Director of Certification
Eric joined the Lexmark International corporate enterprise architecture team in June 2013, with focus on governance, cloud, back office and related processes. Prior to his current role, Eric was the program manager for the worldwide manufacturing execution system (MES) implementation, tools and communications lead for the SAP implementation program and IT account manager for manufacturing and development.
Prior to joining Lexmark in 2007 Eric was worldwide director for lean enterprise with Telex Corporation. Eric has also served a program manager for a worldwide ERP implementation, consulting practice operations manager, project manager on several IT and business process reengineering projects, factory plant manager, engineered products sales representative, and held several other roles in the engineered manufacturing, firearms and entertainment industries.
Eric received his B.A. from Nazareth College of Rochester, M.A. from SUNY at Albany. Eric holds the PMP (project management) certificate designation from PMI, CLTD and CSCP (supply chain) certification from APICS. Eric also holds an ITIL Foundation and Six Sigma Champion and Yellow Belt certifications. Eric is the Secretary of the Bluegrass PMI Chapter, President of the Bluegrass APICS Chapter, Chair of the KY ASUG Chapter, a member of the Board of Examiners for KyCPE, and a 2016-2019 Board of Directors member, as well as a founding member of the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter. Eric instructs several supply chain certifications, project management, and business analysis courses annually. Due to Eric's work with the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter more than seven (7) people now have their CBAP® certification. In May 2017, Eric was inducted into the Bluegrass Business Analysis Hall of Fame.
Eric is married and has three daughters and three granddaughters. He has lived in Lexington KY with his wife and youngest daughter since 2007.
We have a BA community of 80 professionals in our company organized under one manager, who is the Director of our Business Analysis Center of Excellence (BACoE). The purpose of our BACoE is to provide the same level of business analysis service across our enterprise no matter which of our business analyst is serving a particular business unit within the organization. We do that by building standards of practice and providing education to all our business analysts as to how business analysis is provided to our organization. Our BACoE is aligned with IIBA’s A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide) version 3.
We are beginning our fifth year of the existence of our BACoE. Last year I was involved in standing up our Knowledge Center. A repository of the knowledge and experience of all our business analysts. It is a place that we can share our experiences with our fellow BAs, and BAs may go to when beginning a new work effort to research areas that they may need to increase their knowledge.
As we continue to mature our BACoE, this year we look to formalize our standards and provide internal education to our BAs; I work on both these teams. Our Standards Team is writing standards on key BA work efforts; context data flow diagram, functional decomposition, process modeling and writing requirements. Once we have these four areas done we will move on to other areas such as use cases and prototyping. For each of these areas we start with the BABOK® Guide, then look at what is available in our Knowledge Center; and then other BA related content online. We determine where we can extend beyond the BABOK® Guide to provide better guidance to our business analyst community.
Last year, the company provided external education to all our business analysts. Seeing the cost of that effort, we decided to bring some of that education in house. We are engaging our most seasoned BAs, yours truly included, to develop training classes for our BA community. These classes are being developed now to be offered to our BAs multiple times throughout the remaining of the year. I meet a couple times a week with one or two others to develop our Writing Excellent Requirements and
Requirements Package – The Whole Story classes. I will be one of the teachers for both of these classes. The Education Team is also developing classes on BA Writing, Facilitating Meetings, Functional Decomposition, Process Modeling, Concept Modeling, Scoping Your Project, Scrum (Agile), and Strength Finders.
This work is in addition to working on three projects with different business units within our organization. I work with business and technical stakeholders to define a business problem, develop solution scope, in two cases facilitate a Request for Proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process, define business and solution requirements, support development and testing efforts, and validate the solution after implementation.
Written by: Aaron Whittenberger, CBAP
Senior Enterprise Project Business Analyst, Cincinnati Insurance Company
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter has announced new initiatives to enhance the customer experience for their members and participants in their programs. As part of our affiliation agreement with International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®) (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) we can accept only people who are members of the international association as members of the local chapter. It has been difficult to convey that message to our community. Over the last two years we had three people join the chapter that were not members of IIBA. Last year we changed our website to show that it is a two-step process to join the chapter; 1) join IIBA (International), and then 2) join Bluegrass IIBA Chapter. Still we hear from our community that they want it easier to do business with Bluegrass IIBA Chapter.
In response to requests from the community, Bluegrass IIBA Chapter announces three new ways to receive discounts to participate in our programs:
These programs give members and annual passholders discounts for participation in our programs. You don’t have to be a member or annual passholder to participate in our programs, we will always have a Guest participation fee for all events. Our summer CBAP Study Group is about to conclude with 17 participants; two of which were Guests of the Chapter.
