My name is Mehdi, I have a Master’s degree in Auditing and Controlling from a Business School in Morocco. Once I finished my studies, I wanted to follow a career that combines two of the things that I love the most which are Business and IT, so I decided to join a consulting firm as an IT Functional consultant.
Working as an IT consultant gave me the opportunity to work closely with clients and decision makers in order to improve their processes through digital transformation.
One of the very first difficulties that I noticed once I started working on IT projects was the difficulty of gathering requirements from the business which lead in many cases to the implementation of solutions that were not responding to the actual need of the business.
However, in my second project where I was acting as an implementation consultant of an SAP Solution, I was surprised that the business was inexistent in most of the technical workshops that we were having and instead I was dealing with a couple of people who had the title of “Business Analyst”. Their role basically was acting as the middleman between us “IT” and the “Business” and I immediately noticed that the quality of the deliverables in the project was significantly better than in my first project.
As a result of that, two question were particularly looming in my mind; What are these business analysts actually doing? how do they contribute to keeping the project on the right track?
After searching on the internet, I landed on the IIBA® website and found the Bible of business analysis “the BABOK® Guide”, a globally recognized standard for the practice of business analysis. In other words, it is the book that explains the science behind the magic!
I realized at that moment that it was a necessity for me to know all about the BABOK and gain a certification that is recognized worldwide. I chose Bluegrass IIBA study group offering because of the price that was reasonable and because of the quality of instructors who have many years of experience in Business Analysis under their belt.
My Learning journey was not an easy one because I was working long hours due to the complexity of the projects I was working on and joining the study sessions each week at 11:00 PM because of the time zone difference. However, I have to admit that the enthusiasm and the way how Eric Neil – Director of Certification, Aaron Whittenberger – Vice President of Professional Development and Kathy Leigh – Chapter President explained the BABOK concepts, made the 2-and-half hour study session seem like an hour. In fact, once the session ended, I was eager and looking forward to the next week session in order to learn even more from them.
After completing the study group on the 26th of August 2020, I felt well prepared and ready to take my ECBA™ exam, therefore I scheduled my online proctored exam for the 21st of September 2020 and have succeeded on my first attempt.
Last but not least I am now a member of IIBA and the Bluegrass Chapter and will try to continue participating in the Bluegrass Chapter events, because it is thanks to Bluegrass that I had the opportunity to get to know the BA community and also learned everything that I know now about the Business Analysis profession.
Congratulations to our newest ECBATM Certified Member!
Mehdi El Amouri, ECBA
Mehdi El Amouri is a member of Bluegrass IIBA Chapter that lives in Casablanca, Morocco. Upon finishing his studies for his Masters degree in Auditing and Controlling, he went to work as an IT Functional Consultant. Coming in contact with business analysts in that work, he became intrigued by their work. Research into how business analysts work led him to IIBA® and the BABOK®. Wanting to be certified in business analysis he joined the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter BABOK study group that concluded on the 26th of August 2020. He sat for, and passed, the ECBATM exam on September 21, 2020; making him the first in that study group to achieve his certification. A hearty congratulations to Mehdi!
My name is Usha Talabhaktula. I have a Master of Science Information Technology (MSIT) from California State University-Fullerton, USA and Master’s degree in Commerce from India, which is evaluated as MBA in USA. I have an overall experience of twenty years Information Technology Industry, in the data center, higher education and municipal government business sectors. I started my career as a Programmer Analyst and currently working as ERP Business Analyst in Auditor Controller’s Office of Monterey County, CA. As a liaison between functional and technical teams, I perform a variety business analysis tasks/activities/functions in the six knowledge areas listed in BABOK® Guide.
In my career so far, I have earned Oracle Certifications (OCP and OCE in Hyperion admin), ITIL® and Certified Scrum Master® (CSM®). I am also a member of Project Management Institute (PMI®) and manage projects as part of my job functions and aspiring to get PMP® certification. I am a strong believer in the concept of living life to its fullest, through continuous learning and growth.
The first five years in my current job kept me busy adapting to organizational changes, software upgrades, team/staff changes etc., In December 2019, I wanted to explore the professional development opportunities available in Business Analysis and through online research I came across International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®). I learned that the organization is the “global thought leader and the voice of business analysis community”. I wanted to get certified by IIBA, in the commonly accepted business analysis practices listed in BABOK. After becoming a member, explored IIBA’s website and learned about certification requirements and came across Bluegrass IIBA Chapter’s offering of CBAP® Study group in January 2020. But due to travel plans already made for January, decided to wait for next offering and joined the group in June 2020.
The BABOK 2020 Summer Study Group was 14-week online sessions via Zoom from June 02, 2020 through August 26, 2020 and folks from all over the world in different time zones joined the study group. This gave good ice-breaking topics to bring up, such as weather conditions and time of the day/next day etc. Instructors for this group were Kathy Leigh, President of Bluegrass IIBA Chapter, Aaron Whittenberger, VP of Professional Development and Eric Neill, Director of Certification. These three individuals are very knowledgeable and made the sessions interesting by sharing their experiences as relevant to the study topics.
