First I want to start out by saying a big thank you to everyone who left a comment on last week’s post about starting my journey to becoming a CBAP. Your support and encouragement is over the top. I honestly had no idea that people would actually care about this journey and it feels amazing to have all of you watching over me (err, supporting me) as I tackle this challenge. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
This week my major milestone was to finish the work experience section of my CBAP application. This is a milestone indeed and is the part that deters many BAs from applying for the CBAP.
I had done an initial round of counting up hours and documenting projects last week. After attending Linda’s CBAP application seminar and getting the concepts straight in my head, I knew I had some adjustments to make. I had unwittingly fallen into a few of the traps that those CBAP application reviewers set for us in how I documented my experience and hadn’t quite added up enough hours yet. On Tuesday, I sat down with Linda’s worksheet and recompiled my work experience in her template.
At first I was peeved…I had to estimate hours by task in order to fill in the worksheet. All the CBAP application asks you to do is document percentages by knowledge area and check off tasks. Why go to all this seemingly extra trouble? However, I really wanted to use Linda’s spreadsheet to ensure I met the requirement of 900 hours in 4 different knowledge areas and I realized that no matter what path I took to figuring this out there would be some grunt work. So I settled myself down and got to work.
And then an amazing thing happened. As I sat there calculating hours and really thinking about what I had done within each task area while also being sure I hadn’t duplicated date ranges or over-counted hours or done anything that might seem even just a little bit shady, I started to feel really good about my BA work. I kind of got addicted to the process.
Where before, I had decided to leave some gaps in my work history since I had some extra hours to play with, I now decided to go for it all. I documented the 5% of my time I spent building a QA process in 2001 and 2002. I documented the enterprise analysis and other BA work I did to create our Bridging the Gap virtual training platform. I documented everything except for a few minor contracts, the BA mentoring I’ve done for the last year and a half, and the last year I spent as a manager. From each of these I could have probably eked out a few hundred more hours, but I finally decided that enough was enough.
When all was said and done, I had over 900 hours in all of the knowledge areas and my total came in at over 10,000 hours. I quickly sent my worksheet to Linda for validation and Tweeted out this cool news. Besides being a round number, the “10,000” hours mark is one that is sometimes associated with “mastery.” So right now, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I’ll also admit, even though I wasn’t excited about the forms part of the CBAP process, discovering that you’ve done something you’re passionate about for 10,000 hours of your adult life is pretty cool. Side bonus #1 of becoming a CBAP.
And then I discovered side bonus #2. Yesterday I sat down and emailed 6 project contacts that I listed in the work history section, just to let them know I listed them and that if my application is audited they will be contacted to confirm my BA contributions. Some of these are people I’ve been in touch with recently. Others I haven’t talked to in years or more…I’m not even sure if they know I’m running my own business now. Reaching out to all these people was a fun process. It also lets them know I’m engaged professionally, gives me a chance to update them on what I’m up to, and could potentially turn up new collaboration opportunities in the future. If you are a consultant or in a job search process, this step could be a real benefit, especially if you take care with how you craft these messages and use them strategically.
Also on my agenda this week was tackling the first BABOK chapter – the Business Analysis Planning one that I had lost some pages of. As of Thursday, this task had been on my agenda every day and every day it got pushed out as other duties captured my attention. I’m realizing that dedicating the effort to studying is going to take some focus on my part. Last week the newness of it all gave me momentum. Already, that positive anticipation is waning. Still, I know I can finish what I need to do this week. I’ll also be acquiring a CBAP Exam Simulator that allows me to practice questions by knowledge area and test how well I’m absorbing the information I need to absorb from self-study. More on that next week.
Thanks again for your support. By the end of next week, I intend to have submitted my application (just waiting for one reference to come in) and completed an initial absorption of 3 knowledge areas, and have some real feedback on my self-study success by taking a practice exam.
>>Learn More About Becoming a CBAP or CCBA
Interested in becoming a CBAP or CCBA? We cover 8 steps to the CBAP certification, that will take you to just learning about the certification to successfully sitting for the exam.