This announcement from Bluegrass IIBA Chapter comes on the heels of an announcement a couple months ago of a new SMS text messaging service. This service is a way for people to receive notifications of chapter events on their mobile device. They will be able to register for the event right on their mobile device. This is intended to provide additional service to our community and make it easier to do business with the Chapter.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is committed to providing desired services to the business communities in the great commonwealth of Kentucky. We have a very strong, innovative and interactive professional development program to assist professionals to advance their business analysis career. We also have a very strong Membership program that delivers value to our members beyond discounts to our events. We also provide discounts from our chapter sponsors: The Solarity Group and J. Ross Publishing. Additional membership benefits include access to member-only content at both the local and international levels. Our Community Outreach and Marketing programs drive to greater awareness of the Chapter and our programs throughout Kentucky.
If you would like to see the chapter do something, or would like us to start meeting at a location near you, please email Community@bluegrass.iiba.org, Membership@bluegrass.iiba.org or Professional@bluegrass.iiba.org and give us your input. The above announcement came from input from the community, we want to hear from you.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is the local association for the advancement of the business analysis profession in the Bluegrass region. It was established here in Lexington, KY in August 2013 to serve the Bluegrass business community. Our mission is to bring together the Bluegrass community of professionals who deliver organizational change to promote best practices in delivering better business outcomes. The Chapter intends to accomplish this mission by:
· Championing Business Analysis excellence by providing an educational program, promoting best practices, and creating opportunities for local practitioners to grow personally and professionally.
· Developing Business Analysis practitioners and leaders who deliver organizational results.
· Cultivating alliances with organizations in the community to advance the profession in the Bluegrass.
· Providing networking opportunities for business professionals to learn from each other.
You can see from the Chapter’s vision, mission and objectives statements that the business analysis practitioner is at the heart of the chapter program. You should be aware that not all business analysis practitioners have the job title “Business Analyst”. You may be surprised how many people within the organization do business analysis work. If you work with stakeholders to understand the current state and their needs, help discover which change initiatives the organizations should invest in to deliver the maximum value, deliver business solutions, or consult business management you are a business analysis professional.
Now that you know you are a business analyst, do you use the professional development program of Bluegrass IIBA Chapter to advance your own career? Have you participated in:
1. Chapter Meetings
The chapter meeting is the corner stone of the chapter’s professional development program. The chapter holds at least nine (9) chapter meetings per year. They are held monthly from August through May. Each meeting has a different topic that would be of value to the business analyst.
A workshop is more in depth training than chapter meetings. They typically have some combination of education and student activities to maximize the learning experience. They typically are longer in duration than the one-hour chapter meeting, and are offered on a variety of business analysis topics.
3. Social Events
Social events, sometimes referred to as networking events do not offer an educational program. They allow our members and participants to discuss the “hot” topics of the day, or any topic they wish at their leisure. Our annual social event is our Winter Networking Social held in December of each year. Our social events do typically contain some element of food!
4. BABOK / CBAP Study Groups
Whether you are interested in learning the content of A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide) or obtaining your IIBA® certification join our BABOK / CBAP Study Group. Whichever your purpose for participating in the study group, it will set you apart and help you advance your career.
5. IIBA Professional Development Material
IIBA International has many materials aimed at helping advance your professional career all over their website (http://www.iiba.org). As a service to our community, we have brought these all together and put them in one place for easy access (http://bluegrass.iiba.org/Professional-Development-IIBA-Style). Some of these resources are members-only, but some are available for the community.
6. Professional Development Reference Material
As another service to our community, we have scoured the internet and found many resources that business analysis professionals can use to advance their own careers. We have brought all these resources together and put them in one place for easy access (http://bluegrass.iiba.org/ba-resources). Now you don’t have to scour the internet yourself. We also maintain a list of Upcoming Business Analysis Webinars (http://bluegrass.iiba.org/Upcoming-Business-Analysis-Webinars).
7. Members-only Section of Bluegrass IIBA Chapter website
We have a members-only section on our website where we have not only all the recordings of our past chapter meetings and BABOK study groups, but we have some more business analysis material from the internet made available just for our members.
8. BA Talks Video Series
Have you stared in a BA Talks video? This is your opportunity to grow professionally and give back to the community by mentoring others on business analysis topics. Contact the chapter for assistance in producing your BA Talks video and have it included in our video series.
If you have not yet partaken of this innovative and exciting professional development program and all its resources, then I personally invite you to do so. I have met many great, passionate and conscientious professionals in my work with the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter. It has been my pleasure to develop and continually mature this program for the benefit of our Bluegrass community. I hope every business analysis professional gets value from participating in the program.
Aaron S. Whittenberger, CBAP
Vice President of Professional Development
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter
Say we are implementing a solution to correct a process problem. Before we design the solution, we must first identify the requirements for the solution. With the ‘5 Why’ process, you will ask the question ‘why’ 5 times to drill down to the real problem to solve. If the root problem is identified before the 5th why is applied, you can stop the process.
