• Monday, December 11, 2017 10:14 AM | Marketing IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    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

  • Tuesday, December 05, 2017 7:34 AM | Professional Development IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)
    Announcing the release of the new IIBA Global Business Analysis Core Standard, a companion guide to the BABOK® Guide v3.


    The IIBA Global Business Analysis Core Standard is for individuals and organizations interested in accessing the core fundamental practices of business analysis.


    It hasn’t always been easy to share a common understanding of business analysis principles and practices within organizations or with other business professionals. With this free release of the Core Standard, IIBA® is taking an important step forward to broadly share commonly accepted best practices with the greater business community.

    The Core Standard covers:

    • Business Analysis Key Concepts - provide a foundation for understanding and applying business analysis
    • Business Analysis Knowledge Areas – focus on specific business analysis expertise

    Distributing the Core Standard
    • IIBA Members will be able to download the 42-page, easy to read reference by logging on to with their member profile. 
    • Non-members will be able to sign up to receive a free download of the Core Standard by clicking on the “What’s New” tab on or on social media post links as of December 5th
  • Friday, November 10, 2017 10:36 AM | Community IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    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:

    Chapter Award

    2017 Award Winner

    Chapter of the Year


    President’s Award


    Chapter Engagement


    Chapter Sustainability

    Central Iowa

    Community Outreach



    Northwest Arkansas

    Leadership Excellence

    Central Iowa

    Professional Development


    Last year, Bluegrass won the Innovation Award and received Honorable Mention for the Innovation Award in 2015.

    Bluegrass IIBA Chapter invites the Bluegrass community to come celebrate this award at our annual Winter Networking Social on December 13, 2017.

  • Monday, September 18, 2017 5:08 PM | Marketing IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    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!

    Judeth Tarter

    Vice President of Community Outreach


  • Friday, September 08, 2017 10:20 AM | Marketing IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)


    Kathy Leigh

    Chapter Position:

    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.

  • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 1:31 PM | Marketing IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)


    Eric-Stephen Neill

    Chapter Position:

    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.

  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017 2:38 PM | Marketing IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)


    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 

  • Sunday, August 06, 2017 2:00 PM | Community IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)


    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:

    • 1)     Combined IIBA (International) and Bluegrass IIBA Chapter Membership.  For those who wish to join both the international association and local chapter in one transaction.  The cost of this membership level covers the cost of membership in both organizations. 
    • 2)     Annual Pass to Chapter Events.  This is not membership.  For those who want to “try out” the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter program prior to committing to membership.  This annual pass gives passholders discount to chapter meetings and events for a year.  However, it does not provide access to member-only material.
    • 3)     Annual Pass for Students.  This is not membership.  Cost of an education is expensive, so we have introduced our new annual pass at a reduced price for current students in accredited education program leading to a business, information technology or science degree or diploma, or business analysis certification.

    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, or and give us your input. The above announcement came from input from the community, we want to hear from you.

  • Saturday, July 01, 2017 8:41 AM | Professional Development IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    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.

    2.      Workshops

    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 (  As a service to our community, we have brought these all together and put them in one place for easy access (  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 (  Now you don’t have to scour the internet yourself.  We also maintain a list of 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

    Lexington, KY

  • Thursday, June 15, 2017 10:30 AM | Marketing IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    In the analyst role in Information Technology, I learned that the most important responsibility is to gain a clear understanding of the business requirements and accurately document captured requirements and business processes to include non-system related business rules that will impact the functional logic.  The goal is to gather good clear requirements that support the customer’s expectations of the software deliverable.  This is best acquired through working in the business process with the user to observe each step completed to achieve a specific desired result and gain an accurate clear understanding of why the user is completing each step.  This is called Genchi Genbutsu, a Toyota Production System term that suggests that in order to understand a situation you must “go and see” where the actual work is done.  By doing this real time observation in the actual business process, it drives identification of business rules and requirements that the user might overlook due to repetitive practice.  I also learned the importance of asking good questions when interviewing users. This is an area that I applied the 5 Why Methodology to identify the root cause of an existing problem, to identify the real requirement or additional associated requirements that must work in concert to yield a specific expected result. The 5 Why Methodology technique requires asking ‘why’ 5 times to gain visibility into the root element. 

    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)



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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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