You may have seen some LinkedIn updates or Tweets from me indicating that I’ve made a big decision. I’ve decided to go for the CBAP. While we already have some amazingly great posts on becoming a CBAP here I can’t let go of this opportunity to share my journey…as it happens. For personal reasons, I believe you all deserve to hear my story.
What are these personal reasons you ask? Well, let’s be honest. I’m not super-excited about preparing for the CBAP. I’ve put this cumbersome task off as long as possible. Now I’m looking at a quickly-shrinking 4-month window until I become a mother. And a not-quite-as-quickly-shrinking 2-year window before my “5 years” of BA experience recedes into BA history unless I change my career direction yet again (since I am spending more time now helping BAs than doing BA). I can do it now, do it while insanely tired, or lose the option to become a CBAP. I’m choosing do it now.
But how does writing about the journey help? Well, writing is fun. I love to write about business analysis. Heck, that’s why I started this blog! And sharing real-world stories is just what we do here. I figure a weekly update about what’s really happening on my journey would make this process more fun. If I can pull out the pieces of becoming a CBAP that I find valuable and make light of the more tedious aspects of my journey, perhaps I’ll find more meaning in this experience. Because right now it feels a whole lot like a combination of doing my taxes and preparing for my freshmen biology exams. Both activities I hope never to do again. (My husband does the taxes and, well, I chose degrees in philosophy and English so I could write papers instead of study for exams….here we are back to writing again.) Jeesh, maybe if there was a written exam for the CBAP, I’d have been all over this about 3 years ago. Memorizing the BABOK? OMG–please kill me now.
No, don’t really. I love life too much and I’m carrying a child. Don’t kill me. I’m already having more fun, I promise.
OK. So, let’s see. What HAS been fun about this process this week?
First, I had the chance to reconnect with my prior boss. The one I followed to three different states. Yea, he’s going to be one of my references. Thank goodness ’cause he thinks I’m a great BA. I hope that’s a good thing. Who knows. This app seems crazy.
Second, I spent 1 1/2 hours reading and taking notes on 2 tasks in the Requirements Management and Communication Knowledge area. That’s about 10 pages of the BABOK. Why did I start there? Well, out of all the knowledge areas, it’s this one and Business Analysis Planning that I feel least comfortable with, and somehow I lost the first 20 pages of my BABOK print out, so until I rectify that situation I jumped into Requirements Management and Communication instead. How was this fun? Well, I got to sit outside on our deck on a beautiful day and distract myself by watching the deer roam around our new backyard. I also learned that per the BABOK it’s OK to gain approval for requirements verbally or via an informal email. Woo hoo! Because I’ve been doing that for a few years at least. The risk, of course, is that your stakeholder doesn’t actually understand the requirements they are approving. (So the BABOK does not give you the license to distract your sponsor at the water cooler with a shot of Jagermeister and get them to nod while taking the shot and count that as approval. Right. Remember that, just in case you are tempted.)
Third, I reached out to Linda Erzah of BAMentor to ask about the references because it wasn’t exactly clear to me if these people needed to understand the BABOK knowledge areas themselves. Luckily the answer is no, or my trusted boss would not have qualified. Linda also offered up a chance to sit in on her application workshop, something I’ll be doing later today.
Fourth, I filled in all the minor little details in my application. Everything from changing my address to adding the addresses of my prior companies to starting the guts of my work history and adding Roadmap to Success in as my evidence of professional development credits. Like I said, I hate taxes (er, forms) but the great part about this is now the boring stuff is done. I need to vet my work history and ensure I don’t fall into any pitfalls (something Linda’s going to teach me about later today) but all the little stuff is done.
I suppose that’s about it for now. What can you expect to hear from me between now and (knock on wood) passing the exam? Not wanting to overly control this journey, I’m not going to make any big promises. But given my current state of mind, here are some ideas:
- How the process is going and what value I am getting from it as a BA who cares about their career.
- Things that frustrate me along the way.
- New-to-me concepts I find in the BABOK as well as little tidbits I find interesting or mind-boggling for whatever reason whatsoever.
- Anything I find useful along the way.
- Anything I don’t find useful along the way.
- Random quips about the baby kicking, the dog chasing deer, and the other fun things I focus on to distract me from my studying.
That’s all for now. Wish me luck on this journey and, actually enjoying a few pieces of it. Really, I’m feeling better already. Thank you.
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