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Mastering Business Analysis
27 minutes | 3 months ago
MBA214: The BA Success Path
Laura Brandenburg shares her framework for career development; the Business Analyst Success Path. Show Notes Many Business Analysts struggle to understand how to get to the next step in their career. The way to advance in your career depends on where you are now. Charting your career path includes defining the “as is” and “to be” of your career. Laura’s Business Analyst Success Path framework highlights six stages. Explorer – This is when you’re first exploring the Business Analysis profession. You’re not yet committed to the BA role as a career. Intentional – You’ve made the decision to commit to being a Business Analyst. Official – You’re in an official Business Analyst role either with or without the actual title and you’re performing business analysis activities. Proven – You have a solid track record as a Business Analyst. Your experience may be within one specific area. Super Hero – You are confident that you can succeed in any project situation and you’re often sought after because people trust you and your work. Champion – You’re an expert in business analysis and a champion for the role. You can mentor, lead, train, and manage others. You may also establish frameworks that enable others to be successful. Listen to the full episode to understand how to progress from one stage to the next and grow in your career as a Business Analyst. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/masteringbusinessanalysis/MBA214.mp3 Z Your Homework First, be clear on where you are now and where you want to be. From there, determine the specific action steps you must take to move towards your desired state. After three to six months, reevaluate where you are and where you want to go in your career. Links mentioned in this episode: Laura’s website, Bridging the Gap Laura’s Quick Start Program: https://training.bridging-the-gap.com/quick-w Episode 31: Starting a Career in Business Analysis Laura Brandenburg Bridging The Gap Laura Brandenburg is an internationally-recognized leader known for helping mid-career professionals start business analysis careers. Laura brings more than a decade of experience as a full-time business analyst to help you find transferable BA skills, expand your experience, and start your business analyst career with confidence. Laura is also the author of How to Start a Business Analyst Career. TwitterLinkedIn Thank you for listening to the program To get more valuable content to enhance your skills and advance your career, you can subscribe on iTunes and other podcatchers. Also, reviews on iTunes are highly appreciated! I read each review and it helps keep me motivated to continue to bring you valuable content each week. . The post MBA214: The BA Success Path appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
28 minutes | 4 months ago
MBA213: Applying Theory of Constraints
If you want to accelerate and deliver with greater speed and flexibility that’s critical to serving your customers, combine Agile with Theory of Constraints. Clarke Ching shows us how. Show Notes Perhaps you have Agile teams that are doing everything right; they’re limiting work in progress, communicating well, and delivering with quality. But maybe you want to accelerate and deliver with greater speed and flexibility that’s critical to serving your customers. Theory of Constraints is an approach to helping organizations achieve their goals by identifying bottlenecks. Listen to the full episode to understand how to combine Theory of Constraints and Agile practices to accelerate delivery. The post MBA213: Applying Theory of Constraints appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
33 minutes | 5 months ago
MBA212: Transforming Your Work with Modern Agile
Joshua Kerievsky shares the four principles of Modern Agile and how they can help you find better ways of working and achieve better business outcomes. Show Notes Agile is about finding better ways of working. To continuously improve and achieve the right outcomes for your organization and your customers, we need understand foundational concepts that allow teams to make great products. Modern Agile methods are comprised of four guiding principles that can help you uncover better ways of working and get better results. Make Safety a Prerequisite Safety is a key principle in any team or organization. Without safety, there won’t be much innovation and there won’t be a lot of high performance. Making safety a prerequisite is about safety in all aspects. It includes physical safety, financial safety, psychological safety, reputational safety, and anything else that contributes to a safe environment. Note that safety is not the same as playing it safe. We want an environment and culture in which you’re able to take reasonable risks and make mistakes. Beyond creating a safe to fail environment, safety also includes working in a way in which we’re experimenting and learning so that we don’t waste time and money building things no one wants. Experiment & Learn Rapidly We often don’t really know how good our work is. Without trying new things and getting rapid feedback, we are at risk of creating the wrong solution. Instead, we want to experiment rapidly and learn rapidly. To do that, we need to create an environment in which we can quickly and cheaply experiment and get rapid feedback. This allows us to innovate and build products people love. Make People Awesome It’s important to know what you’re trying to