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BA Brew Season 3

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BA Brew Episode 30: Confidence (Feat. Philippa Thomas)

When speaking in public, challenging authority or dealing with negative feedback, business analysts need to feel and appear confident. But how do you build that confidence? In our Season 3 Finale, the Crew, with guest Philippa Thomas, come up with some top tips that include doing what you fear, visualising success and being selective about the criticism you pay attention to.

During the podcast, Philippa mentions ‘Playing Big’ by Tara Mohr, while Jonathan refers to ‘The 8th Habit’ by Stephen R. Covey.

Participants: AssistKD’s Jonathan Hunsley and Nicole Rayner with Philippa Thomas, owner of management training company Skills Shift. (


BA Brew Episode 29: The Invisible BA (Feat. Stefan Bossuwé)

When good business analysis happens nothing goes wrong, but there’s a danger that the extensive work behind a project running smoothly is not seen, understood or appreciated. Stefan Bossuwé joins the Brew Crew to talk about how, as a profession, we can turn the invisible BA into the visible BA.

The chat touches on professionalism and competency; thinking holistically; the importance of the question ‘why’ and the idea of a platform or forum where BAs could share tangible, real-life examples of problems they have helped avoid and the money they have saved organisations.

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul and Jonathan Hunsley chat with Stefan Bossuwé, coach, speaker and holistic business analysis expert (


BA Brew Episode 28: The BA Mindset (Feat. Fabricio Laguna and Christina Lovelock)

Today’s chat over a brew is all about the BA mindset. Debbie, Christina and Fabricio discuss how the BA mindset extends much further than the business analyst role.

Topics include curiosity and thinking analytically; how SWOT analysis has escaped professional boundaries; the danger of action for action’s sake and the value of sharing the BA mindset with others.

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul chats with Fabricio Laguna (, business consultant, teacher and professional speaker and Christina Lovelock (, BA leader and co-author of Delivering Business Analysis: The BA Service Handbook.


BA Brew Episode 27: Business Analysis Apprenticeship England

In this final podcast of 2021, the Brew Crew discuss the Business Analyst Level 4 Apprenticeship scheme. Guest Claire Carroll gives an employer’s perspective, while Kuldip Kang shares her experience of going through the 18-month programme.

Topics discussed include the different styles of learning involved, time-management challenges and more. Listen to the end for some useful tips from our guests for apprentices-to-be and employers.

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul and Nicole Rayner. With Claire Carroll and Kuldip Kang from Allianz.


BA Brew Episode 26: Stakeholders (Feat. Pip Hall)

GIVEAWAY COMPETITION ALERT! Listen or watch to the end of this BA Brew for some festive chat and our not-to-be-missed Christmas stocking filler competition.

Taking the time to understand who stakeholders are and what they need is key to the success of any project. In this Brew, our intrepid crew chat with Pip Hall about why she dislikes the term ‘stakeholder management’, and discuss how BAs can establish, maintain and enhance relationships with stakeholders.

Useful thinking techniques touched upon include CATWOE analysis, empathy maps, world view analysis, the Thomas-Kilmann conflict positions model, the Covey Think Win-Win model and the BATNA technique.

The following books are recommended in the podcast: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul and Jonathan Hunsley. With Pip Hall, BA at Telent Technology Services Ltd.


BA Brew Episode 25: The Solution Standoff (Feat. Karen Newnham)

The Brew Crew are never shy about thorny issues, so were happy to rise to the challenge when Karen Newnham got in touch about the tricky topic of solutions. In recent years BAs have been advised to avoid talking about solutions, yet nobody wants to ‘shut down’ stakeholders.

Mike, Jonathan and Karen discuss where the ‘anti-solution’ mindset comes from, and how to engage with stakeholders when they suggest solutions at an early stage in a project. Ideas discussed include reframing solutions, future-thinking and even role playing how a solution could play out (banana suits are not compulsory).

Jonathan suggested the Zachman framework as a tool for exploring solutions in context.

Participants: AssistKD’s Mike Williams and Jonathan Hunsley. With Karen Newnham, Head of Business Analysis at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).


