Imagine yourself in a workshop learning about stakeholder analysis. The instructor gives you all the theory, and points out the relevant sections of the BABOK. But what you really wanted to know about scope management. You walk away confused and not even sure if the workshop was worth your time.
Focused means getting to the thing that is the most important to you. Zero in on the goal and get the reward. The trick is understanding your training goals. Here’s a few thoughts on creating those goals.
What business analysis topics are the most important to you? Think about the tools and techniques you need to learn more about. Take a retrospective at some of your past projects. Where there areas where you could be have used a different tool set to manage it better?
Look at your organizations goals and objectives. If the objective of your organization is to move to a more Agile approach to projects, then adding those Agile techniques like storyboarding to your training goals is important. If your organization’s strategy is to use more COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) or cloud solutions, then adding techniques like fit gap analysis or vendor selection to your training goals would be beneficial.
Survey or talk with other business analysts to get their feedback to understand their thoughts on business analysis training. Do they see changes in the organization that are driving different business analysis techniques? Consult with Business Analysis leadership on where they feel the organization is headed and what business analysis techniques you should pursue.
Competency models are helpful to bring insight into techniques and skills that could benefit your organization but take care in using these models because not all skills and techniques are needed for an individual or organization. Use these models to understand your maturity and if there are skills you missed after looking at our objectives and goals for the organization.
Get some outsiders thoughts by going to an IIBA chapter meeting and talk with business analysts outside of your organization to gain a more global view. This can be a little more time consuming and difficult to undertake but it yields interesting results. Local IIBA meetings are great for meeting and networking with other local business analysts.
Write the skills and techniques on a list. Simple buckets of high-medium-low work best. Sounds a lot like requirements management doesn’t it? Prioritize your goals into those buckets. Review the prioritized goals individually or with others. Focus on the high priority goals. Hold on to this list and re-prioritize as needed.
When choosing a training company, look at your training goals to see if the training company is going to meet them. They may point out a few you missed! The result is you will be selecting a course or workshop that best meets your high priority needs for training. By focusing on your needs as a business analyst you get more bang for your buck and a better training outcome. Hit me up in the comments below.