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BA Brew

AssistKD’s new BA Brew podcast is now up and running. Our podcast is a chance to tune into our musings on a range of subjects from the use of business analysis tools and techniques to the books we like that are helpful for BA professionals.

The BA Brew podcast is also available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

BA Brew Episode 20: Resilience (Feat. Corrine Thomas)

It’s the Season 2 finale! In this episode the crew discuss Resilience with an expert on the subject, Corrine Thomas. Corrine talks about how BA tools can help build resilience at work and in our personal lives, for example the ‘Sarah Curve’ as a framework for dealing with emotions during times of change.

Jonathan comes up with the term ‘Resilience well’, which Debbie thinks should be patented immediately. The team share their ways of dealing with difficulty including talking to trusted friends, box sets during lockdown, NLP techniques, having something to look forward to, running, meditation and even bee keeping.

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul, Jonathan Hunsley and Mike Williams. With Corrine Thomas, Leadership, Careers and Resilience coach and mentor.

You can watch our BA Manager’s Forum webinar on Understanding and Building Resilience here, and download the handout accompanying the forum with useful reference materials here.

For support in dealing with difficulty and mental health challenges at work, find free resources from Mind by clicking here

Click here to buy Business Analysis Techniques: 123 essential tools for success.

BA Brew Episode 19: The BA Tools and Techniques Launch Chat

The crew are in fine form, celebrating the brand new edition of Business Analysis Techniques. With 123 tools and techniques for the BA to choose from, the skill is in knowing which to use in different contexts.

MoSCoW, POPIT™, CATWOE, Johari Window and more… Debbie, Jonathan and Andrew share their favourites and those they think are underrated. They go on to discuss why some techniques are controversial and how the best can be applied to our day to day as well as our work lives.

Andrew Kell ends the podcast with an exceptionally cheesy joke, which may (or may not) be worth listening to the end for.

Click here to buy Business Analysis Techniques: 123 essential tools for success.

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul, Jonathan Hunsley and Andrew Kell.

BA Brew Episode 18: The Culture Conundrum (Feat. James Robertson)

Are you happy at work? It makes all the difference. Today the crew talk about the impact of workplace culture on our happiness and productivity. James Robertson – author, problem-solver and requirements engineering guru – is our expert guest. We discuss the differences between positive and toxic cultures; how measuring performance can be counter-productive; the importance of a supportive and confident team; Belbin’s team roles (https://www.belbin.com/about/belbin-team-roles) and more… including the cathartic benefits of a good old moan.

Click here to buy James Robertson’s book: Happy to Work Here: Understanding and Improving the Culture at Work.

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul and Mike Williams with James Robertson, consultant, author and principal of the Atlantic Systems Guild (https://systemsguild.eu/) think tank.

 

BA Brew Episode 17 - The Love of Learning (Feat. Sam Merrick)

The best BAs are passionate about the subject and their specialisms, constantly updating their skills and techniques ‘toolkit’ and growing their understanding throughout their careers.

Our guest on this BA Brew is the ever inspiring Sam Merrick, who talks to the crew about how he developed a hunger for learning, taking ownership of his career and self-funding many of the courses he has taken.

Topics discussed include: the ‘virtuous circle’ of sharing learning; motivation and rewards; how to learn from life experiences; the importance of developing self-awareness and the importance of a great mentor. 

Participants: AssistKD’s Mike Williams and Jonathan Hunsley with Sam Merrick, Lead Business Analyst at Shell Energy and Director at IIBA UK.

 

BA Brew Episode 16: The Agility Illusion (Feat. Lynda Girvan)

We’re joined by Lynda Girvan for a thought-provoking chat about what ‘Organisational Agility’ really means. The popular buzz-phrase ‘has been well and truly put to the test in the last 18 months, as businesses have adapted (or not) to changes brought about by the global pandemic. We discuss how business leaders have had to ‘walk the walk’ and how the Business Analysis toolkit can be used to challenge assumptions, change mind-sets and achieve successful outcomes.  

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul, Jonathan Hunsley with Lynda Girvan, Head of Business Analysis at CMC Partnership Consultancy. 

 

BA Brew Episode 15: The Thoughtless Design of Everyday Things (Feat. Karl Wiegers)

The crew are joined by Karl Wiegers, who challenges us to think more purposefully about good and bad design. Indeed there is so much poor design to be found in the everyday that Karl has published a book on the subject. Lots to consider for any BA who is serious about championing the user and customer experience, and a wake up call for all requirements engineers.  

Buy Karl Wiegers' new book The Thoughtless Design of Everyday Things here.  

Participants: AssistKD’s Mike Williams and Jonathan Hunsley with software consultant and author Karl Wiegers. 

 

BA Brew Episode 14: The Business Analyst / Product Owner Conundrum (Feat. Geertje Appel)

Move over Game of Thrones, in this episode of the BA Brew we discuss the sometimes dynastic struggle between the Business Analyst and Product Owner roles. Who will be King (or Queen) and will BAs truly rule the world one day? Listen in to find out. 

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul and Mike Williams with Geertje Appel, Business Analyst and Trainer at Le Blanc Advies.   

 

BA Brew Episode 13: Requirements: Redundant or Relevant?

The BA Brew crew get to grips with the tricky question of the necessity of requirements. They argue that, when engineered appropriately for the working context, requirements should stand the test of time and not be thrown out with the waterfall bathwater. Listen out for Jonathan’s mini-rant (pattern emerging here) and Debbie’s Use Case Diagram confession. One not to be missed! 

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul, Jonathan Hunsley and Mike Williams.