Sessions were interactive and instructors encouraged participation of all attendees. A week prior to the session they required reading, and student exercises and study sheets to be completed and turned in. Filling out the study sheets helped in organizing information for easy reference and would come handy in preparing for the certification exam. Exercises had cross word puzzles of key words, testing one’s knowledge of concepts.
The prescribed book, Watermark Learning’s CBAP Certification Study Guide v3.0, is well written and contains mnemonics to memorize key concepts and attributes. End of chapter exercises are very helpful in self-assessment of understanding of key concepts and mnemonics.
During the sessions, there were pop-up quizzes from chapters and discussion of the answers followed. Practice exams were conducted at periodic intervals. Test scores were provided immediately at the end of each test, with answers for review. Session 14 was a review of Study group and answering of questions posed by students in breakout rooms. A former student that passed certification joined the breakout room, and shared his experiences preparing for CBAP exam.
The BABOK 2020 Summer study group, enabled me to learn the BABOK material in a structured and interactive way. The business cases in practice exams helped me to understand Business analysis practices/concepts from a different perspective than I am used to. I have used some of the techniques mentioned in BABOK but not all of them. By passing CBAP certification exam, I would be a certified professional that is “qualified and knowledgeable Business Analyst”. My plan is to continue to study and apply for the exam and take it at the end of November 2020. I will keep you all posted of my progress!
I strongly recommend joining Bluegrass IIBA study group, to prepare for CBAP certification exam.
Congratulations to Cindy Herrmann, AAC on becoming the newest IIBA®-AAC Certified member of Bluegrass IIBA Chapter!
Cindy Herrmann participated in this year's Agile Analysis Study Group provided by the chapter and then passed the IIBA®-AAC certification exam on Friday, June 12, 2020. Cindy credits the study group for excellent teaching and providing the knowledge to be able to pass the exam. The class – and the practice exam at the end - helped her identify areas of weakness where she needed to study more. It also taught her new techniques that she is using in her work.
Cindy manages business analysts at the New York State Office of the Comptroller. She has managed two agile projects, one for audit tracking with a large user base using ServiceNow and one for tax data verification that was developed in Java. She has also been a partner in Mogul Marketing for 25 years.
She is active in the Albany, NY chapter of the IIBA and in the data analysis community. She lives in the woods in East Chatham, NY with her husband and son who is a senior in college studying Digital Technology. Most of the time she enjoys providing tech support for the family.
Check out our next Agile Analysis Study Group starting September 29, 2020!
Cindy will be telling us more about her journey to become a Certified Agile Analyst during our Agile Analysis Certification Chat webinar on September 18, 2020, Join us!
The wait is over.
The Guide to Business Data Analytics is now available and it provides a foundational understanding of Business Data Analytics concepts and covers the six practice domains.
#BusinessDataAnalytics #DataAnalytics #DecisionMaking #Data #iiba
Livestream Building Business Capability!
October 19-23, 2020 – Now virtual instead of in Las Vegas
Breaking news: You now have the opportunity to livestream Building Business Capability – October 19-23, 2020. This seminal event will be virtual rather than in Las Vegas.
All-new exciting virtual features - brand new networking sessions -
convenient post-event online access
Interact and learn. This online event will provide you the opportunity to interact and connect with the speakers, workshop instructors, other attendees, and even the sponsors and exhibitors. Come equipped with your questions.
Access all six tracks. For the first time ever, there's now a way for you to attend sessions across all six conference tracks , rather than only the ones you view in real time. After all, you can't be in two places at the same time.
Access conference recordings at your convenience, after the event itself. Visit and revisit any and all sessions, across the multiple tracks, for up to two months after the event.
Convenience and increased opportunities. We hadn't originally planned for a virtual event, but it's worth recognizing the up-sides. Beyond being a vital safety measure, conducting BBC as a cutting edge virtual event increases the convenience, accessibility, and opportunities for you, enabling you to efficiently experience – and recall at will – the best content and the leading speakers in Business Analysis, Digital Innovation, Business Strategy & Transformation, Business Architecture, Business Process, and Business Rules & Decisions.
What's in store for you:
Virtual conference livestreamed on October 21-23. View the agenda
Virtual tutorials livestreamed on October 19-20
Full recordings of all conference sessions and tutorials. Access the sessions/tutorials in other tracks you missed on the day, and revisit the detail in tutorials
Building Business Capability, the official conference of IIBA, is targeted toward professionals involved in Business Analysis, Digital Innovation, Business Strategy & Transformation, Business Architecture, Business Process, and Business Rules & Decisions.
The Official Association
When the global health pandemic hit America and came to Kentucky in March 2020, we were all forced to work from our homes; or worse, lost our jobs. The Bluegrass business analysis community stood up and said with one voice “We want something to do in these uncertain times”.