Example: We are shipping incorrect parts to our customer’s manufacturing plant. You ask our inventory team ‘why’ incorrect parts are being shipped to our customer’s plants. Inventory is pulling and confirming incorrect parts to fulfill the order. Why are they pulling and confirming incorrect parts? The order/picking ticket displays the incorrect part number and stock number. Why does the order display the incorrect part number and stock number? The ordering system is populating the incorrect part number and stock number. Why is the ordering system populating the incorrect stock number? The system is pulling part number and stock number field data from the wrong table. Why is the system pulling the part number and stock number values from the wrong table? The logic is mapped to the wrong table.
This methodology allows identification of and focus on the real problem. At this point, you may have placed focus on replacing what appeared to be a broken software when you may only need to remap the field.
Once the requirements are captured and documented by the analyst, the analyst must flush the captured requirements to confirm the requirements are complete, correct, necessary, unambiguous, verifiable and conflict free from other requirements. If this mark is missed on capturing great strong requirements then every process downstream will be negatively impacted and the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) process will not be seamless as designed.
My advice to all interested in becoming an analyst in Information Technology, you must encompass qualities that support working with non-technical oriented customers, technical oriented colleagues and systems/software.
Written By: Ali Robinson; Tempur Sealy Global Supply Chain IT Manager (formerly an IT Analyst)
The Solarity Group is a professional change, project, program, and portfolio management and business consulting and training services firm based in Kentucky. Solarity provides certified, experienced change, project, and program managers and business consultants to assist government agencies and businesses with specific efforts to enable them to focus their resources on what they do best. Solarity also provides business consulting in strategic planning and business analysis. Additionally, Solarity is a Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) for the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a Microsoft Partner specializing in Enterprise Project Management (EPM) using Microsoft Project and Microsoft Project Server.
Solarity’s mission is to help people, organizations, and communities THRIVE. Our commitment is to provide our clients with the ability to move toward quality lives and outcomes. We work to help our clients envision a better future through strategic engagement, strategic planning facilitation, and selective training. We then can help our clients advance their strategic goals by defining the right work, planning that work, and working the plan, adjusting as necessary until we achieve success.
Our niche is “building success by doing the right things the right way for the right reasons.” It is easy to be busy doing things and not accomplish the desired outcome. That is why we always seek to ensure we all have the same vision of what the right things are for us to accomplish, and then bring our collective experience to bear to ensure we’re doing them the right way.
Our primary business focus is to assist organizations with strategic changes that require the synchronization of people, processes, platforms, and content. We do this using the disciplines of engagement, change management, coaching, project management, and business analysis.
All our people and practices are centered on our core values, which help us ensure we provide our customers with the highest quality work in the best possible manner, continuously improving our ability to deliver sustainable results over time:
All of our values are interdependent: Quality comes when we maintain wellness by practicing healthy behaviors, which lead to good relationships that are open and honest. When we hear truth from one another, we can continuously improve, focusing on sustaining what works and addressing areas that don’t. That focus leads, in turn, to a higher quality of service for our customers and a better quality of life for ourselves.
Written by: Cory Camic, PMP®, The Solarity Group, Lexington, KY
The Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is a non-profit professional association established in August 2013 to serve the business community of central and eastern Kentucky. We welcome professionals of all disciplines who deliver organizational change including business analysis, business management, project management, product management, quality assurance and control, change management, consultants and recruiters.
We offer a plethora of opportunities for starting and advancing your career. As Vice-President of Membership for the chapter, I have had the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally along with some of the best and brightest professionals in the central Kentucky area. I have benefited from many of the offerings and encourage you to gain the maximum value from your membership with us.
Here are some tips to help you get the most from your membership.
Bluegrass Chapter website http://bluegrass.iiba.org/
Click the Subscribe button on our home page
Click the SMS icon on bottom, right-hand side of our home page
We hope you will take full advantage of your chapter membership. Feel free to contact us with any questions, help shape future activities and events, and/or get involved.
Joann Sims, CBAP
Vice-President Membership, Bluegrass IIBA Chapter
The Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is pleased to announce we now have the capability to send SMS text message to you as an event notification option. You will be able to register for our events directly from your mobile device. To opt in to our new SMS text messaging service, view our homepage, or scan the QR code below. There is an OPT IN option on the the bottom right-hand side of the homepage.
Justinmind did a Q&A session with our very own Aaron Whittenberger earlier this month. Check out their website for Aaron's commentary on how prototyping helps streamline software development lifecycles. Click the link to view the full article.
Congratulations on passing the CBAP® exam James Haner!
James Haner was one of the first to take the Certified Business Analysis Professional® (CBAP®) in September 2016. International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®) has just completed the process of determining the passing score from the experience of the first group of people taking the exam. IIBA has informed James that he has passed the exam and is now a Certified Business Analysis Professional. James credits recordings from the 2015 BABOK Study Group provided by the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter, saying that they were very helpful.
The Chapter's heartfelt congratulations to James on this distinguished achievement. Way to go James!
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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
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