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Professional Development Day: The Strategic Business Analyst

  • 24 Jun 2016
  • 07:00 - 16:00
  • Absa Towers North, 161 Main Street


Registration is closed

Have you ever wondered about how a Business Analyst can be a strategic player in a modern business? Join us as we host the first professional development day of the year where we unpack what being a strategic Business Analyst means. The program features two workshops as well as two presentations (one local and the other virtual from the UK) and a panel discussion.

This event is brought to you by IIBA-SA and IQ Group and is sponsored by ABSA.


About the Sessions and Speakers

Systems Thinking for Business Analysts

Business Analysts have a challenging task of developing business solutions in a rapidly changing context. It’s not only the external context that is changing but also the internal working environment. Our task has been described as ‘building a skyscraper on a moving conveyer belt’. This session will introduce us to the drivers of the complexity in our work and the critical need for a different way of thinking. The session will propose Systems Thinking in Practice (STIP) as a useful approach to understanding the complexity we face, developing interventions while taking care of the often conflicting perspectives and all the time questioning our assumptions.

About the speaker

Samuel is an experienced facilitator having worked in the areas of leadership development, change management and strategic alignment. His interests include how organisations create and share knowledge; how to promote organisational learning as well as how to lead and manage change processes. Samuel is an experienced executive coach and uses approaches based on family systems theory to assist individuals manage in times of change and transition. Sameul has a Bachelors of Education (Hons) from Kenyatta University, an MA in Organisational Leadership (Eastern University, USA) and a Master of Commerce in Organisational Management and Systems (UKZN) and is the co-author of a KnowRes publication: Leading the Way through CSI: A Guidebook for Corporate Social Investment Practitioners.

Strategy: The Crucial Enabler

The words "strategy" and "strategic" are frequently used in organizations and might be seen by some as "corporate buzzwords". Yet in reality, having a clearly articulated strategy is a crucial enabler for organizational alignment and success. As BAs, we need to ensure that our projects and programs align with strategy--else we may end up with different departments and teams pulling in different directions (and we may end up getting caught in the cross fire!)

The BA toolkit is broad, and there's a huge opportunity for us to contribute. If we seize this opportunity we may get involved in shaping or defining organizational, project, program or business unit strategy.

In this presentation, Adrian Reed explores strategy through a business analysis lens, covering:

· What is strategy?

· The role of strategy and strategic thinking in Business Analysis

· What can we do when strategy is "cloudy"?

· Strategic analysis tools and techniques

About the speaker

Adrian Reed is a true advocate of the analysis profession. In his day job, he acts as Principal Consultant and Director at Blackmetric Business Solutions where he provides business analysis consultancy and training solutions to a range of clients in varying industries. Outside of work, he is President of the UK chapter of the IIBA and he speaks internationally on topics relating to business analysis and business change.

Agile as a Strategic Advantage

Organisations both locally and globally have been grappling with the implementation and adoption of Agile within their organisations. This has been mainly been driven by the IT departments focusing on Agile approaches such as Scrum and Kanban to deliver software solutions. However, whilst the focus has been on implementation of good Agile practices, tools and techniques, few organisations have been able to achieve the desired outcome of business agility. This is mainly due to non-agile business strategies being developed by many organisations, thus leading to challenged Agile transformation with a conflict between strategy and execution. A successful business strategy involves making choices throughout the value chain that are interdependent. For an organisation to realize the full benefit of its business strategies it must develop and maintain them using an Agile approach. The talk will focus on the key principles that can be applied to an organisation throughout the value chain (both IT and Business) in order to provide them with a strategic advantage.

About the speaker

Biase is currently an Associate Partner at IQ Business leading the Agile service offering called agility@IQ that provides Agile training, coaching and consulting. Since 2002, Biase has been involved in project and programme management with a focus on project delivery and processes implementing software solutions for our customers. Since 2010, Biase has been building the IQ Business Agile offering and has personally trained over 2000 delegates on Agile. Biase has also been involved in both large and smaller scale agile transformations and through experience has had the opportunity to present both locally and internationally on relevant Agile topics that he is extremely passionate about

Unpacking the Business Model Canvas

When people ask “What is your business model”, they are really asking “How are you going to make money?”

And how you are going to make money can be quite hard to explain! Especially since a business model is a set of assumptions about what a company will get paid to do. Assumptions that have not yet been tested and validated in the market!

· What if there was a simple tool in which to structure all of these assumptions, helping us to identify gaps in our thinking?

· What if there was a way to question and challenge our thinking, turning ideas into game-changing approaches not yet seen in our industry?

· What if there was a business model concept simple enough for everyone to understand?

Join me as we discuss the 9 building blocks of the Business Model Canvas, a tool that will help you to visualise, design and innovate on your own business model!

About the speaker

Angie is an Agile Coach, Trainer and Consultant with 20 years of experience in Financial Services (14 years in traditional software development, 5 years using Agile methods). For many years, she worked in the business process outsourcing industry where she pursued ways to make businesses more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment. So when she was introduced to Agile, it was a perfect fit! She now devotes her time to anything related to Agile transformation with a particular focus on the role of the Agile Product Owner and Agile Business Analyst.

Panel Discussion

About the speaker

Ryan Folster is a Business Analyst from Johannesburg South Africa. His strong focus on innovation as well as involvement in the Business Analyst community have seen Ryan develop professionally from a small company, serving a small amount of users, to large multi-national organisations. Having merged into Business Analysis through the business domain, Ryan has developed a firm grounding and provides context to the methodologies applied to clients and projects he is working on. Ryan has gained exposure to the Human Resources, Asset Management as well as Financial Services sectors, working on projects that span from Enterprise Line of Business Software to Business Intelligence and Compliance. Ryan is also heavily involved in the local chapter of IIBA, currently holding the position of President. Ryan is passionate about the role a Business Analyst plays within an organisation, and is a firm believer that the role will develop further in the future and become a crucial aspect of any successful business.

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