It began with the Summit Experience: BA Summit 2019, 3-Day Bliss…
It has taken me just over four months to digest and internalise the true value of attending the #BASummit of 2019 which took place in the month of September, at the Lord Charles Hotel, in Somerset West.
Except for the number of cars one would think you are arriving for a quiet morning (possibly breakfast) at the pretty, stately hotel.
Enter, to the Banqueting wing of the Hotel. And you are suddenly greeted by a flurry of enthusiastic high-energy beings and branded, ‘under construction’ type black and yellow event collateral.
The atmosphere heightened and infused by an electric buzz of multidisciplinary, mixed-industry, cross-skilled analysts – both fresh and longstanding; experienced and novice.
How I came to be standing in this place, is by the nomination of my boss. A handful of BA’s from our towering and ever-expanding 28-brand-strong retail umbrella of an innovating giant which has its footprint of origin here in SA and a broader profitable reach to the Europe’s’ and Australasia’s.
Four tracks – A, B, C, D – were available as an array for registered attendees to choose from. And goodness, was it hard to make a selection. Fantastic topics. World-class speakers. Well-crafted themes under the Summit’s banner of “Repositioning Business Analysis to go One Step Beyond”!
After noting the sponsors and getting my programme pass, I sat in the main auditorium “Hall A” and heard the speaker say that FTI has a prize to give away. I didn’t think much of it initially, until I heard what the prize was….
Sitting up and taking note from that point on I listened carefully to hear what is required. “All you have to do is tweet about your experience at the Summit” and then I could no longer hear much of the rest of what the speaker was saying in connection with this prize – sitting there all bewildered at the simplicity of this requirement. (Also, while excitedly logging on to Twitter to partake!)
My thoughts were: “This is ridiculous. One prize. (Surely) Everyone will tweet. There are a lot of people in this room. But, let me join the conversation anyway….”.
And so my tweeting began, supporting my already brimming enthusiasm at just being in this space with all these brilliant, varied, and vast minds. Each person was like a whole new world. I was fully engaged, and my energy just soared and soared with each passing moment at the Summit – being surrounded by circa 350 delegates and 30+ thought leaders. Interactions were phenomenal. War stories, battle wounds, and territory victories well-shared by participants during breaks or between track sessions, or when finding each other in lunch feast queues together. #gold #shinyrandom
I went round the world: from Slovenia, to India, to New York, to Zimbabwe, to London. Gleaning industry thinking and wise advice from strong BA’s from around the world – Andrej Gustin and Igor Smirnov (“Solution Design Canvas – LEGO bricks” – exceptional experience); Lori Silverman (“Facts Tell, Stories Sell” – inspiring); Paula Bell ‘Blackbelt BA’ (“The Recipe for Effective Consulting” – next level); Ronak Sanghavi (“Techniques for unlocking Creativity and Innovation” – radical roleplay); Adrian Reed UK (“Navigating the Mess: Practical techniques for Early BA Engagement” – laugh-a-minute genius); and Angie Doyle and Talia Lancaster (“We have Sprint-off” – intentional culture creation and high performance magic).
I loved all the keynotes. But by far my favourite was Joe Newbert (from @businesschange). He nailed his talk and really presented confronting and totally original concepts of what Business Analysis looked like through the ages – from the middle ages, to modern-day now.
So I tweeted my way through the first two days of Summit. Not to win, but because I was enjoying the entire experience and I was so switched on to it all! And on the second last evening of the Summit at Summit drinks, they announced the winner. They called my name! I was shocked and delighted and promptly made my way to the front to collect the prize from the Summit and FTI representative!
I drove home staring at that envelope beside me on the passenger seat.
What had I done! LOL!
So now, post CBAP Exam Prep Course, I have the remaining road of studying the CBAP material, paying for the actual exam myself, sitting through the international exams (of which CBAP is the second separate certification), and enjoying the gifts that Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP) certification will bring – and the global opportunities it will open up. I firmly intend to seize all the benefits eagerly and decisively. And putting those letters of credibility behind my name.
I will have my company and my believing boss to thank; and in part, FTI and #BASummit creators of 2019!
Hello Life, I am ready! (Watch this space!)
PS. Note to Readers (whether you are a BA/ Scrum Master/ Project Manager/ somebody’s boss) of this blog:
Do this Summit EVERY year you can! Buy yourself a ticket or send you team (that’s tickets, plural then)! South Africa has and attracts amazing local and global attendees and speakers! Start with the 2020 #BASummit in Johannesburg! You will never be the same!
Arlene is a proud Scrum Team Member and thriving proponent of Agile, who thrives on mastery of Self, in service of Others.
By day she enjoys being a full-time Business Analyst in a versatile team; and after hours she is a passionate wordsmith, part-time godmother, and lover of all things intelligent and beautiful.
Arlene formally transitioned to the world of analysis in 2013, but believes that analysis is everywhere – the only difference is the tools, the industry, the formula, and the context.
Her current mission comprises adventures in the world of fancy retail software development. Previous orbits include adventures in Telecommunications, FMCG, Financial Services, Human Resources, and Direct-Marketing for global players like British American Tobacco and SAB Miller (AB InBev).
She believes a good business journey is one where a Product Specialist knows their product and can vision and plot the way forward, allowing business analysts to deliver real value where it matters.
This dynamo boasts an Honours in HR, a postgraduate diploma in Business Administration from the UCT’s GSB, and a postgraduate diploma in Business Analysis and Systems Analysis (specialising in Information Systems) from UCT’s Commerce Faculty. She is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and one of the first Certified mBraining Coaches in South Africa.
She is currently completing her CBAP® certification milestones as part of her certification journey.
Arlene is past student of FTI, and attended the following course over her career so far: 2019 – CBAP Exam Prep course.
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