News and Announcements

The Countdown: Two weeks until #BA2020

Time really does fly! I can’t quite believe it’s just over two weeks until the start of the virtual Business Analysis Conference Europe 2020 (#BA2020). I am speaking at the event with a presentation entitled “Systems Thinking: Practical BA Techniques for Business Agility.“, and so I can’t help but get a little excited about the event. It’s always a… 

BA Conference Europe 2020 – Going Virtual

As many of you know, I enthusiastically believe in the value that good quality Business Analysis can bring, and I love speaking, writing and presenting on this and many other topics! In a break from my normal ‘blog’ style, I have a very quick update for you.

It’s been a somewhat ‘unusual’ year for events and conferences, hasn’t it? I was very pleased to see that the BA Conference Europe is going virtual, meaning that it’s possible to attend from anywhere in the world. I’m really excited to announce I’ll be speaking, with a session entitled: Systems Thinking: Practical BA Techniques for Business Agility. I can’t wait!

The Countdown: Two weeks until #BA2019

Time really does fly! I can’t quite believe it’s just over two weeks until the start of the Business Analysis Conference Europe 2019 (#BA2019) in London. As I plan the final practice runs of my presentation which is entitled “Whose Perspective Is It Anyway? Practical Analysis Techniques for Understanding Tricky Stakeholders”, I can’t help but get a… 

Announcement: BA Conference Europe 2019 — See You There?

As many of you know, I enthusiastically believe in the value that good quality Business Analysis can bring, and I love speaking, writing and presenting on this and many other topics! In a break from my normal ‘blog’ style, I have a very quick update for you. I’m really excited to announce I’ll be speaking at… 

A Journey to Parliament

Those of you that follow this blog will probably know I am somewhat of a self-confessed ‘BA Geek’.  When I am not blogging, I am trying to find other ways to raise awareness of our profession, and to encourage organisations to make use of BA tools and techniques.  I still find it genuinely odd that in some organisations, business analysis is not given the recognition that it deserves.  It feels like as a discipline we are (metaphorically) in our awkward teenage years.  We know that we have a huge amount to contribute, sometimes our ideas are new and challenge the norm, but we often feel misunderstood (and, if we’re completely honest, perhaps we don’t always communicate our worth in the most effective way).  Perhaps it’s not a very elegant analogy, but I’m sure you get the point!

 

One particular interest of mine is studying project failures.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the years delving into the detail of why governmental projects fail.  “Why focus on the public sector?” I hear you ask!  The main, practical, reason is that when a public sector project fails it tends to happen very publically—the information is made available for scrutiny.  I am certain there are just as many project failures in the private sector—certainly I’ve worked on a few ‘stinky’ private sector projects over the years—but getting at the data is much, much harder.   The irony is that there are excellent BAs in the public sector—some of them are my contacts and friends.  Yet the failure reports and research suggest (to me at least) that BAs aren’t always engaged at the right time and in some cases might not be given the voice that they desire.

 

This led me and some of my fellow IIBA-UK volunteers to submit evidence to a Public Administration Select Committee inquiry back in 2014, an initiative I was particularly proud of as we managed to get cross-organisational agreement from IIBA UK, BCS and the BA Manager Forum.   I have been part of committees that have made other representations to government too, hoping that a regular ‘drip feed’ of information will help raise awareness.

 

“But why bother with this?”, some of you may ask.  Good question indeed!  My driving motivations are:

 

  • Save Money: I believe that good quality business analysis in the public sector (as in any sectors) will save money. In fact, looking at some government failure reports it could save a lot of money.  This is compelling in the private sector too… but the optimist in me likes to think that public sector savings could lead to more hospital beds, more public services, in a time when increasingly decision makers are having to “do more with less”.  And creating better public services excites me a lot more than “creating shareholder value”.

 

  • Set a Standard: I truly believe that once a national government adopts a BA standard, the level of awareness will be raised by default. Things will be better for all  Much as all major government projects must use a particular project management methodology, how awesome would it be if they had to adopt a flexible, tailored business analysis methodology (overseen by a skilled senior BA)?  And it’s highly likely that the private sector would follow…

 

A Letter to an MP…

I was thinking about these goals as I sat in front of my PC screen in that quiet, reflective time between Christmas and New Year.  In conducting some research, I discovered that my Member of Parliament (Stephen Morgan MP) is a member of the Public Accounts Committee.   The very committee that is responsible (along with the National Audit Office) for providing scrutiny on government decisions and projects…