Tuesday, 02 February 2016 02:32

Self-Directed, Self-Organized... Really?

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One of the core ideas or principles of Agile teams is this notion of a self-directed, self-managed, and self-organized team. 

Tuesday, 02 February 2016 01:43

In Security

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Let’s face it. It’s all about information. Everything we do is about information. We need information to do our job, and our job is usually about information, information that is collected from a wide range of sources over a long period of time, information that is created through the combination of other information, information that is printed, displayed, organized, manipulated, and stored for decades if not eons.

Early in the start of my career, after some exciting leadership roles, I needed to find deeper meaning in my work. This insight led to me to volunteer and then teach life skills to inmates in medium and maximum security federal penitentiaries. Surprisingly, it was one of the most positive, educational and life changing events. I learned a number of leadership lessons after walking through the gates of the penitentiary and working with prisoners throughout those years:

We’re back in a new year, and the setting of New Year’s resolutions. We usually don't set too many since they are so easily broken, but one is to finish the entrepreneurial BA series that began in 2015.

Agile methodologies and business architecture may seem to be two conflicting approaches to delivering software initiatives at first glance.

Monday, 25 January 2016 08:28

The Silver Bullet Syndrome

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Over the past several years I have heard an increasing number of complaints from a large number of Agile adherents accusing organizational management of expecting Agile to be a silver bullet (usually stated as “the next silver bullet” although I am not sure what other “silver bullet” Agile is replacing).

There are two things I really love.  One is business analysis, and the other is improvisation (improv). Even more so, is applied improv. Applied improv is the concept of applying improvisation skills to other things besides acting. I focus on helping others apply improv skills and business analysis in a business environment.

No matter how good you get at your trade, there is always room for getting even better. Since every expert has had his/her own unique set of experiences, there is always something new to learn from others that can help you soar to new heights.

Each year since 2009 we have enjoyed reflecting on what’s happened the previous year in the areas of business analysis and project management (including Agile), and making predictions for the upcoming year. To summarize the trends we saw in 2015:

Monday, 18 January 2016 09:09

Playing Hockey Without a Goalie

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I was watching an NHL game the other evening. The team was playing a hockey game without a goalie.

Apparently the team had decided that their goalie was too expensive. So they traded him away to another team.

Often when people talk about the Business Analyst being a trusted advisor within the organization, they are speaking about advising senior management of the organization. That role of the Business Analyst is that of a Management Consultant, the role of trusted advisor goes much beyond consulting or advising management.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 08:10

BA Experience: Pay It Forward!

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As Business Analysts, we are always looking for missing information – making sure we have the whole story behind the business need, the truth about how we are doing things today and what our partners really want to do (No, really want to do.).  We start with something to write on and hit the business with the big questions.  Once we think we have it all, the truth and nothing but the truth, we start thinking about a technical or process solution. READY, GO!

You're a Business Analyst or Project Manager on a technical project. You probably realize most of the roles and hats you need to play and wear. You are a task master, a resource manager, a change agent, a master communicator, a meeting facilitator, a financial wizard, and a critical decision-maker.

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