BA Brew Episode 12: The Leadership Lowdown (Feat. Tazeem Wafa)

Who better to discuss the key aspects of leadership with than the 2020 BA of the Year? No need then to shell out on a pile of leadership books (unless you want to impress with your Zoom background). ‘Hollow leadership’ is rightly called out and a simple word count will tell you just how important passion, empathy, trust and transparency are, particularly in troubled times. 

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul and Jonathan Hunsley with Tazeem Wafa, Business Analyst Manager at the Bank of England and BA of the Year 2020. 

BA Brew Episode 11: The Delivery Dilemma

The BA Brew crew tackle the age old dilemma of delivering immediate vs. longer term outcomes. If you think MVP is the ‘go to’ acronym of the day, you might want to think again. Prepare yourself for OMBO and for the very switched on cookies amongst you, OMBOC (Optimal Mutually Beneficial Outcome in Context) might become your new mantra. Listen on! 

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul, Jonathan Hunsley and Mike Williams. 

 

BA Brew Bloopers

Just ahead of series two of the BA Brew podcast we have a minute of out-takes from series one.

 

BA Brew Episode 10: Is there a Future for Business Analysis?

In our Season 1 Finale, what other subject could our illustrious foursome tackle but “Is there a future for Business Analysis?”  

Join us for an informed discussion on the integrity and necessity of the BA skillset. Listen out for the BA ‘awkward teenage years’ and just how BAs might save the planet. The revolution starts here! 

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul, Jonathan Hunsley and Mike Williams with Adrian Reed of Blackmetric Business Solutions.   

 

BA Brew Episode 9: Young BA Special (Feat. Emma Myers and Lauren Howes)

For the those of you in need of a BA pick-me-up this podcast is for you. Learn about the Young Business Analysts (YBA) initiative and how this has grown from an initial idea to over 400 members in the space of only a few months. Lots of energy in the room and far too much fun. Sit back and enjoy hearing from the stars of the future; your profession is in good hands. 

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul and Jonathan Hunsley with Emma Myers and Lauren Howes, two of the founders of the YBA group. 

Find out more about YBA here.  

BA Brew Episode 8: Reviewing ‘Switch’. By Chip and Dan Heath. (Feat. Jo Gray)

We look at the book Switch by Chip and Dan Heath, recommended by our latest podcast guest Jo Gray. It’s a beast of a book but we look at the big themes and some well-thought out tactics for realising change. Listen out for the “bright spots” (a nice twist on the normal focus on problems) and Jo’s example of how powerful a visual demonstration of a situation requiring change can be. 

Participants: AssistKD’s Jonathan Hunsley and Mike Williams with Jo Gray, Senior Consultant at Socitm Advisory. 

 

BA Brew Episode 7: The Failure Falsehood

“Failing fast” is a software engineering term which has become part of management speak, but does this widely accepted mindset serve any real purpose? We challenge the term and discuss the better approach of “test and learn” where there’s an opportunity to reflect and to find alternative ways forward. Listen out for the Rice Krispie incident – one not to be missed! 

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul, Mike Williams and Jonathan Hunsley. 

 

BA Brew Episode 6: The Virtual Facilitator (Feat. David Beckham)

Put the kettle on, the hot topic of virtual facilitation is up for discussion. There’s plenty to think about including the preparation, hard work, behaviours and props required for effective facilitation. Expect a few gems from guest David Beckham (not that one) along the way including Celebrity Squares and what he calls the ‘Depeche Mode’ moment… 

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul and Jonathan Hunsley with David Beckham, Principal Consultant at ChuDo Consulting. 

 

BA Brew Episode 5: The Networking Nuance

Are you a natural networker or does it feel like a chore? Here the AssistKD crew discuss the joys (and perils) of networking in both face to face and virtual environments such as LinkedIn. There are top tips and important watch words along the way for people from all backgrounds. Listen on! 

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul, Jonathan Hunsley and Nicole Rayner. 

 

BA Brew Episode 4 The Value Fallacy

Think “value” is a word you can bandy around loosely? Think again! In our latest podcast we provide that ‘stop and think’ moment to consider what value really means for organisations and customers. The crew look at how value is co-created and the critical role the business analyst has to play in this process. Listen on… 

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul, Mike Williams and Pete Thompson. 

BA Brew Episode 3: The WFH Challenge

In the new ‘normal’, for many of us our homes have become our offices. Join us for an honest discussion about the many joys, perils, frustrations and practicalities of working from home including the temptations of the biscuit tin. Expect a useful share of experience… and who knew virtual charades was a thing! Happy listening. 

Participants: AssistKD’s Jonathan Hunsley, Mike Williams and Nicole Rayner. 

BA Brew Episode 2: The RACI Rant

Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed. Could the RACI technique be the most misunderstood and underrated technique in business? In our latest podcast passions run high as we look at how making roles and responsibilities crystal clear is key to empowerment, collaboration and business success. Enjoy the listen. 

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul, Mike Williams and Jonathan Hunsley. 

BA Brew Episode 1: Who Moved My Cheese? By Dr Spencer Johnson

In AssistKD’s very first BA Brew we put the kettle on and kicked off by discussing Spencer Johnson’s famous book “Who Moved My Cheese?” and how it speaks to the role of Business Analyst. The book challenges “the way things have always been done around here” and is a timely prompt to rethink how we adapt to radical change. A lively 20 minute discussion, hope you enjoy it!  

Participants: AssistKD’s Debra Paul, Mike Williams and Jonathan Hunsley. 

The BA Brew Trailer

A trailer for AssistKD's BA Brew podcast, which is launching on Friday 20th November at 1030. Tune in to hear informal discussions about various topics relevant to business change professionals.

 

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