Joann Sims, CBAP
Vice President of Membership
Joann has been a member of the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter since March 2016. She gained interest in the chapter in 2014 while serving as a Project Manager/Business Analyst for Kentucky State Government. After accepting a position with a company in Lexington in 2015, the Business Analysis Practice Manager encouraged the Business Analysts to secure the CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) certification. She joined the chapter after being recruited by Aaron Whittenberger where she accepted the position of Vice-President of Membership and participated in a BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge) study group offered by the chapter’s Professional Development Program. She earned her CBAP certification in September 2016.
Joann began her career as a Programmer Analyst/Project Leader after earning a degree in Data Processing Technology from the Lexington Technical Institute at the University of Kentucky. She has 20+ years of experience across several business verticals including Healthcare, Insurance, Finance, State Government, Transportation, Technology, Not-For-Profit, and Retail and has served in various roles in
Information Technology and Digital Transformation over the years including Programmer/Analyst, Systems Analyst, Business Analyst, Data Analyst, Process Analyst, Project Leader, Project Manager, and Strategic Business Consultant.
Joann is currently serving at a major healthcare organization as a Strategic Business Consultant in their BBAC (Business Analysis Competency Center) enabling RPA (Robotic Process Automation) for increased revenue and decreased costs in Pharmacy and across the enterprise as a whole.
Joann is happiest partnering with businesses to grow and improve their business analysis discipline, solve problems, and improve processes both operationally and technically at both enterprise and departmental levels. She knows successful business analysis outcomes are a product of gaining an excellent understanding of both the business and technology while truly connecting with the people you’re trying to help and communicating your understanding back to them for validation. She is a life-long learner and enjoys cross-functional work that offers strategic planning opportunities. Her experience in mainframe, web-based, and vendor systems along with her background in development and analysis give her the edge needed to perform at the enterprise level.
In her free time, she enjoys serving not-for-profit organizations. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter as VP of Membership, she partners with the Alzheimer’s Association on fundraising efforts and serves on the Western Kentucky University Mahurin Honors College Parents Advisory Council. She also enjoys practicing yoga, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, running 5Ks, and hanging out with friends and family, especially her two young adult children.
The Bluegrass IIBA Chapter would like to thank Sasha Bowlby of Sash & Bow. She welcomed us into her shop on Walton Ave in Lexington, KY for the second edition of our Small Business Speaker Series, devised by our very own Judeth Tarter, Vice President of Community Outreach. The series is designed to socialize entrepreneurs and business analysts in the Bluegrass area. The open discussion helps both professions gain an understanding of how small business owners and analysts have very similar job tasks and accountabilities.
Sasha was prepared for Judeth’s interrogation on how she turned her passion for fashion into an actual business. She discussed how quality analysis, quality control, and attention to detail were some critical business analysis techniques she uses to help keep her business flourishing. After we ended, Sasha gave us an exclusive tour of her hand-tailored store front and allowed us to do a little shopping.
Once again, our Community of Outreach hosted an enlightening event through the Small Business Speakers Series. Not only did Sasha turn a life-long passion into a suitable business, catering to women in all walks of life. She has done so by executing many of the same methodologies we use as business analysts. As an analyst, we analyze the quality of products and services and make modifications where needed. Sasha finds herself using this one a lot. We would like to wish Sasha the best!
Visit Sasha’s website for more information on Sash & Bow
The IIBA Global Business Analysis Core Standard is for individuals and organizations interested in accessing the core fundamental practices of business analysis.
The Core Standard covers:
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter in Lexington, KY was once again recognized for excellence by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®) during IIBA Chapter Awards ceremony on Tuesday evening, November 7, 2017; at their Building Business Capability Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter won the Community Outreach Award this year for their efforts to reach out to UK Healthcare, State Government, students and faculty at Sullivan University and Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC), and the communities of Louisville and Owensboro. Other chapter activities that were recognized in their winning of this award included the launch of their Small Business Speaker Series, which they continue next week; holding a CIO Panel discussion involving CIOs from businesses in the community; and establishing a new SMS text messaging service as a new way to inform people of their events and activities.
IIBA has over 120 chapters worldwide and recognizes chapters for excellence in eight (8) categories at their annual Building Business Capability conference. IIBA received over 60 nominations for chapter awards this year and handed out these recognitions:
2017 Award Winner
Chapter of the Year
Last year, Bluegrass won the Innovation Award and received Honorable Mention for the Innovation Award in 2015.
We kicked off our Small Business Series in January 2017 with an interview with the proprietors of Cork and Barrel, Jim and Bev Taylor. They hosted an open question and answer session to help determine the similarities of an entrepreneurship to being an analyst or project manager. We discussed how some of the techniques we execute in our daily professions are utilized and how best practices are applied to manage, support, and fulfil customer demands for good service and tasty products. Some of the techniques discussed were brainstorming, Agile planning, and SWOT analysis. In keeping up with the growth for great distilled spirits, the Taylors determined additional space was needed. They mentioned they were expanding to a second location. After much anticipation, the owners finally opened at the Bluegrass Airport this summer…..BEHIND security! Not only is this great news that our local small businesses are expanding, but visitors all over the world will be able to conveniently take a little bit of Kentucky home with them on the plane without worrying about checking bags. I know my carryon luggage just got heavier! Because of this special location, they will be offering some exclusive products only carried at this site. Stop by the next time you have a flight and say hi and grab some goodies to go!
We invite you to read the Bluegrass Airport Press release for more details on the opening of Cork & Barrel’s second location. Please enjoy shopping local and remember to drink responsibly!
Vice President of Community Outreach
Vice President of Sponsorship
Kathy joined the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter in 2013 as one of the founding members. She was recruited by Aaron Whittenberger, the first president of Bluegrass Chapter, and was motivated because she wanted to promote Business Analysis in Central Kentucky. Kathy has served on the Board of Directors of the chapter since its inception, as the VP of Sponsorship.
Kathy graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (BSCmE) and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA.) While working at the Institute for Mining and Mineral Research during her MBA studies, Kathy was able to work on her first project, which involved gathering requirements, creating a design, purchasing materials, and selecting and managing vendors to build a coal liquefaction prototype.
Kathy went on to spend 20+ years in Information Technology as a systems analyst for a coal company, the VP of Technology for a consulting firm, the IT Director for a large defense contractor, and as a Sr. Program Manager for a major mattress and bedding manufacturer. Along the way, she managed hundreds of successful technology projects, while acting as the de facto BA, because the job title did not exist in those organizations at the time.
For the last 4 years, she has taught college students in various business management and IT programs.
In her spare time, Kathy volunteers for Junior Achievement, teaching students Financial Literacy, Real Jobs Real World, and other relevant courses at local middle and high schools. She also loves thoroughbred horses and has a beautiful weanling filly by Fusaichi Pegasus (2000 KY Derby winner) out of a Malibu Moon mare.
In May 2017, Kathy was inducted into the Bluegrass Business Analysis Hall of Fame.
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
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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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