- The Daily Project-Pro is out! For the best curated articles in BA and PM see paper.li/VickiPPS/13238… #pmot #baot #pmot #projectmanagement - Posted about 4 hours ago
- The Daily Project-Pro is out! For the best curated articles in BA and PM see paper.li/VickiPPS/13238… #pmot #baot #pmot #projectmanagement - Posted about 1 day ago
- The Daily Project-Pro is out! For the best curated articles in BA and PM see paper.li/VickiPPS/13238… #pmot #baot #pmot #projectmanagement - Posted about 2 days ago
- The Daily Project-Pro is out! For the best curated articles in BA and PM see paper.li/VickiPPS/13238… #pmot #baot #pmot #projectmanagement - Posted about 3 days ago
- The Daily Project-Pro is out! For the best curated articles in BA and PM see paper.li/VickiPPS/13238… #pmot #baot St… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… - Posted about 4 days ago
formerly of Professional Project Services, LCC
Tag Archives: Networking
April 17, 2013Posted by on
This is the third and final installment of the So You Want to be a Business Analyst…Or Perhaps You Already Are series. Part One discusses the role of a business analyst with Part Two focusing on a better understanding of when you play both roles and determining where you may lean given your capacity and skills. In this third part will explore how to pursue your career as a business analyst.
Step 1 – Call yourself a business analyst
You are what you do and not your job title. If you do business analysis then you are a business analyst. Maybe your job title is project manager, technical writer, program manager, product consultant. It does not matter. My first six-years in the project world I held the working title of “product manager” and job classification of “state financial consultant”. You will find this work listed as “business analyst/product manager” on my résumé and LinkedIn profile. “Business analyst” is industry standard for the work done and provides a commonality across organizations.
Repeat after me. “I am a business analyst, I am a business analyst…”
Step 2 – Update your résumé
What does your résumé say about you and the jobs you have held? Give your résumé a hard look and find those tasks and deliverables that you have listed that fit under the category of ‘analysis’. Try this – type the word “analysis” in Word and then right-click to view synonyms. Let me help you out with a picture of the results I get. Use these words as a guide in reviewing your résumé.
Take this a step further. What missing from your résumé? Think about the work you have done and what you can add that lends weight to this aspect of your experience. I have provided further guidance on documenting your experience in my article, Document Your Project History.
Remember to update your LinkedIn profile as well. Use the Skills section of the profile to highlight this experience and ask connections to “endorse” these skills.
Step 3 – Get involved in the International Association of Business Analyst (IIBA®)
Nothing speaks more to your professional aspirations and commitment then involvement in a professional organization. Not only does it look good for you, but you gain the benefit of a network of peers in comparable roles to learn from and share experiences with. There are varying levels of involvement and added benefits come from each.
Level 1 – Join the IIBA® and your local chapter
At this level you will have access to an electronic copy of A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK®), a subscription to The Connection newsletter, and a wealth of resources online including articles, discussion groups, webinars, and tools.
Level 2 – Attend meetings and workshops
Meetings and workshop will increase your exposure to best practices and make sure continued education in business analysis topics. This further demonstrates your commitment to the profession as well as your own professional development. You will also build your local network of business analysts that can help you through struggles you have on the job in your next career move.
Level 3 – Volunteer
Volunteering is hugely fulfilling and beneficial to your career. It takes you from to the next level as far as demonstrating your passion for business analysis as a profession. It provides opportunity to show your work to other business analysts and build a reputation as a professional. Those who volunteer for my Chapter will find a ready referral and reference from me as they pursue future opportunities. This may be volunteering on a committee, with a specific task, for a project, or as a board member. Volunteer positions tend to be what you make of them and a lot can be accomplished in a few short hours a month.
Don’t forget to put your volunteer activities on your résumé and LinkedIn profile.
Step 4 – Get certified!
The time, effort, and money you put into the certification process exhibits your commitment to being a business analyst professional. You must prove earlier experience to sit for the exams. You must learn, keep, and prove you have a significant amount of knowledge on business analysis best practices from Enterprise Analysis to Solution Verification to pass the exam. Apply what you know in the real world and this step will take you far.
I hope this series has provided some helpful information as you pursue your career in business analysis. Please feel free to contact me (email@example.com) for more information or guidance. Follow this blog to get receive alerts of future posts that will be of interest to you.
So You Want to be a Business Analyst…Or Perhaps You Already Are
January 24, 2012Posted by on
I once suggested that a company I was working with to consider joining the local chamber. The response was that the chamber members were not their target audience for sales. It is such a shame because of the opportunities they missed out on. Don’t let this happen to you.
Reduce cost of operating
As time went on I saw more and more needs for this organization crop up that they might have been able to receive cheaper if they had providers in their professional network. Printing, video production, marketing, computer network support, and catering are all examples of the small local businesses that can give real benefit to a company of any size.
Information and access on local services
Oh my, all the things I have learned from networking with local business folk. I didn’t know we had a local video production company in town let alone that the cost of a 30 second web video was comparable or less than design and printing of a business brochure. I now know that there is local business that provides office space, conference rooms, and all the needed amenities to small business owners at a reasonable price. I can’t wait to see what I discover next.
The hidden referral
So maybe the local caterer is not going to need professional custom software development. They may know someone who now, or in the future, who does. My favorite story came to me from Dave Sisk of the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce. This is the story of a small business man who received a referral from a contact to help out a local franchise store with security cameras in the parking lot. The chain was so happy with what he was able to do that they offered him a significant maintenance contract for all the stores. It’s not always who you know, but who you know knows that can lead to the next big gig.