achieve; what success looks like. Making people awesome is about understanding where you want to go and giving people super powers. Give people the ability to do something amazing, something they couldn’t so before. This applies not only to your customers, but to your team members as well. Create an environment where we can make each other awesome through support, psychological safety, and radical candor. Deliver Value Continuously Finding ways to deliver value sooner is a key principle that enables the organization and customers to get value quickly (through revenue or through the value that the solution provides to users). It also allows us to get feedback from customers sooner so that we can adapt quickly. We need to invest in ways that allow us to create in smaller pieces. Don’t try to deliver the fanciest thing, try to figure out where the value is and deliver that value sooner. Listen to the full episode to understand how to apply these principles on your team and in your organization. YOUR HOMEWORKThe Product Owner role is best filled by someone who isn’t fully controlling what gets build. Instead, create an environment where everyone (developers and other people on the team) can experiment with their ideas.A good Product Owner needs to be a good facilitative leader and encourage everyone to think about what we can do to make people awesome.Help the team to understand the customer and their needs and then create space to experiment with new ideas. Links Mentioned in this Episode Modern Agile websiteThe Modern Agile Show on YouTubeIndustrial Logic Joshua Kerievsky Joshua is the CEO of Industrial Logic, one of the oldest and most well-respected agile consultancies on the planet. Since 1996, Joshua and his global network of experts have helped people in teams across many industries leverage the wisdom and power of modern development methods. Joshua most recently created Modern Agile to help people and organizations benefit from a principle-based approach to agility. Modern Agile graphical assets are property of Joshua Kerievsky and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Thank you for listening to the program To get more valuable content to enhance your skills and advance your career, you can subscribe on iTunes and other podcatchers. Also, reviews on iTunes are highly appreciated! I read each review and it helps keep me motivated to continue to bring you valuable content in each episode. The post MBA212: Transforming Your Work with Modern Agile appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
27 minutes | 6 months ago
MBA211: Adaptive Leadership
In this time of unrelenting change, we need leadership at all levels. Here’s what you need to help your team succeed. HOW NOTES We live in a time of unrelenting change. To enable teams and organizations to deal with this new reality, we need a different approach to leadership at all levels. Adaptive Leadership is a practice developed by a Harvard Psychiatrist that allows us to better adapt to change. This is even more important as more and more organizations embrace Agile ways of working. When people experience change, there’s often emotional and cognitive distortions. Change impacts your emotional state by causing under stress and triggering the fight, flight, or freeze response. At a cognitive level, change also causes loss regret, which means that people would rather do nothing because they fear doing the wrong thing. It also causes us to overestimate the impact and duration of a change. Adaptive leadership is much different from the heroic leader standing on top of a mountain. It’s more of a leadership lattice with everyone playing the part of a leader. We’re all leading, all talking responsibility, and all mobilizing with the understanding that we need to adapt. Adaptive leadership is about empowering people. Listen to the full episode to understand how you can apply the principles of Adaptive Leadership. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/masteringbusinessanalysis/MBA211.mp3 YOUR HOMEWORK Find a thought leader and start absorbing information. That will help train your mind to think in a different way. Hold a weekly self-retrospective. Write down 2-5 things you did that week and reflect on what you could have done better. Links Mentioned in This Episode SoftEd.com Purchase one training class, get one free David Mantica VP and General Manager at SoftEd David Mantica believes leaders should be servants to their organizations and people. He is the Vice President and General Manager at SoftEd, a consultancy that offers advisory and education services to help organizations discover new ways of working for better business outcomes. David is a frequent speaker on Project Management, Business Analysis, and leadership. LinkedIn Thank you for listening to the program To get more valuable content to enhance your skills and advance your career, you can subscribe on iTunes and other podcatchers. Also, reviews on iTunes are highly appreciated! I read each review and it helps keep me motivated to continue to bring you valuable content each week. . The post MBA211: Adaptive Leadership appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
20 minutes | 7 months ago
MBA210: Vital Communication
