Bluegrass IIBA Chapter welcomes our newest chapter sponsor...Inflectra Corporation.
Inflectra is a privately held software company dedicated to making the best software testing, test management and automated testing tools that meet the needs of developers, testers, and planners everywhere. Our legendary customer support will go the extra mile to help you and your team build your next big thing. Inflectra is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland (Washington DC area).
Infectra software tools help business analyst collaborate with development teams to get work done. These tools track progress of requirements development, software development and testing efforts, including work on defects.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is dedicated to the advancement of the business analysis profession in the Bluegrass state of Kentucky. Bringing awareness of best in class tools that business analysts use in their daily work promotes that goal. Bluegrass IIBA Chapter will continue to advance awareness of best in class tools for business analysts to help them advance their careers.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is proud to announce the Business Analysis Career Mentoring Program. The announcement of the launch of the new mentoring program came at yesterday's chapter meeting.
Mentoring has been proven to accelerate personal or professional growth, issue resolution, and coaching on obtaining objectives. It is a communication vehicle and forum that is a one-on-one discussion-based session between a more experienced person and one of less experience, in a similar field or profession. Mentoring works because it affords open communication and information exchange in a non-threatening and private dialog that promotes trust.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is now seeking mentors and mentees for the program. This program is open to anyone in the Bluegrass business analysis community, you do not have to be a member of the chapter. Participants are asked to sign up for an initial three-month or six-month initial commitment. Following this initial period, each participant will decide if they wish to continue in the mentoring relationship.
Mentor sign-up opened a couple weeks ago and a few mentors are already signed up. Once mentees and mentors have signed up for the program, the Program Director will match each mentee with a mentor. Both mentee and mentor will be informed of the match and assistance will be given to start the relationship. The two participants will then take the relationship from there. They will decide when and how often they will meet to build the relationship and provide the mentoring services.
The benefits of a mentoring relationship as primarily applicable toward the mentee, and without doubt there is significant value. The iterative nature of mentoring allows for a build-on-foundation approach that the mentee can use to compound learnings. It should be noted however that those who choose to mentor often do so out of a strong desire to help others and give back to the community. Many express their own experiences in the mentoring process as extremely beneficial.
Please check out the Mentoring Program page on the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter website under the Community tab to read more about the program and to sign up to participate.
Mentoring Program Page
For any further questions, please email Mentoring@bluegrass.iiba.org.
Bronson Zell, CBAP
Chapter Member Since:
Bronson joined the Bluegrass Chapter of the IIBA in January of 2018. He wished to increase his working knowledge of business analysis as well as network with other BAs. The Bluegrass Chapter serves as a great resource for best practices in the field as defined by the BABOK. It is also an excellent conduit for meeting other practitioners. He then decided to pursue his CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) certification. He attended a study group which was offered through the Bluegrass Chapter’s Professional Development Program. He also attended a boot camp which was hosted through the same program. He passed the CBAP Exam on August 10, 2018.
Bronson graduated from Indiana University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and another Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He plans on acquiring his MBA in the near future. He discovered his love for analysis and process improvement early on in his career when he was a Claims Adjudicator for a large warranty company. He noticed a group of Claims Payable representatives toiling over the manual entry of Canadian Postal Codes into Excel. The repetitive keying distracted him from his duties so he developed a macro to automate most of the process. It quieted everything down and improved productivity so that served as positive reinforcement for his need to figure things out. As all practitioners know, BAs live to figure things out. He then served as a Director of Operations in the Payment Processing industry where he discovered his prowess in data analytics and reaffirmed his penchant for process improvement. He led his team to win numerous awards in productivity. He also contributed to several projects and helped in the analysis. He then went on to perform financial analysis as a Finance Contractor for a Fortune 500 payments processor. He was offered a position as a Business Analyst and worked his way up to Senior Business Analyst for the company.
Currently he is gainfully employed as a Business Analyst at Republic Bank.
On his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, coaching youth sports, leading Cub Scouts, reading, writing, solving sudoku puzzles, playing basketball, hitting dingers at the batting cages, DIY home improvements, skiing, camping, and eating good food.
