2021 Bluegrass Business Analysis Conference (BBAC '21)

Friday, July 23,2021; 8.30 AM - 5:30 PM EDT

Virtual Conference

Conference Welcome and Opening Remarks:

Conference Content:

Morning Keynote:

Managing in a VUCA World (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous)

Nearly two decades ago, the Army War College coined an acronym to capture the nature of an increasingly unpredictable and dynamic world. They called it VUCA—an environment of nonstop: 

  • Volatility – the speed of change in an industry, market, or the world in general.
  • Uncertainty – the extent to which we can confidently predict the future. 
  • Complexity – the number of factors that we need to take into account, their variety, and the relationships between them. 
  • Ambiguity – a lack of clarity about how to interpret something. 

It’s not going away.  Change promises to speed up, not slow down.  To thrive in a world where “change is the only constant,” leaders need to replace old thinking with a new framework.  We live in a world in which many of the time-honored approaches to leadership and solving problems are no longer applicable.  A new form of leadership thought has emerged; one requiring a new skillset and thought patterns that will produce solutions that are effective and efficient.

This workshop is designed to help leaders explore change management practices, processes, and tools that meet the VUCA challenges of the day.


Marvin Chambers. Author | Speaker | Leadership Coach | Executive

Marvin Chambers is a seasoned Global Speaker, Leadership Coach, Talent Strategist, Human Resources Executive, and Author with over 25 years of experience working with leaders and talent at all levels in world-class organizations. His mission/purpose is to coach, teach, mentor, and empower leaders to be the best versions of themselves; especially the next generation of diverse leaders. Marvin’s aim is to encourage, stretch, equip, and empower them to be amazing leaders that make a profound impact on their families, places of work and communities.

Being a Business Analyst in a DevOps World

Today, most it not all organizations have started or are intending to start a DevOps or Agile initiative whereby a transformation / adoption has started are about to get underway.  As a Business Analyst what does this mean to me?  Where do I fit in a DevOps world?  What can I do to be successful?  What can I do to lead my organization and initiatives to success?  Understanding the answer to these questions will help you and your organization not follow the herd where +70 to +90% (depending upon your source) of today’s DevOps or Agile transformations are failing.

In our time together we will provide:

  • an overview of DevOps,
  • how DevOps relates to the growth of the company,
  • technology’s role in relation to DevOps, and
  • how a BA achieves success, and help lead the organization’s success in a DevOps or Agile Transformation journey. 

We are going to look through the lens of a DevOps Business Analyst, providing the perspective for you to understand what areas you need to focus on or have to personally evolve to pivot and succeed in a DevOps world.

John Ruppel, Author | Trainer | Consultant

John Ruppel is a Transformation Consultant & Trainer helping organizations around the world understand and operate dynamically in our globalized world. At the core of his efforts are the knowledge and tools regarding agile, DevOps, DevSecOps, and how to be a Transformational Leader. John is a trainer for SoftEd and, the US Ambassador for DASA (DevOps Agile Skills Association), and author of the book TYIIR (Transforming Your Ideas Into Reality). In these roles, John is working to write the global Agile and DevOps standards, create the training curriculum and certification programs for these standards, and then train organizations and their leaders on the real world understanding and application of the knowledge and tools so that organizations can achieve results

Leverage Key Business Analysis Information to Assess Approach or Estimate Impacts

As a business analyst we have access to an enormous amount of information that we have elicited, organized and analyzed to determine the solution scope and define solution requirements needed to build and deliver a solution.  This information is also critical to communicate to those that plan the work for solution delivery since it affects the approach and estimates.  So, what and how should this information be presented?  In this session, we will look at the information that is key to review regardless of approach and the decisions that information impacts.

As an attendee, you can expect to:

  • Know how solution scope and work scope are interrelated.
  • Gain an understanding of the tradeoff discussions needed when collaborating with planners.
  • Get a sense of how the level of requirements detail affects estimates.
  • Be exposed to the various requirement attributes needed depending on the characteristics of a project.
  • Determine the relationship between each requirement attribute and its project impacts.

Gina Schmidt, Author | Instructor | Consultant

Gina Schmidt is a business analyst consultant, training consultant and facilitator in business analysis and project and program management. She has over 25 years of experience in managing and participating in enterprise-wide projects, contributing in a diverse range of roles. During this time, she has worked in a number of industries and lending her expertise to companies including AT&T, PwC, and Lighthouse Consulting Partners. Gina’s skills and expertise lie in agile practices, enterprise architecture, systems architecture, systems analysis, programming, quality assurance, business process management, business relationship management, Joint Application Design (JAD) facilitation, and risk management. She is an active member of the business analysis and project management communities, regularly speaking at events and seminars and she recently authored, “Mastering Business Analysis Versatility: Seven Steps to Develop Advanced Competencies and Capabilities.”

Panel Discussion: DevOps Impact on Project Work and the BA

The concept of DevOps isn’t new but it is from the prospective of the Business Analyst and IIBA®.  Michael Roberts and Chris Knotts have been “leading the charge” in education the BA community on DevOps since 2016.  John Ruppel is a tried-and-true DevOps guru and was doing DevOps back when it was called Business Process Reengineering. 

This panel will discuss current trends in DevOps, skills needed to work in a DevOps environment, what CD/CI stands for and why should a project professional care.  But ultimately, we will dig into how DevOps impacts a BA and what a BA can do to take advantage of this growing industry trend.



