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BA Brew Season 4

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BA Brew Episode 40: The Wonders of Data

In this latest BA Brew, the Brew Crew debate the value of data. Jonathan plays the role of Devil’s Advocate… can Debbie and Pete convince him that data is more than simply a means to an end?

Topics discussed include: why data is fascinating; what data tells us; the difference between data and information; metadata; quantitative vs. qualitative data; data models; ethics and more.

Participants: AssistKD’s Jonathan Hunsley, Debra Paul and Pete Thompson.


BA Brew Episode 39: The Playful BA (Feat. Georgiana Mannion)

If you want to see Mike Williams wearing a very bad wig and (later on) a horse’s head, you won’t want to miss this extra entertaining BA Brew. Georgiana Mannion, known for her ‘Playful BA’ talks, very generously shares her inspirational ideas on how to bring play, fun and games into your BA practice.

Topic discussed include: how to energise a Teams meeting; branding your BA team; flipping the process-mapping process on its head; engaging exercises to generate ideas and solve problems; moving furniture around in the boardroom; using Lego and other tools for solution architecture, change management and coaching and whether it’s possible to have too much fun as a team.

Participants: AssistKD’s Mike Williams and Debra Paul with Georgiana Mannion – consultant, speaker, thought leader and an IIBA ‘BA to Watch 2022’. 


BA Brew Episode 38: Moon, Rose, Fish. Back to Basics Business Analysis (Feat. Danny Kalkhoven)

Moon, Rose, Fish is the English translation of Maan, Roos, Vis, a well known Dutch phrase connected to the early stages of learning to read and write. It’s the equivalent of ‘A, B, C’.

In this episode the Brew Crew discuss the value of having a mental checklist of the basic elements when looking at the requirements of an IT system. Moon or Maan stands for the data model, Rose or Roos stands for how things look, the User Interface and Fish or Vis stands for the activities, rules and process changes to be specified in any IT system.

Pete, Jonathan and Danny discuss the importance of getting the fundamentals right; why some BAs struggle with data; the danger of assuming a data model has been fully thought through; how to present data in an understandable way; using scenario analysis and prototyping to explore whether the data model is adaptable to the business needs; the use of tools such as the information concept model and more.

Participants: AssistKD’s Pete Thompson and Jonathan Hunsley, with Danny Kalkhoven, Business Analyst, Trainer and Consultant at VNG via Le Blanc Academy. Danny is also a keen amateur photographer with an international reputation.


BA Brew Episode 37: Impactful Business Analysis (Feat. Christina Tan)

As BAs and business change professionals, how can we make an impact in our organisations and the wider business analysis community? That’s the question the Crew tackle in today’s BA Brew, with the help of our guest Christina Tan (and freshly brewed coffee or tea of course).

Topics covered include: Leaving a legacy; making an impact on multiple levels; the purpose of the BA; giving and receiving support, ideas and learning through the wider BA community; the value of curiosity.

During the pod, the book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey is mentioned.

Participants: AssistKD’s Jonathan Hunsley and Mike Williams, with Christina Tan, Director of IIBA UK.

IIBA UK is the membership organisation for business analysts in the UK and is run entirely by volunteers.


BA Brew Episode 36: If You Don't Do Politics, Politics Will Do You (Feat. Niven Postma)

This week, the Brew Crew are joined by guest Niven Postma, author of the highly acclaimed book If You Don’t Do Politics, Politics Will Do You.

“If you think your work speaks for itself… Think again.” Niven and the crew discuss how, whether we like it or not, we all have to navigate office politics. Niven shares her valuable tips, leaving the crew wishing that the book was available at the start of their careers.

Participants: AssistKD’s Mike Williams and Lisa Hudson with Niven Postma, Author and Lecturer on office politics.


BA Brew Episode 35: The BA Service Framework (Feat. Jamie Toyne)

This week the Brew Crew are joined by guest Jamie Toyne, who explains how he has adapted the BA Service Framework to define and promote the services offered by his BA team. Topics covered include: how the BA Service Framework was developed (Debbie’s ‘lightbulb moment’); creating a common language to define the BA role; the shift from product focus to a service level view and the importance of “setting out your stall’ and selling your BA services.

