My key takeaways – Europe Business Analyst Conference 2017, London

Reflecting upon my experience at BA2017 Conference in London last month, I found it amazing and worth attending as it provided me opportunity to listen, learn and network with delegates from many countries and organisations. It helped broaden my knowledge and perspective about business in general and the business analysis in particular. I thought it would be worth sharing some of my key findings at this conference.


  1. Assertiveness – a trait BA must possess!

Saying ‘NO’ is always tough and many of us ended up saying ‘NO’ at wrong time or wrong place or in reactive manner in feat of anger, frustration or rejection. Many times we need to display assertiveness, for examples , being asked to accept a scope/requirement creep,  expected for working overtime, meeting getting delayed/postponed by stakeholders etc. How we say ‘NO’ in manner that it is taken positively? Answer is to say it in with assertiveness. Then what exactly is ‘assertiveness’? one thing for sure, assertiveness is neither being aggressive and nor being submissive. certainly it is also not ‘being apologetic’ or ‘being emotional’. The assertiveness needs to be learned and practiced so keep being assertive and learn from mistakes. One of safe way to practice it is when you need to show your assertion for bad customer experience moments at restaurant, delivery company or shops.


Aspect of assertiveness you need to focus are:


2. Top Trumps card play with BA techniques!


I really enjoyed playing this game and creating Trump card for different business analysis technique. A very creative and collaborative way to learn and evaluate different BA techniques with different rating factors. Regular play with team will help in using right technique at right time, many times we know lots of technique but we don’t use all of them in our day to day BA jobs.

Key rating factors for evaluating usefulness:

  • Learnability: How easy a technique was to learn to perform it? Did you take a long time to learn it? Would anything have made it easy?
  • Efficiency: How quickly can you do this? Do you take longer than others?
  • Memorability: How easily could you remember it if you have not used it for a long time?
  • Error: Are you prone to make mistake while doing a technique? How difficult to correct the mistake?
  • Satisfaction: How helpful is it to be able to do this? How often do you need to do this?

3. System Thinking – A crucial skill for complex & uncertain project or world at large!

Systems thinking helps gaining a wholistic understanding of a system by examining the linkages and interactions between the components that comprise the entirety of that defined system. Taking a linear approach to understand cause & effect of any complex problem or complex solution would lead to further problems & issue and you may ended up wasting resources and time without achieving a lasting solution.

It is essential to acknowledge and challenge boundaries and perspective to bottom out the root cause.

4. The Socratic Method – how relevant for Business Analysis!

Some of key lessons for business analyst from Socratic method are:

  • It is not what you know but the questions you ask.
  • Never take the first answer.
  • Don’t push it.

5. Business Change Management – an opportunity for BA!

Traditionally BA mostly involved with project delivery side and BA does a supportive role to Change manager for embedding the change. But the skill sets, experience and technique BA possesses, they are quite fit for leading the Change Management and getting change adopted by people.

Any failure of adoption and usage of the solution will lead to failure in delivering the benefits hence people side of change needs great attention, focus and planning.

6. The Seven Habits of Highly effective business analyst

I always try to find answers for how I can become more effective and a better performing business analyst.  The 7 habits explained during this talk I attended really answers this question and as well as an individual person.



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