The business evolving: Create. Innovate. Iterate. Transform.
The 2021 Business Analysis Summit recently brought business analysis professionals from across the world together. This industry leading summit aimed to provide a practical approach through a global community of thought leaders and practitioners to target the universal goal of advancing the business analysis profession to create, connect, iterate, and transform businesses.
Morongoa Malebe, a Business Consultant at Saratoga and BA Summit attendee, shares some of the key insights and valuable lessons she gained from this year’s summit.
Connecting as a virtual Business Analysis community
The BA Summit enabled a global community of business analysts and industry professionals to connect and collaborate on key trends and innovations within business analysis as a virtual summit.
“From networking sessions to presentations from various practitioners who offered practical and applicable insights on thought provoking topics, the summit was a great opportunity to learn, share ideas, and be encouraged as a collective.”
The summit talks were categorised into three tracks which included innovation, collaboration, and transformation. Morongoa, in particular, enjoyed the opportunity to attend various talks, which sparked her curiosity, and the diversity of the BA community attending and presenting made the event more exciting and enjoyable.
Cognitive biases and innovation
One talk Morongoa enjoyed, in particular, was presented by Dr. Liz Calderand her presentation topic about ‘How your brain stifles innovation – the effect of cognitive bias on idea generation.
In her talk, Dr. Liz explained the concept of cognitive biases and the impact on idea generation and innovation. From understanding what cognitive biases are, the reasons why biases occur, and the areas these biases impact regarding business analysis – the talk provided valuable practical applications to manage and address these biases in our daily work.
“I appreciated the practical and hands-on approach of this talk and gained a better understanding of the types of biases that occur when generating and refining ideas. Dr. Liz also provided us with a list of tools and techniques to help address these biases in future idea generation.”
Business Analysis in a decade of change
Delvin Fletcher’s summit talk, ‘Sense and respond – business analysis in a decade of change‘ was another favourite talk for Morongoa.
Sharing a practical perspective on how the business analysis community should respond in a constantly changing world, David explained the importance of gathering information about where the world is heading and what others outside of the BA community think of business analysis.
His talk provided an overview of key trends impacting business analysis and suggestions for how the business analysis community could effectively respond to these trends.
Trends impacting business analysis
- Adapting to continuous change is a new reality. The business analysis community has the ability, skillset, and the appropriate setting to thrive. Business analysts have many opportunities within their organisations to become ambassadors for change and help others adapt to change.
- Hybrid work is now a reality, and it’s essential for business analysts to effectively transform the ways of work and assist their organisations with the adoption of these changes.
- Data literacy is an important skill set. Business analysts need to understand the intersection between data analytics and business analysis.
- Truly understanding the customer journey and the value to customers is critical.
The role of business analysts in these trends
- Understanding that business analysis is more significant than the job.
- Continuously learning, adapting to change, and being innovative. In the new world, learning has become more dynamic and non-demographic.
- Speed wins. As a community, we tend to be slow to react because we understand the importance of understanding perspectives before responding to any situation. The reality is that the world is moving faster, and organisational leaders care more about decisions than tools and methodologies, even though they understand the importance of these methodologies to employ good decisions. It is, therefore, imperative to learn to adapt to these changes.
- The world can be divided into simplifiers and complicators. Simplifiers look at the problem and find solutions, while the complicators look at what can go wrong. Business analysts should be simplifiers by asking the right – and sometimes difficult – questions and introducing methodologies in a way that would not complicate conversations.
Problem solving with business analysis
Lastly, Morongoa would like to highlight the talk from Themba Baloyi, ‘Business Analysis – A force for solving problems.’
Themba shared some valuable wisdom from his career journey, which Morongoa personally found very encouraging and helpful from a career perspective. In his talk, Themba encouraged business analysis professionals to include others in their career journey, doing so with great curiosity and a willingness to help others.
A valuable insight from the talk was Themba sharing how we can effectively apply principles (SMAC – the concept of being specific, methodological, and consistent) in our processes and ways of work to achieve organisational goals better.
“A perspective Themba shared in his talk which resonated with me was what it truly means to be successful and to achieve greatness, and the importance of doing whatever it takes to do great in an ethical manner – the idea of not just occupying space without adding value.”