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BA Conference Europe 2015 – our key messages
The BA Conference 2015 took place last week and provided an excellent celebration of business analysis - great people, presentations and discussions. The food was pretty good too. As several of the Assist team were in attendance, we shared around the sessions to attend and thought it would be interesting to identify our highlights and key takeaway messages. So here they are:
  • The very human aspects of change explored by David Beckham. David provided a very personal insight to his adapting to Parkinson's disease. Apart from David's story being an inspirational one, it highlighted the need to engage with stakeholders at a more personal level.
  • Neil Mullarkey taking the time as a keynote speaker to get to know his audience by spending the day at the conference, tuning into the key themes and challenges raised by delegates. Knowing your audience and tuning into the individual seems very much a key message.
  • Tessa Jowell talked about the importance of carrying out an Exhaustive Analysis and the avoidance of all ambiguity. She also introduced a new technique - the 'Little Book of Bollocks' and gave some good examples of entries in this book. We are still pondering on where 'wean the profile' could be used or would make sense!
  • The creativity and sheer inventiveness of some of the speakers, who weaved Business Analysis into sessions using the style of a well-known game show, a whisky sampling session, and a personal life journey.
  • Casper Berry said that we just don't take enough risks.  It's so easy to play safe and stay in the comfort zone but in doing so we are taking more risk as we prevent ourselves and our organisations from reaching their full potential.  Uncertainty is all around us. We deal with it every day but when it comes to making decisions in business we seem to want to stamp out all uncertainty and hence opportunity. He opened and closed by stating that we can only enjoy today because we are uncertain of tomorrow. In other words if our life and tomorrow was a certainty and we knew in advance, minute by minute, what was going to happen,  then life itself would be dull and maybe not worth living.  We can only enjoy things because there is an element of uncertainty and so we should embrace that, take risks, expect to fail occasionally and reap the rewards learnt through that failure to make a brighter tomorrow. 
  • The NFR session was a great takeaway for the delegates as it highlighted the need to consider, document and negotiate NFRs early on with the stakeholders. This is important whether adopting a Waterfall or an Agile approach as they are often over looked or too ambiguous. 
  • The sheer buzz of the event (as it always has) and the fact that the BA community are so willing to share experiences and ideas with others.
So those were our highlights, although it is safe to say that we will debate and discuss many of the ideas, frameworks, approaches, comments over the next few months. 
 
Looking forward to doing it again next year!

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