BANTER Business Analysts on Business Analysis

25/09/2014

Vicky’s Blog from BA Conference 2014

conf

The annual European BA Conference is becoming quite an event in the BA calendar.  This year 400 delegates had signed up to attend the event in Victoria (I felt at home!), London. The list of countries represented was impressive – there were delegates from all over Europe and much further afield. There were BAs, Project Managers, BA managers, Architects, Trainers, Consultants – a huge range of skills and experience.

I was very lucky to have a workshop proposal accepted – the third time over the last few years that I’ve spoken or co-presented at this event and it is certainly going from strength to strength. This year’s topic was ‘Walking in Your Stakeholders Shoes’ - a 3 hour workshop which I facilitated with a fellow BA, Terri Lydiard. It’s fair to say that we took an iterative approach to developing the workshop – it really did start life on the back of a napkin in a noddle bar and seeing it come to life at the conference was great! We had 25 delegates at our session – they all seemed to take something out of the session and we had lots of interesting questions and discussions afterwards. This workshop  will become one of our Be Positive Master classes ‘ Engaging Your Stakeholders’ – so if you are interested in finding out more click on the here.

The Conference had a wide range of topics on offer and a lot of the buzz was about Agile, which was no big surprise, building BA Practices and Communities and Business Architecture. There were some glimpses behind locked doors (a really interesting case study from Serco on Transporting Prisoners) and some fascinating key note speeches – I had never considered data to be beautiful until we heard David McCandless speak – check out his designs at http://www.davidmccandless.com/

Some of my key takeaways from the conference this year are:

  • In Agile, the main difference for requirements (whether they are user stories or requirements) is when they are signed off. In traditional methods they are signed off when the specification of requirements is complete. In Agile, it is when the working software is delivered – paraphrasing Paul Turner, Assist KD
  • Data is beautiful and a thing to be played with, David McCandless
  • Playing games in workshops can be really productive and elicit even  better requirements, Tony Clay, Soulsailor Consulting

 

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