Communication is vital to success on teams and in organizations. In this episode, Tommy Re shows us how to dramatically improve communication. Show Notes One of the issues holding organizations back is the development of their leaders. A lot of what it takes to develop as leaders are the communication skills necessary for them to work effectively with other people. According to one survey, 86% of employees cited poor communication as a leading cause of workplace failures. Poor communication is also a leading cause of project failures. With changes in the way we work in today’s environment such as working in teams and Agile approaches, there’s often less hierarchy. People need to be able to work effectively in teams and one of the most important things in that context is communication. That includes being able to persuade others and candle conflict. What You Can Do to Improve Your Communication To improve your communication, start by building your emotional intelligence. Understanding your feelings and how you’re perceived by others is a critical step in better communication. From there, you also need to notice and recognize the preferred communication style of others. Do they speak very directly in short bullets or do they prefer a lot of detail? Without an understanding of how your emotions influence your communication and awareness of your communication preferences and those of others, you’ll experience clashes around how to work well together. Communication is VITAL To improve your communication and get your point across, use the acronym VITAL. Make your message Visual, Interesting, Time sensitive, Action oriented, and Logical. About 75% of the neurons in our brains that process sensory information are dedicated to vision. Using visuals in your communication reduces complexity and evokes emotion. You can also use descriptive words and metaphors to allow people to create pictures in their minds. With all of the data coming at us today, to compete for people’s attention, we need to make our communication interesting. One way to do that is to break a pattern. Change the context and style of your communication to make it interesting. Everyone in organizations is very busy. Because of that, we need to be time sensitive and get to the essence of our message. To be concise and still get your message across, you need to know your audience, understand their communication preferences, and adapt your communication style. Making your communication action oriented is all about helping your audience understand what to do with the information. Using verbs in your message will help make it more action oriented. Finally, we want to make sure our communication is logical. Is our message well structures, organized, and are we using sound reasoning? Listen to the full episode to understand how to apply these principles to your emails and in group settings to improve your communication. YOUR HOMEWORKKnow your audience.For your next meeting or communication opportunity, think about their perspective and what’s in it for them. Also consider their communication preferences and adapt the way you present information.Once you’ve thought it through, take time to plan your communication. Consider the most important aspects on your communication and plan out your approach and structure. Links Mentioned in this Episode Tommy’s website: www.TalentIsVital.comConnect with Tommy on LinkedIn Tommy Re is the founder and principal of Vital Talent. Tommy is passionate about helping organizations thrive by working with them to identify and develop the talents of individual contributors, leaders and teams. He works with executives and business leaders to diagnose barriers to high performance and design appropriate talent solutions that lead to individual and organizational success. Thank you for listening to the program To get more valuable content to enhance your skills and advance your career, you can subscribe on iTunes and other podcatchers. Also, reviews on iTunes are highly appreciated! I read each review and it helps keep me motivated to continue to bring you valuable content in each episode. The post MBA210: Vital Communication appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
31 minutes | 8 months ago
MBA209: Visual Thinking
Grant Wright Shares simple Visual Thinking tools and practices to help your team get aligned and retain information. Show Notes Do you want to increase retention of information, ensure alignment and a shared understanding, and increase creativity? Visual Thinking can help get everyone on the same page, increase the team’s ability to solve problems, and help everyone remember what was discussed. Listen to the full episode to understand the tools and techniques of Visual Thinking and how they can benefit you on your next initiative. Additional Resources Useful books on Visual Thinking: The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike RohdeThe Sketchnote Workbook by Mike RohdeVisual Thinking by Willemien BrandThe Non-Designer’s Design Book – Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice by Robin WilliamsThinking With Your Pen by Martin Haussmann Other related books: The Art of Explanation – Making your ideas, products & services easier to understand by Lee LefeverResonate – Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte Other useful resources: Www.verbaltovisual.com – Doug Neil – great videos on sketch noting, suitable for beginnersWww.gamestorming.com – Dave Gray’s co-creation tools with lots of great visual facilitation ideas Www.xplane.com – Dave Gray’s consulting company – useful blog & other infoWww.innovationgames.com – Luke Hoffman YOUR HOMEWORKDon’t be intimidated by visual thinking. Start small with doodles in your own notebook or add a few hand-drawn visuals in your next PowerPoint deck.Don’t forget that using colored Post-It Notes is a form of visualization too. Get