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>>,

Happy New Year, and 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.   

The start of the year is always a time for reflecting on progress, but also looking forward and making predictions.  For fun, I recently wrote an article making 6 BA predictions for 2020.  I'd love for you to take a look and let me know what you think!

It is certainly looking like 2017 will be a very exciting year for business analysis.  The dates of the BA Conference Europe 2017 have been confirmed (25-27 September) and the Call for Speakers will open on February 2nd.  If you haven't taken part in the conference before, I'd highly recommend submitting a presentation. It is such a great opportunity to share your story with the wider BA community--and speakers get a free ticket to the conference (which is always a good incentive!).  The committee provide excellent support, for experienced and newer speakers alike.  You can find out more about the call for speakers at the conference website.

We're also waiting with some interest to hear more about the newest level of IIBA®'s BA Certification, the CBATL™ (Certified BA Thought Leader). A launch date hasn't yet been announced, but we're hoping there will be further news in 2017, and we'll let you know as soon as we hear anything!

If you're looking at your professional development plan for 2017 and are interested in taking your IIBA® certification this year, you might find our short ten minute video useful.  This outlines the difference between the various certificates (ECBA™, CCBA® & CBAP®) , and will help you to determine which is right for you.  We've also written a short article that might be of interest to you.  Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.  

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 - Over Christmas we launched our brand new website, with a fresher design.  We'd love to know what you think of it, please do drop me a line with any comments or suggestions.
Your BA Digest Reading-list: A roundup of useful business analysis resources 

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

1. Why Some People Get Burned Out and Others Don’t: As BAs, we often work long and hard on projects, and 'burnout' can be a danger for us and other stakeholders too.  In this Harvard Business Review article, Kandi Wiens and Annie McKee point to Emotional Intelligence as a key differentiator.

2. How to Learn New Techniques:  I suspect many of us will be thinking about how to develop in 2017. But have you ever thought how to go about learning?  In this article on the BA Times Website, Kent McDonald provides some thoughts.

3. An MVP is not a Cheaper Product, It’s about Smart Learning: A very interesting story from Steven Blank on the INC site about drones, data and farmers that teaches us an important lesson about Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). 

4. What can a Smashed Car Window Teach us About Business Analysis?  Booking in a car for a window repair leads to some BA reflections...

5. What is an IGOE?  IGOE is an acronym for Input, Guide, Output, and Enabler. If you've not seen it before, or if you need a refresher, you'll find this article by Kathy Long on the BR Community website very interesting.

6. [Video] The BA Core Competency Model: In this short video, Barbara Carkenord described IIBA®'s BA Core Competency Model (BACCM®)

7. How to Write a Questionnaire and Get Really Useful Answers: In the right context, surveys and questionnaires can be extremely useful for elicitation.  In this article, Liz Calder of Blue Racoon provides practical insight into how to write a good questionnaire. 

8. Are you Solving the Right Problems? In this Harvard Business Review article, Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg reminds us of the importance of ensuring we're solving the right problems, and provides an interesting metaphor and case-study.

9. Scrum vs PRINCE2 – my thoughts: A useful perspective from Mark J. Owen on the differences and applicability of Scrum vs Prince 2.

10. Top 6 Critical BA Skills For The Future (And Today!): In this article on the BA Times website, Angela Wick explores some critical skills that we should keep on our radar.
More in-depth (if you have 15-60 minutes)

1. [SlideShare]: 40 Agile Methods in 40 Minutes: Although the methods are not explained in detail, this SlideShare by Craig Smith signposts 40 agile methods.

2. [Article]: Business Analysis: Positioning for Success:Also mentioned in the last edition of BA Digest, this significant piece of research by KPMG and IIBA provides useful insight.

3. [Podcast]: Mastering Business Analysis: Best Advice: In this edition of the Mastering BA podcast hosted by Dave Saboe, a range of practitioners share the best advice they've ever received. 
Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed this edition!

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