Training for BAs is a million miles better than it was in 2000 when I started as a freelance BA. However, I believe it is often a poor solution for today’s time starved business analyst who needs on the spot, relevant and actionable coaching.
Some BA’s that I’ve been talking to about training and Certification over the last few months have also told me that it’s expensive, inconvenient and inflexible. Traditional training takes you away from your workspace, often for days at a time, to learn some new skills that take a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Don’t get me wrong, there are some excellent training courses and trainers out there. But the business model limits what can be done with training and also keeps the prices high.
That ‘vanilla’ case study just doesn’t tackle the specific challenges you face in your organisation. Maybe it ignores problems that are typical in your industry. It’s not a problem with the case study but an inevitable problem with a training course that has to work for the huge variety of BA’s, organisations and different business domains out there.
You will have the opportunity to speak to your trainer during the course but maybe not in the depth you require. Also, as you proceed through the course, you may wish more depth in a particular area. There’s no point asking for that as the curriculum is already fixed!
When you get back to the office, you are likely to have questions when you try to apply what you have learnt. Some trainers are generous with their time and let you call them after the course. However, you know that you can’t stretch their generosity too far. You may want to spend an hour going through the specific circumstances on your project but that may well be too big an ask!
And the solution is…
As you will know, I’m always looking for ways for the BA community to help itself and this seems like a great opportunity. I know that the knowledge and experience held by the BA community collectively is immense and covers every conceivable business domain, type of project and type of BA role!
So, amongst my other projects, I’m investing my time and attention to pilot a service that taps into this resource.
Would you be interested in learning from a fellow BA who has mastered the skills? Perhaps you want to learn from someone who has experience in your particular business domain. And would you like to tailor how you learn so that you can do it in one or two hour bite sized pieces. Would you like to avoid the cost and time of travel to training sessions? If so, using the phone and the web is much more convenient.
It would be more like having a training course where you design your own curriculum and get immediate feedback. You won’t get a polished, fine tuned course developed over years. But you will get coaching from a BA who can speak from experience and adapt advice to suit your specific needs. He or she can also give you either a high level overview or detailed instruction. You will be able to request guidance on the job rather than the vanilla case study. And as many follow up sessions as you need…
So who would be doing the coaching?
Well, if you have experience and expertise, that could well be you!
Would you enjoy the challenge of coaching another BA in a skill where you have some experience and expertise?
Coaching is a key leadership skill which will make you more valuable to your organisation. You could also use your coaching experience and testimonials to help your career progression or win you that next contract.
Another benefit of this approach would be a significant reduction in your training costs. Or even just make it possible if the cost currently makes it impossible.
So how would that work? If you give your time and experience for free, you could then find someone who has experience and expertise in skills you are looking to acquire.
And you wouldn’t need to be a recognized expert – any BA will be able to offer to coach another BA as long as they are honest and open about their level of experience and expertise.
This would work as a ‘skill and time exchange’ to minimise the cost to you.
At this stage, this is just an idea -you’ve probably gathered that and have a list of questions for me.
That’s why I need some enthusiastic and patient testers so that you can help me design and test the service that works for you.
Do you like the sound of this idea? Would you like to be involved and can spare a few hours each month?
You will be testing the service and being interviewed to provide feedback. You will also be introduced to other BA’s either to share your knowledge or learn about skills that are at the top of your list.
There will be no financial cost to be involved. I also need to keep the initial group small so please apply immediately if you are really keen to be included.
Whether you want to be coached, coach others or a mixture of the two (to save you $$’s), I’d like to hear from you.
You would stand to gain some new BA skills. BUT, this is a new service that I’m testing so you’d have to be patient and expect some frustration as I’m developing the service.
If that worries you, I don’t recommend you get involved.
If you think this is a great idea and you’d like say you’ve been part of designing this service then sign up here.