How Business Analyst Mentor will help your professional development in 2010

After considering all the valuable input from Business Analyst Mentor readers I described in last week’s post, I had to decide how to support the readers.

It wasn’t straightforward as I have to balance the investment of my time and money, especially when you consider that I work full time and have a family!

Once I had the requirements, the question was how to deliver a quality solution.

Read on for the details…


What do YOU want from Business Analyst Mentor?

I spent some time considering creating a Bootcamp for wannabe BA’s.

After reflecting on some of the enquiries and questions I have answered, I felt it should cover the following:

  • full training for fundamental business analysis skills

  • provides end to end project experience

  • how to find BA positions?

  • how to tailor your CV to best effect?

  • how to market yourself

To do this justice, you would have to commit to attending a course for at least three months.

It would have taken me at least a year to develop.

The results of my surveys suggested there was much greater demand from existing business analysts for support rather than those wishing to enter the profession.

I decided I shouldn’t bite off more than I can chew for my first training product.


Use case models are in widespread use

Use case models have become the de facto standard for defining the functional requirements for an IT system. They can also be used to define a ‘business’ system but this is less mainstream.

My experience in use case modelling dates back to the mid 90’s. I have learnt how to use case modeling through trial and error – as much through my own errors as seeing how others have misunderstood or misapplied the technique. I have used the technique consistently in the last ten years on almost every contract on which I’ve been assigned so my success as a freelancer has been dependent on my skill in use case modeling.

On the surface, it appears simple as a use case model doesn’t involve many complex elements. Often business analysts are expected to apply the technique with no training and limited support.

Like most tools anyone can use it but to use it well requires training and experience.

Learning to model use cases well delivers some real benefits:

  • increased confidence

  • improved productivity

  • happy and cooperative stakeholders

  • happy boss

  • happy you!


I have seen the curriculum for some of the training that is available in this area.

There seem to be a few key questions that aren’t answered by training that I have seen such as:

  • How does use case modeling fit into a project?

  • How do I get the business interested in the use case model?

  • How do I draft an initial use case model? Where does the information come from?

  • How does the use case model fit into downstream activities such as design, testing and training?


Ok, so I had decided where there was demand and where I could provide something of value. However, Business Analyst Mentor delivers globally and I want to be able to support individuals without needing to meet face to face.

The only way of delivering a course in this way is through eLearning which was the next challenge…


What does an engaging and effective eLearning course look like?

Does eLearning work?

Is classroom based training better than eLearning?

How do you teach sophisticated techniques for professional business analysts remotely through the internet?

Next week, I will explain what I learnt by reviewing existing eLearning training, consulting experts in the eLearning field and attending an eLearning course on constructing and delivering effective eLearning myself.


This post reflects my conclusions based on my experience and analysis. It is only my point of view and there are many others.

If you disagree with anything in this post or would just like to comment on what you have read, I would really appreciate your input so please comment below.

About Alex Papworth

4 Responses to “How Business Analyst Mentor will help your professional development in 2010”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. alexpapworth says:

    Thanks Renee
    I'm glad you're enthusiastic about my course. Enthusiasm is definitely a prerequisite for a successful student!

    You can get on the waiting list for the course in this week's post –

  2. renee sanford says:

    I can't wait to receive more information regarding this subject. I am seroiusly considering the CBAP test and also in need of a mentor or good information to perpare me for what is ahead.

  3. alexpapworth says:

    Thanks Keith.

    Keith is one of my test students and also a colleague and friend. As Keith is someone I know well (unlike most of my other test students) I know he will tell me as it is. I need this to guarantee the course is of the highest quality. Let's just hope we remain friends 😉

    The approach I'm taking will mean I support existing BA's but the material I am developing will also help those who want to enter the profession. I believe use case modeling should be in every BA's toolkit if they model IT systems regardless of whether they have a few year's experience or
    of are trying to enter the profession.

    This course will be beneficial for newbies too. I'll be introducing you to the course over the next few weeks when you can decide for yourselves…

  4. Keith Jockers says:


    You've obviously put a lot of thought into the direction that you want to take this site and how you support your readers. Personally, I think you're wise to focus on existing BAs that require a bit of support. I look forward to your course on use cases, and as this will be my first e-learning experience, I will be happy to tell you give you feedback.

    All the best of luck,


Leave A Comment...