When the environment changed, many IIBA chapters were forced to cancel their March, April and May meetings. Due to our experience in remote attendance at our meetings, we didn’t miss a beat and turned all our events to completely virtual and held our chapter meetings in March, April and May.
In the past Bluegrass IIBA Chapter did not hold chapter meetings in June and July so that our community members, members and chapter leaders could take vacation with their family while the kids were out of school. Well the world is turned upside down this year. So, in response to your requests, we not only are holding chapter meetings in June and July, but adding even more educational, networking and social events to the calendar to take us through these trying times. Take a look at our events page to see what we have added to the calendar for you.
To make our events even more accessible to all our community the Board of Directors has removed the guest attendance fee to our chapter meetings and webinars. Now everyone can attend our events for free. Take advantage!
We also recognize that there are people who just can’t attend meetings in the evening due to other life priorities. To respond to that limitation, we have added events at other times of the day. Our July meeting is being offered at noon and 6:00 p.m. We have Adrian Reed from the UK speaking on August 11th at 2:00 p.m., and our IIBA® Certification Chat webinars continue to be offered at noon.
Save the Date: To take our educational program to the next level we are now planning a virtual Business Analysis Development Day for September 23, 2020. This will be an all-day event, but you will have the option to attend the morning sessions, afternoon sessions or all day. Pricing and more information will be coming soon.
You are personally invited to take advantage of our professional development program. Use it to keep your skills relevant in this ever changing and increasingly volatile business environment.
Recent surveys have shown that IIBA certified individuals earn 11% to 26% higher (depending on which certification and what part of the world you are in) than non-certified individuals. Respondents have noted that higher confidence at work if a key benefit of obtaining a certification. The salary survey shows us a lot about how business analysis professionals are compensated around the world. Your input to this survey is important!
Let your voice be heard! Take survey here: https://bit.ly/3cQzqUn
In response to the global coronavirus pandemic Bluegrass IIBA Chapter dropped its Guest attendance fee for the chapter meetings and webinars in April and May. The Board of Directors has decided to continue that practice until things are more known about what the world will look like after the threat of this virus. Guests have always been welcome and encouraged to attend our events and get the learning value from them. However, for now, they may attend for free. We have remote attendance option for all our chapter meetings and webinars so all business analysis professionals from Kentucky, across the country, throughout North America and around the world are invited to attend our events.
Vice President of Professional Development, Aaron Whittenberger, has been busy adding events to our calendar to give our community some learning opportunities while we are all stuck at home. Earlier this week we started our virtual BABOK Study Group with 51 students, including some from Canada, Australia, Morocco, Nigeria, Romania, and the UK. We also held an Online BA Game; did you see the tweet of the winners of that game?
Bluegrass Chapter has not typically held chapter meetings during the summer so that our community, members and leaders could take family vacation while our kids were out of school. Well, while the world has been turned upside down, and in response to demand from our community; Aaron is scheduling meetings for June and July. We start on June 17th by collaborating with Cincinnati and Palmetto IIBA Chapters to host ‘Success in Business Analysis – with a Mindset’ with Yulia Kosarenko, an author and business analysis consultant from Ontario, Canada. We also will host an Agile Analysis Virtual Meetup on June 19th, where attendees can learn more, and ask questions of our agile mentors, about the agile analyst role and the IIBA® Agile Analysis (IIBA®-AAC) Certification. We will be hosting IIBA® Certification Screen-side Chat webinars in July and August, as well as scheduling a chapter meeting for July 15th.
Feel free to attend any of these events that are of interest to you!
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter conducted its fifth annual induction ceremony for the Bluegrass Business Analysis Hall of Fame on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. In this ceremony two new members were in ducted into the Hall of Fame. Congratulations to Tomette Kirk and Bill Powers on this honorable award.
Tomette Kirk, CBAP was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Service to an Organization in the Bluegrass. She is a Business Analysis Manager at Humana. She is the architect, organizer and Lead Instructor of Humana’s Business Analysis Competency Center. She has delivered educational opportunities to Humana associates for many years. In fact, in accepting the award Tomette mentioned she had delivered a process analysis workshop that morning.
Bill Powers, CBAP was also inducted into the Hall of Fame for Service to an Organization in the Bluegrass. Bill is a Business Analyst in the Enterprise Business Consulting Group at Republic Bank and Trust in Louisville, KY. He constantly reaches out to the other business units within Republic Bank & Trust to inform those business analysts of educational and training opportunities available to them. He has gotten Managers and Directors within his business unit involved in events of Kentuckiana IIBA Branch. Bill still reaches out to former colleagues at Kindred Healthcare, ADP and Humana to keep them informed of opportunities for them to advance their own careers.
The Bluegrass Business Analysis Hall of Fame recognizes those that have made a significant individual contribution to the business analysis profession within the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. Nominations are accepted from the Bluegrass Business Analysis community, and the induction ceremony is held in conjunction with the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter Annual General Meeting in May.
Read more about Tomette and Bill...
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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