Republic Bank & Trust
Bronson works as a Senior Business Analyst in Operations at Republic Bank & Trust. He specializes in process improvement, data analysis and call center management. Specialties: Efficiency Specialist, Experienced Customer Service Manager, Professional Writer, Claims Adjudication, Credit Card Processing, Graphic Design and Layout, and Technical Support.
Bronson participated in the 2018 BABOK v3 Study Group provided by Bluegrass IIBA Chapter, participated in CBAP Preparation Bootcamp class provided by The Solarity Group, and passed the CBAP exam on Friday, August 10, 2018.
You can connect with Bronson at Kentuckiana IIBA Branch meetings or on LinkedIn.
In our continued quest to serve our Kentucky business analysis communities, the Board of Directors of the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter surveyed our communities to see if the third Wednesday of the month and starting at 6:30 p.m. ET was the day and time y’all wanted to meet.
The votes are in, and we heard you!
When the early responses started coming in it appeared that we were leaning slightly to change to a Tuesday evening meeting. However, once all responses came in the pendulum has swung back to Wednesday evening.
On the question of time to meet, you unwaveringly said that we are starting our meeting too late in the evening. Those that responded prefer a 6:00 p.m. ET start time to the meeting.
So starting in August, we will begin our meetings at 6:00 p.m., and keep the same agenda during the meetings as in the past:
6:00 pm - 6:20 pm - Networking and Refreshments
6:20 pm - 6:30 pm - Chapter News
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm - Program
6:00 pm - 6:20 pm - Networking and Refreshments
6:20 pm - 6:30 pm - Chapter News
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm - Program
We hope you will take advantage of our earlier start time and join our educational meetings designed to help you advance your business analysis career. We’ll see you there!
By Aaron Whittenberger, CBAP, CSPO - IIBA Regional Director, Americas East
History has proven that there is nothing as powerful as a steadfast deadline to get people to accomplish a goal.
The most famous steadfast deadline in recent history was Y2K (year 2000). Midnight, January 1, 2000 was coming on time whether you wanted it to or not, whether world-wide systems were ready for it or not. No matter what role you played in the software development life cycle (SDLC); business analysts, project managers, testers, but especially developers knew that systems would not work in the new millennia due to the six-digit date embedded in most systems. SDLC professionals also knew Y2K was on the horizon and it was up to them to get systems Y2K compliant. The fear was that people would get stuck in elevators, hospital systems would stop working correctly, and government services would discontinue to be delivered. However, if you remember January 1, 2000, the stock market did not come crashing down; and businesses around the world continued to bill customers, order material, manufacture their products and pay their employees. SDLC professionals got systems ready in time.
Take this life lesson to your goal of obtaining your IIBA® certification. As soon as you are approved to sit for the exam, schedule your exam date; translated to mean set your deadline. Now you know when you have to be ready to take that exam, so make a plan to be ready.
How much time you need to get ready depends on how much of a priority in your life you will make this goal. If you are single and have no other life commitments, then you can devote a lot of time daily to studying. If you are married and a parent, then can your spouse take some of your family commitments for a short time to give you more time to study? This helps you determine whether you need three months, twelve months or some time in between to prepare for the exam.
Another element of your plan should be what method of study will you use to prepare for the exam. IIBA chapter study groups and Endorsed Education Provider (EEP®) courses are popular ways to prepare for the exam; however, some prefer self-study. Whichever study method you plan to use, put it and the time needed in your plan.
I speak from experience, back in 2008 I was fortunate to be with a consulting firm that sent me to an EEP Business Analysis Boot Camp class. Upon research I knew this was the direction I wanted to drive my career, so I made obtaining my CBAP® certification a priority. I prepared my CBAP application and had our administrative assistant mail it IIBA as I was sitting in the final day of the boot camp class (yes, this was back in the day before online application). When I was approved to sit for the exam I immediately set my date. This was also back in the day before computer-based testing; my options were to go to Louisville, KY to take the paper test, or wait until computer-based testing became available in six months. I opted for computer-based testing and set my date for September 8, 2008. I had study material, from class and other material I found, to keep myself immersed in the material for that six months.
