision Model & Notation (DMN) is different to other techniques, and why it matters.

2. Business Analysts? Aren’t those the folks in the basement who write documents? In this article, Doug Goldberg explores the value of business analysis, and reflects on the IIBA & KPMG study.

3. Project Lessons From Aviation Part 3: Avoiding Communication Overload in a Crisis With “NITS”:  What could a laminated safety card teach us about projects?  

4. Succeeding at Your Job-Within-the-Job:  In this article on the 'Strategy & Business' site, Jesse Sostrin argues that being good at our jobs isn't enough.  We must look further, and look outwards.  

5. The soft skills they didn’t teach you at school!  In this article, "Annie List" uncovers a model which acknowledges context, conflict, compromise, people, politics and pressure.

6. Five ways inadequate requirements wreak havoc with enterprise software purchases: In this article Chris Doig explains why requirements are crucial when purchasing software.  

7. Labels Like “Millennial” and “Boomer” Are Obsolete: In this Harvard Business Review article, Niraj Dawar argues that demographic segmentation is outdated, and organisations should focus on personalised behavioural data.

8. The Illusion of Progress: Half a Job Is No Job: Working on projects can be challenging.  Are you spinning too many plates?!

9. Actionable Agile Tools: Jeff Campbell shares some practical and useful perspectives and tips.

10. What Does a BA Practice Look Like in Agile? In this short article, Angela Wick discusses the difference between deliverables and assets in an agile practice.
More in-depth (if you have 15-60 minutes)

1. [Article] Business Architecture Essentials: ‘Developing your Process Architecture: It’s all about your work: Roger Burlton, a well known thought leader in business analysis & process management, outlines a useful and practical perspective on process architecture. 

2. [Video] “And then the magic happens” What BAs can learn from the world of magic: Recorded at the BA Conference Europe 2016, a 45 minute presentation comparing business analysis to magic. 

3. [E-learning] Rich Pictures: A free module from the Open University explaining Rich Pictures

4. [Video] Virtual Leadership: Penny Pullan presenting at PMI London. A topic that is equally relevant for BAs.
Special Offers and Freebies!

1. BPMN E-learning:
If you are interested in learning BPMN, our friends at are offering an 89% discount on their e-learning course.  You can buy the course for just £10 using the link below:
BPMN for Business Analysis [£10]

2. 20% off 'Virtual Leadership Book': Penny Pullan, the author of the recently launched 'Virtual Leadership' book is offering 20% off using the link and voucher code below.  You can also download a free sample at the link below:
Click here and use code VLF20

3. 30% off 'Be a Great Problem Solver': A book I wrote which crystallises some very practical problem solving tools.   Click here to order your copy with a 30% discount.

4. Free chapter of 'Be a Great Problem Solver' book: If you'd like to get a free sample, you can download the first chapter for free here.

Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed this edition!

Copyright © 2016 Blackmetric Business Solutions Ltd, All rights reserved.

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