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul and Mike Williams with Jamie Toyne, Digital Leader and Head of Business Analysis at the Ministry of Justice. AssistKD provides training, apprenticeships and consultancy services throughout the UK and internationally. Click here to view AssistKD’s extensive choice of classroom (virtual and in-house) and E-learning courses.

For more on the BA Service Framework, read ‘Delivering Business Analysis: The BA Service Handbook’ by Debra Paul and Christina Lovelock.

‘Creating a BA Service Definition’ summarises Chris Pyatt’s talk at the BA Conference 2021 And you can take our FREE course ‘Introducing the BA Service Framework’ on AssistKD’s Learning Zone.


BA Brew Episode 34: Non-Functional Requirements (Feat. Steve Wright)

Fuelled by freshly made coffee, Steve Wright and the Brew Crew discuss the difference between functional and non-functional requirements; why it pays to have non-functional requirements on the agenda from the start; the joy of checklists and more.

During the chat Pete Thompson recommends the book Software Requirements Patterns by Stephen Withall, for its useful contextual checklists.

Participants: AssistKD’s Mike Williams and Pete Thompson with Steve Wright, Business Analysis Mentor and Trainer at Reflect Ltd.


BA Brew Episode 33: BA Skills and How to Develop Them (Feat. Sarah Gale)

In today’s BA Brew, our Crew talk with Sarah Gale about developing core business analysis skills, and how to use BA tools and techniques with confidence.

Topics covered include softer skills including communication, relationship building and listening skills; business architecture; customer experience analysis and design thinking; mentoring and coaching; the need for BAs to sell their services; skills frameworks such as the Business Analysis Competency Model®; how to develop BA skills and which skills are transferable.

During the chat, Jonathan mentions the book ‘Mindset’ by Carol Dweck. Participants: AssistKD’s Jonathan Hunsley and Kerry Adams with Sarah Gale, Software Asset Management Lead at SSE plc. Sarah was a 2018 finalist of the IIBA (UK) Business Analyst of the Year Award, was the second person to complete the BCS Advanced International Diploma in Business Analysis and is a member of the Business Analyst Manager’s Forum.  


BA Brew Episode 32: Software Development Pearls Feat Karl Wiegers

Karl Wiegers is back! In this latest BA Brew, Karl and the crew discuss his new book ‘Software Development Pearls: Lessons from Fifty Years of Software Experience’.

Topics include quality (including Karl’s experience of 9th grade woodworking, where he learnt an important lesson about taking the time to ‘do it right’); estimating the time a project will take; the user centred vs. product centred approach to requirements; the value of the peer review process (setting the ego aside) and the necessity of multiple iterations in both requirements and design.

Participants: AssistKD’s Jonathan Hunsley and Mike Williams with Karl Wiegers, software developer, requirements analyst, quality engineer, consultant, trainer and author of books including ‘The Thoughtless Design of Everyday Things’ and now ‘Software Development Pearls’.

You can buy ‘Software Development Pearls’ here: 


BA Brew Episode 31: Systems Thinking (Feat. Dr Ali Rodrias)

In the first of Season 4 of the BA Brew podcast, Systems Thinking comes under the spotlight. Topics covered by the Brew Crew and guest Dr Alison Rodrias include whether Systems Thinking can be learned; scenario and impact analysis; reductionist thinking; user stories and applying Systems Thinking within the BA role.

During the podcast, Debbie refers to ‘Systems Thinking, Systems Practice’ by Peter Checkland.

Participants: AssistKD’s Jonathan Hunsley and Debra Paul with Dr Alison Rodrias, scientist turned Business Analysis lead at Parkinson’s UK.

Parkinson's UK is the largest charitable funder of Parkinson's research in Europe. The charity is driving forward research to develop better treatments and a cure for the condition. For more information, please visit