inspired by searching Instagram for #VisualThinking.Finally, start building your own hand-drawn icon library by having several pre-defined shapes and images that you practice and can draw. Links Mentioned in this Episode Grant’s website: scarlettsolutions.co.uk Grant Wright has over 20 years’ experience of delivering and leading enterprise-scale transformation and digital service design across government and financial services sectors. He is a Principal Consultant and Director of Scarlett Solutions, a UK based consultancy specializing in business analysis/architecture, agile product management and business transformation. He actively practices Visual Thinking throughout his work and is passionate about its ability to create alignment, improve understanding and generate creative ideas. Thank you for listening to the program To get more valuable content to enhance your skills and advance your career, you can subscribe on iTunes and other podcatchers. Also, reviews on iTunes are highly appreciated! I read each review and it helps keep me motivated to continue to bring you valuable content in each episode. The post MBA209: Visual Thinking appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
24 minutes | 8 months ago
MBA208: Facilitative Leadership
Author Michael Levine helps us unleash the power of large, diverse teams of smart, experienced individuals to deliver positive business results. Show Notes How can you unleash the power of large, diverse groups of smart, experienced individuals to deliver positive business results through software development? Large-scale software development is a complex endeavor, especially in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. While groups of people have come together in the past to achieve great things (build the pyramids, send humans to the moon), the complexity and scale of software development requires a different type of leadership, especially in an Agile environment. For large, diverse teams to successfully develop software solutions, we need people who can both lead those teams to the right outcomes and create the type of environment within the organization where teams can succeed. Facilitative Leadership Command and control or directive leadership styles don’t create the environment where Agile software development teams can succeed. A Facilitative Leader uses a different style of leadership. They use the elements of rigor, alignment, and efficiency to achieve better outcomes. Rigor leads to better decision-making by establishing an approach to decision-making. Defining the decision to be made and using meaningful data removes bias and leads to better decisions. To overcome the complexity of many individuals creating a large software solution, the Facilitative Leader must ensure alignment by setting a vision and common goals. Alignment towards a compelling goal leads to everyone’s engagement and the entire team contributing their diverse skills and thinking to achieving that goal. By developing a rigorous approach to decision making and gaining alignment within the team, the Facilitative Leader can create efficiency by eliminating waste. Ensuring that the team is able to focus on achieving the goal is critical. Meetings need to have goals and agendas that bring the team members closer to developing the right software solution. Listen to the full episode to understand how to put people first and become a facilitative leader. YOUR HOMEWORKGo on a Gemba Walk.Go see real users and observe how they use the system. This gives you insights to better and more valuable solutions for your customers. Links Mentioned in this Episode Michael’s website: ThriveGlobal.comGet Michael’s book, People Over Process Michael Levine is an expert on lean and agile software development and the author of three books. His previous books are Tale of Two Systems: Lean and Agile Software Development for Business Leaders, and Tale of Two Transformations: Bringing Lean and Agile Software Development to Life. His third book is People Over Process: Leadership for Agility. Thank you for listening to the program To get more valuable content to enhance your skills and advance your career, you can subscribe on iTunes and other podcatchers. Also, reviews on iTunes are highly appreciated! I read each review and it helps keep me motivated to continue to bring you valuable content in each episode. The post MBA208: Facilitative Leadership appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
28 minutes | 9 months ago
MBA207: Bad Behaviors in the Workplace
Paul Pelletier helps us to understand the root causes of disrespectful behaviors at work and how to address them. Show Notes Have you ever witnessed toxic behaviors that bring down a team or lead to project failures? Bad behaviors can come in a variety of forms; from rolling your eyes when someone is talking to outright bullying. These disrespectful behaviors disrupt meetings, lead to a lack of collaboration, and cost organizations millions of dollars each year in failed projects and employee turnover. But what can we do about these bad behaviors? Paul Pelletier provides some tips and advice on how to approach these issues and address them before they have a negative effect on the team. Listen to the full episode to understand the root cause of these disrespectful behaviors and how to address them. Addressing Bad Behaviors at Work YOUR HOMEWORKSpend a few minutes creating rules of engagement or ground rules with the team so that you can refer back to what was agreed when bad behaviors start. Links Mentioned in this Episode Paul’s website: PushingPastImpossible.com Paul Pelletier has been a corporate lawyer, an executive, a project manager, and is frequent keynote speaker. He’s a ground breaking expert in bullying, workplace respect & conflict management and the author of “The Workplace Bullying Handbook”. Thank you for listening to the program To get more valuable content to enhance your skills and advance your career, you can subscribe on iTunes and other podcatchers. Also, reviews on iTunes are highly appreciated! I read each review and it helps keep me motivated to continue to bring you valuable content in each episode. The post MBA207: Bad Behaviors in the Workplace appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
