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>>,

A very warm 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 can't quite believe it's March already; it seems only yesterday we were welcoming in 2017....

One of the great things about the BA community is the sense of connectedness.  Even if you are the only BA in your company, you are just a phone call (or tweet) away from other enthusiastic BAs.  This creates so many exciting opportunities, and events/conferences are an important cornerstone of this global collaborative community of practitioners.

With this in mind, I thought in this edition of BA Digest I'd share a few events and conferences that might be of interest to you. On the 21st-22nd March the first ever Innovation, Business Change & Technology Forum is being held in London (hosted by IRM UK).  This event has a very interactive format, with speakers delivering a 30 minute presentation followed by 60 minutes of facilitated discussion.  It is well worth attending if you can, although I realise it is very short notice!  Innovation, business change and technology are so often inextricably linked, I feel certain this will generate some really useful conversations.

If you're an IIBA member, and if strategy interests you, be sure to check out the free  webinar entitled 'Strategy the Crucial Enabler' which is taking place on 27th March.  You can check out other IIBA webinars here.

Finally, if you're based in the USA and can make it to Wisconsin, be sure to check out the 
10th Annual WI BADD® (Wisconsin BA Development Day) Conference in Madison on 9th May.  The programme looks really interesting, and if you are attending be sure to let me know so that we can catch up.   I'm sure you'll recognise me--I'll be the jet-lagged Brit that is wandering around looking slightly lost!

Of course, wherever you are in the world be sure to check out IIBA and IIBA UK events, and don't forget the BA Conference Europe (London) and the Building Business Capability Conference (Florida)

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. 

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--Don't forget, if you are considering BA training for you or your team in 2017, we offer a range of practical courses and specialise in the development of custom BA training. If we can be of assistance, please don't hesitate to get in touch for an informal chat.
Your BA Digest Reading-list: A roundup of useful business analysis resources 

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

1. Slicing User Stories, Delivering Value: An excellent post from Ellen Gottesdiener (EBG Consulting) on how to slice and structure a product backlog.  Ellen discusses seven product dimensions that can help to foster discussions and evaluate user stories.

2. Project Lessons from Aviation: Aviate, Navigate Communicate: What can projects learn from aviation, and what does the mantra 'Aviate, Navigate, Communicate' mean for projects and business analysis?

3. In Praise of Personal Agility: A very interesting post on LinkedIN from Craig Rollason, which has prompted some very interesting and useful discussions below the post.  

4. Go-to People Considered Harmful: In this thought provoking post, Gene Hughson discusses the risks of 'go-to people', and builds the idea of a 'bus factor'.

5. Top 6 Critical BA Skills For The Future (And Today!) - Part 2: In this follow-up article on, Angela Wick elaborates further on six BA skills that she predicts will become even more crucial.

6. The Role of Emotions of Projects:  Have you ever considered that change changes the changer too? A discussion on the role of emotions (including our own) on projects.

7. Don't Let Your Mistakes Go to Waste: A Harvard Business Review article where Mark Chussil highlights the importance of individual and collective learning.  "Looking for signs that you’re wrong is important in business, because being wrong is often not obvious until it’s truly painful:"

8. “When Will This Software Project Ever Be Done?”: A thought provoking article from Mike Griffiths, referring to some (often controversial) thinking from the #NoEstimates community.  

9. Scrum In Practice: Sprint Zero: A blog from Jim Bowes at Manifesto, who outlines why we might choose to run a 'sprint zero'.  Jim considers different potential types of 'sprint zero', briefly discussing the key considerations.

10. How Can You Innovate With Financial Constraints?: An interesting perspective of digital innovation in the NHS from Stuart Found.

More in-depth (if you have 15-60 minutes)
1.[Video] What is Cybernetics (Stafford Beer): A video recording of Stafford Beer discussing the Cybernetics movement.  If you are interested in systems thinking, this will be of interest to you.

2.[Video] Interview: Re-claiming Strategy: a crucial element for organizational success:  What is strategy and why does it matter for Business Process Management?

3. [Video] University of Salford Guest Lecture: John Seddon: Enthusiastic and controversial as always, John Seddon discusses systems thinking and service design.  Please be aware John's style is passionate and the video contains mild expletives.
Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed this edition!

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