BA Brew Episode 24: The Benefits of Benefits (Feat. Simon Harbisher)

Having just discussed the Business Case Necessity in the last podcast, this week the Brew Crew tackle the perfect follow up subject: the value and challenges of benefits planning and realisation.

Jonathan, Sandra and guest Simon Harbisher (who approached AssistKD with the idea) discuss the importance of learning from successes and failures; the role of the business analyst as negotiator; POPIT; the danger of change resistance; the importance of communication and more.

Make sure you listen out for the BA Brew’s first guest cat, India (nicknamed Villanelle as she is apparently noisy, tiny and deadly). India made herself heard but was too shy to appear on camera. Participants: AssistKD’s Jonathan Hunsley. With Sandra Leek, winner of the IIBA (UK) Business Analyst of the Year award 2014 and Simon Harbisher, Business Analyst at the People’s Postcode Lottery.

During the discussion Simon recommended the book Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman.

Learn how to identify, manage and realise business benefits effectively with AssistKD’s Benefits Planning and Realisation course.


BA Brew Episode 23: The Business Case Necessity (Feat. Ian Richards)

Another chance to put the business world to rights over a refreshing brew. This week our Brew Crew are joined by author and BA thought leader Ian Richards, to discuss the necessity for the business case.

Debbie, Jonathan and Ian discuss the value of the business case; why there is some controversy with some saying the business case is ‘anti-agile’; the succinct vs. the detailed business case; who ultimately should have ‘ownership’ and the different approaches of smaller and larger organisations.

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul and Jonathan Hunsley. With Ian Richards, member of the BCS BA Leadership panel, author, international speaker and the 2016 winner of the IIBA (UK) Business Analyst of the Year award. Ian is the co-author (with Filip Hendrickx) of ‘Brainy Glue’, a unique business novel bringing business analysis and business change to life. For more details see

Click here to check out AssistKD’s one-day intensive course Making the Business Case where you can learn how to develop the outline of a business case, using your own projects as a basis for the practical exercises.


BA Brew Episode 22: Business Architecture (Feat. Wouter Nieuwenburg)

Mike and Jonathan welcome guest Wouter Nieuwenburg to talk all things Business Architecture. The crew discuss the differences between the Business Architect and Business Analyst roles and what happens in that ‘grey area’ where respective toolkits overlap.

Topics covered include knowledge sharing, co-creation and collaboration; the Business Architect as the BA’s ‘independent, critical friend’; the pathway from BA to Business Architect and how the Business Architecture toolkit can benefit the Business Analyst. Participants: AssistKD’s Mike Williams and Jonathan Hunsley. With Wouter Nieuwenburg, Competence Developer and Business Analyst at PanCompany. Wouter is part of the team behind the BA&Beyond conference and was one of the first in the Netherlands to achieve the Advanced International Diploma in Business Analysis.

Want to expand your skills set? AssistKD offers a choice of Business Architecture courses click here.


BA Brew Episode 21: Design Thinking (Feat. Kay Hardy)

The Brew is back! Debbie and Jonathan launch Season 3 in style with guest Kay Hardy. The topic of the day is Design Thinking, an exploratory human-centric approach that offers a useful framework for business change.

It’s all too easy to go back to the same BA tools time and time again. The crew talk about how Design Thinking helps BAs to refresh their approach, encouraging them to challenge assumptions, to elevate their thinking and to focus on people and outcomes.

Related BA techniques discussed include the Double Diamond approach, Empathy mapping and the ‘5 Whys’. Don’t miss Kay’s brilliant explanation of the ‘lorry under the bridge’ challenge in the first five minutes (she even brought her own whiteboard).

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul and Jonathan Hunsley. With Kay Hardy, Senior Service Designer at Capita Experience and founding member of Young Business Analysts (YBA).

Jonathan Hunsley recently piloted AssistKD’s new Design thinking course. Find out more by clicking here. 

Find out more here: Building your BA toolkit? Click here to buy Business Analysis Techniques: 123 essential tools for success.