24 minutes | 9 months ago
MBA206: Succeeding with Analytics
Jim Rushton helps us to understand why 80% of analytics projects fail and what you can do to make sure yours succeeds. Show Notes Many organizations are implementing analytics programs. Unfortunately, four out of five analytics projects fail. Listen to the full episode to understand why analytics projects fail and what you can do to ensure success on your next analytics initiative. Make your analytics projects successful YOUR HOMEWORKStart with developing a lexicon and defining terms so that everyone is speaking the same language and there’s a common understanding of terms. Links Mentioned in this Episode Armera AnalyticsJim’s book, Guaranteed Analytics: A Prescriptive Approach to Monetizing All Your Data Jim Rushton began his career in analytics working with some of the biggest consulting companies in the world, including Accenture, Deloitte Consulting, and IBM Global Services. Leveraging his experience, he helped found Armeta Analytics where he and his team have helped Fortune 1000 companies learn how to get the most out of their analytics programs. Jim is also the author of Guaranteed Analytics: A Prescriptive Approach to Monetizing All Your Data Thank you for listening to the program To get more valuable content to enhance your skills and advance your career, you can subscribe on iTunes and other podcatchers. Also, reviews on iTunes are highly appreciated! I read each review and it helps keep me motivated to continue to bring you valuable content in each episode. The post MBA206: Succeeding with Analytics appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
6 minutes | 10 months ago
Lightning Cast: BA Goals Revisited
Building on last year’s episode about BA performance goals, we discuss how to choose the right goals and achieve them. Business Analyst Goals Revisited The post Lightning Cast: BA Goals Revisited appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
26 minutes | 10 months ago
MBA205: Beyond Data Literacy
Lori Silverman helps us get real value from data by developing core competence and creating the culture needed to support collaborative data-informed decision making. The post MBA205: Beyond Data Literacy appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
9 minutes | 10 months ago
MBA204: Top Skills for 2020
LinkedIn's list of the 15 most in-demand skills includes business analysis and a many skills that are critical to your success. The post MBA204: Top Skills for 2020 appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
27 minutes | 10 months ago
MBA203: Career Insurance
David Mantica shares ways to protect yourself from layoffs and prepare for career advancement. The post MBA203: Career Insurance appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
4 minutes | a year ago
Yes, Virginia, There Are BAs in Agile
Holiday Episode: In the style of the 1897 New York Sun editorial, a grown up Virginia asks if there are Business Analysts in Agile. The post Yes, Virginia, There Are BAs in Agile appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
5 minutes | a year ago
Lightning Cast: Failure to Launch (a new product)
Find out what you can do to ensure a successful product launch. The post Lightning Cast: Failure to Launch (a new product) appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
26 minutes | a year ago
MBA202: Business Value Analysis
David Mantica helps overcome one of the biggest challenges facing organizations today - understanding value and building the right solution. The post MBA202: Business Value Analysis appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
18 minutes | a year ago
MBA201: Tips From an Accidental Product Owner
Richard Larson shares his experiences as an accidental Product Owner and provides tips and advice for others moving toward a role in Product Ownership. The post MBA201: Tips From an Accidental Product Owner appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
29 minutes | a year ago
MBA200: Take Action! The Best Advice from Over 200 Episodes
Here's the best tips and advice from industry experts in over 200 episodes. Now take action! The post MBA200: Take Action! The Best Advice from Over 200 Episodes appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
19 minutes | a year ago
MBA199: The Future of the BA Profession
Kevin Brennan discusses how the world of work is changing and how Business Analysts need to adapt. The post MBA199: The Future of the BA Profession appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
22 minutes | a year ago
MBA198: DevOps – What it Means for BAs
Michael Roberts helps us understand what DevOps is and how it affects the role of Business Analysts. The post MBA198: DevOps – What it Means for BAs appeared first on Mastering Business Analysis.
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