John Ruppel

Transformational Consultant and Trainer

Michael Roberts


The Beauty and Brains of Effective Data Storytelling: From Concept to Reality

Anyone can make a pretty bar graph, but can you make sound decisions based on that graph? Is it actionable, or is it only fluff? How do you turn flashy concepts into actionable visualizations? Can you see the end result of those concepts; will they ever become reality? Do you have the vision to combine beauty with brains, thereby driving decisions with data? Or do you settle for destroying direction with disaster?  American mathematician John Tukey once said, "The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see." What value do you see in your data? And what ideas do you have when you see it? Learn how you can capitalize on your ideas by blending internal with external, leveraging them into a cohesive strategy for both the short term AND the long term. See the five "Stages of the Spectrum" in action while discovering the difference between impact and influence, and how that difference plays into making data actionable. Catch the right blend of art and science, or beauty and brains, as you go from concept to reality.

Learning Objectives:  The participant/attendee will…

  • Identify and recognize the five stages of the visualization spectrum
  • Determine how to leverage these steps into a cohesive visualization strategy
  • Differentiate between impact/influence and how that plays into making data actionable
Ascertain how the four-step iterative implementation cycle works: Deploy, Discover, Discern, Develop
Dr. Joe Perez, Teacher | Speaker | Technologist

Joe Perez has advanced degrees in secondary education. He began a ten-year career as a high school teacher providing instruction in economics, Spanish, Bible, and computers. While in his teaching career, he furthered his graduate education, earning a doctorate in education with a double-minor in computers and theology. His career focus changed to IT in the early 1990’s when he started as a Computer Consultant at NC State University. Dr. Perez ended his successful 25-year career at NC State as Business Intelligence Specialist. Joe then became Senior Business Analyst at the NC Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) in the fall of 2017 and has since been promoted to Senior Systems Analyst and Team Lead. In addition to his full-time analytics/BI leadership role at DHHS, Joe was named Chief Technology Officer at a North Carolina corporation in October 2020. Joe has several professional certifications, and is a much sought-after, highly-recommended international keynote speaker. In 2020 alone, Joe spoke at more than two dozen conferences hosted by nine different countries on five continents.

The Thoughtless Design of Everyday Things

Why do so many software systems and physical products seem to have been designed by someone who has never used a product like that before? This presentation explores that mystery. You’ll see numerous examples of thoughtlessly designed products that violate principles of good design, along with some examples of particularly effective designs. By studying such products, we can identify many lessons that can help designers, product development managers, and even consumers. You’ll also see multiple techniques to help designers craft products with a focus on how consumers will use them, not just on their features.

Key Learning Points:

  • See examples of both thoughtless and thoughtful product designs that illustrate nine fundamental design principles.
  • Hear 18 lessons for good design of both software and physical products.
  • Learn why design is hard and see several good practices for effective usage-centric product design.
Karl Wiegers, Author | Speaker | Consultant

Karl Wiegers is Principal Consultant with Process Impact, a software development consulting and training company in Portland, Oregon. He has a PhD in organic chemistry. Karl is the author of 12 books, including Software Requirements, More About Software Requirements, Successful Business Analysis Consulting, and a forensic mystery novel titled The Reconstruction. His most recent book is The Thoughtless Design of Everyday Things (Thoughtless-Design.com). Karl also has written many articles on software development, project management, design, chemistry, military history, consulting, and self-help, as well as 18 songs. You can reach him at ProcessImpact.com or KarlWiegers.com.

Introduction to Product Ownership Analysis

Shane Hastie, a contributor to the Guide to Product Ownership Analysis published by IIBA, will explore many topics related to Product Ownership Analysis in this podcast style session. Topics could include:

·   Explore the role for a BA when the organisation adopts an agile approach.

·   Explore the major changes the BA needs to make to adapt to working in an agile environment.

·   Explore some important concepts in the Agile Extension to the BABOK (v2): 

o 3 levels of analysis work

o 7 principles of agile analysis

o 3 planning horizons of analysis

·   Explore how to apply the IIBA Core Concept model from BABOK® v3 in an agile environment.

·   Explore the ICAgile pathways for Product Ownership and where does Business Analysis fits.

·   Explore the ICAgile roadmaps around business agility and product ownership.

·   And anything else you would like to focus on.

Shane Hastie, Author | Agile Coach | Trainer

Shane Hastie joined ICAgile in 2017 as the Director of Agile Learning Programs and is now the Director of Community Development. Over the last 35+ years Shane has been a practitioner and leader of developers, testers, trainers, project managers and business analysts, helping teams to deliver results that align with overall business objectives. Before joining ICAgile he spent 15 years as a professional trainer, coach and consultant specialising in Agile practices, business analysis, project management, requirements, testing and methodologies in Australia, New Zealand and around the world.   He has worked with large and small organisations, from individual teams to large transformations all around the world, across all levels of Information Technology and software intensive product development.

Afternoon Keynote:

Principles for Navigating the Future of Business Analysis

Against the 2020 pandemic as a backdrop, this talk will explore the forces that we're facing into and where our energy should be focused in building the BA capabilities to thrive in an uncertain future.  Starting with the critical challenge of building mindset bridges, Pat will walk us through the Principles for Navigating the Unknown Future, mapped against key differentiating BA skills that will serve us well (in this ending keynote) - and leave us with some thought-provoking adaptive actions.

Pat Reed, Instructor | Consultant | Agile Coach

Pat Reed is an experienced Agile executive, coach, transformational leader and adjunct professor with proven success transforming large Agile organizations and developing world-class enterprise agile practices.  Pat has 50+ years of experience in leveraging cutting-edge technology, delivery and project management methods to solve challenging business problems.

Plus much, much more!  [Click Here] to see the Conference Program.


Based in Lexington, Kentucky and serving all interested Kentucky Business Analysts    

Mailing address:  Bluegrass IIBA Chapter | 1588 Leestown Road, Suite 130-111 | Lexington, KY  40511

Email: info@bluegrass.iiba.org


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software