There are many opportunities for local networking. Local chamber of commerce is a good place to start. Also look for more informal and cost-effective events as well. Keep your eye on local business publications to learn more about these.
In Thurston County, Washington:
Reflections from the 2011 PMI North American National Congress (Part 2-The Wonderful Things About Networking)
November 8, 2011Posted by on
This is part two of three on reflections from the 2011 PMI North American National Congress held in Dallas, Texas, USA October 22 through October 25. Part one provided information from workshops I attended. Part three will focus on presenting, my observations as a participant and as a presenter.
There are a lot of resources out there that talk about networking. Just today I saw a note in Twitter recommending 4 Networking Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making on Forbes.com. The purpose of this article is not to restate all the great advice available through the Internet, books, and people, but rather I want to focus on some surprise benefits that may result.
Asking for Advice: The REAL sincerest form of flattery
I was having lunch with a friend in the exhibition center when she spotted a speaker from a previous session that she admired and wanted to ask more questions of. His topic, Agile, was something she had recently taken on in a new job. She mentioned that she hoped to get a chance to talk to him at some point and I suggested that she go over now. In a conference of 3,000 people, there is no guarantee that she would see him again and she should take the opportunity. She was reluctant to interrupt his lunch and conversation. I continued to encourage her to make the connection pointing out that it is flattering to be approached by someone who values your work and that he would likely appreciate the contact. Still seeing her reluctance I suggested that she simply go to the table with business card in hand and say “I don’t want to interrupt your lunch, but I have some follow up questions from your presentation”. Having a plan that she was comfortable with, she headed off toward his table.
I watched from afar suspecting that she would end up sitting down and talking to him. She did a wide circle around the table, gathering her courage, finally approaching him with card in hand, and finally, as predicted, she sits down. I went about my business at this point knowing she was in good hands and we would catch up later.
Their conversation continued by email after the conference. He has offered to help her get training and certification in Scrum with assistance from his own network, since training dollars are not available where she works. I believe a long term professional relationship is formed.
Pleasant Surprises: Stumbling Across Valuable Resources
I made it a point to personally introduce myself to every person that I am connected with through LinkedIn or Twitter, as well as presenters I enjoyed and learned from. I had two main motivators for this. One was to be able to mutually put names to faces and strengthen the connection, and also to show my appreciation and respect for their work.
In one such case I stayed back after a presentation in order spend a few moments with a LinkedIn connection, Samad Aidane. Although Samad is located within 60 miles of me and we had corresponded on a number of occasions, I had not met him in person until the presentation.
Samad introduced me to another of his connections, Todd Williams. As it turns out, Todd is another relatively local area consultant, principal of eCameron, Inc., specializing in project audit and recovery services. Having just taken over managing a project in trouble, I was very interested in his expertise. He discussed his strategy of auditing a project to uncover the organizational root causes. Our conversation resulted in a new book for me to read and an offer for an initial consultation with my company. Todd and I have a tentative appointment for coffee next time he is in the area. I look forward to the opportunity to gain additional insights on organizational changes that will improve project success in the future.
The Stuff Friendships Are Made Of
This last story actually started a year earlier. I stayed at an offsite hotel for the 2010 Congress in Washington, DC. There was a shuttle between the hotel and the conference center. This is where I met Jeff Furman. We chatted in the van about my aspirations for speaking and his role in training on presentation skills. In the van he made the assessment that I have what it takes to be a trainer, instructor, and presenter. This being that I have a strong voice, confidence, and am articulate. I appreciated this insight and we connected on LinkedIn following the conference. A few months later I received an email from Jeff with a referral for someone who was looking for a virtual instructor for an upcoming program. While this opportunity did not pan out, I truly appreciated the thought and referral.
I contacted Jeff prior to the trip to Dallas and we agreed to meet up to catch up. We did this, talking about his book, The Project Management Answer Book, and my upcoming presentation. Jeff said he planned on attending the presentation. I was glad to hear this as I knew his insight would be extremely valuable. The presentation went well and Jeff’s contributions as an audience member were great.
Even better are the things that have happened since. First, Jeff was interviewed by Elizabeth Harrin for her video diary where he talks about my presentation; first commenting on the subject, sponsorship, and then publically admires my style in engaging the audience. (Note to self, get copy of video for testimonial). The second thing that has happened is that Jeff and I have teamed to help build traffic to our respective blogs reflecting on the Congress through links and Tweets. (Jeff Furman’s Blog: Highlights of the PMI North American Congress 2011).
I know I have an ally in Jeff and can say he has one in me as well. As I begin to focus on building the next steps of my career through writing and presenting, I know I have a mentor and supporter. I just hope I can return as much in the friendship. It amazes me what conversation and exchange of business cards on a shuttle can do.
You don’t have to be actively seeking a job or clients to get significant value from networking. You never know where the benefits will present themselves. Don’t be shy in establishing connections. Your interest in the person should be a welcomed gift. If it isn’t, it will be their loss.
Finally, I want to thank those that took the time to show an interest in me. My sincerest thanks to Jeff Furman, Samad Aidane, Todd Williams, Peter Taylor, Rick Morris, Bill Fournet, Alfonso Bucero, and Ricardo Vargas. I look forward to seeing you at future events. Please let me know if there is anything I can ever do for you.
Chandra, thanks for having my back, I will always have yours.