As you can see from the letters following my name, this was an effective plan for me. I highly recommend to everyone who wishes to obtain IIBA certification: 1) make a plan to achieve this goal, and 2) set your date as soon as your application is approved.
Published in the IIBA Newsletter, June 2018
To all Kentucky professionals interested in business analysis;
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter currently meets on Wednesday evenings but the chapter leaders would like to know if there is a better day of the week and time of day that the community would be interested in meeting.
You are invited to participate in this survey to help determine the best day and time to hold educational meetings on business analysis topics. You do not have to have the job title Business Analyst or be a full-time business analyst to participate in this survey. You do not have to have prior engagement or activity with Bluegrass IIBA Chapter. If you would attend business analysis educational meetings, please take 3 to 5 minutes to complete this questionnaire. Your survey responses will be strictly confidential, you are not required to identify yourself, and data from this research will be reported only in the aggregate.
Thank you very much for your time and support.
Richard Power, CBAP
Vice President of Administration and Finance
Richard Power has been a member of the Bluegrass IIBA since March 2016, shortly after learning about the organization through his employment at SQS USA, a corporate member of the IIBA. It was an eventful year. Soon after discovering the IIBA he decided to take the opportunity to improve his business analyst skills by pursuing certification as a Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP), achieving certification in July of 2016. He found the process of documenting his previous BA experience, exploring the BABOK, and preparing for the certification exam to be extremely rewarding both personally and professionally.
Outside of being a business analyst Richard’s main interest is as a professional musician, composing music for a variety of ensembles and performers, across a wide spectrum of styles. Outside of his work as a BA he also enjoys hiking, reading, learning new subjects, and spending time with his family.
While being a native Texan, Richard is proud to be living in the part of the Kentucky Commonwealth where his great-grandmother grew up. He looks forward to expanding his knowledge about the Bluegrass area, as well as expanding its BA community.
Let’s have some fun! Bluegrass IIBA Chapter has a new, fun, interactive activity with which you can get involved. Online BA Gaming is a series of online business analysis trivia games. We have a few different formats of gaming and will play one format each session. Each session will be 20 to 30 minutes, so it will not take a lot of time; and we will play once or twice a month.
Gaming sessions will be announced on the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter and Kentuckiana IIBA Branch websites and in social media. The link to join the game will appear on the websites (about half-way down the page) 30 minutes before game time. You will not have to register to play, just click on the link on the website when it appears and you are ready to play. Once you login there will be information about the game we are about to play.
This is not intended to help people toward IIBA certification, but some of the business analysis knowledge used in the game will be helpful for that purpose. We intend this just to be a fun, interactive, short activity for us all to have fun with. We look forward to you joining us to test your business analysis knowledge!
On May 16, 2018; Bluegrass IIBA Chapter inducted the third class of inductees into the Bluegrass Business Analysis Hall of Fame (#BBAHoF). The Class of 2018 saw two more individuals join the Hall of Fame, bringing its total number of inductees up to seven (7).
This year LeShai Phelps and Marguerite Stearns join five (5) others as Business Analysis Hall of Famers for the Bluegrass Region.
LeShai Phelps currently serves as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Bluegrass IIBA Chapter, and was inducted for Service to the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter. LeShai has been a chapter leader for more than three (3) years; and has been instrumental in opening new marketing channels for the chapter and starting the chapter newsletter the Bluegrass BA Connection.
Marguerite Stearns is a member of the Bluegrass Chapter, and has delivered countless business analysis educational opportunities across the Bluegrass region. She was inducted for Advancement of the Profession in the Bluegrass. Marguerite served as President of the Louisville IIBA Chapter for six (6) years. She was key in developing that chapter's mentoring program for students of Indiana University - South campus.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter congratulates and thanks LeShai and Marguerite for their contributions to the advancement of the business analysis profession in the Bluegrass.
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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