You don’t have to give up your day job to influence how BAs are perceived

To set the stage for this post, I want to say that I volunteer on the Board of Directors for the Dallas IIBA Local Chapter. As the new year has started, I find myself wondering what I can do to better reach out to get members excited enough about their profession to enjoy coming to chapter meetings, volunteer their time, and become more passionate about being an analyst in light of all the normal pressures we have in our lives. Why? Because we have a problem, Houston.

We all work in a inconsistently defined profession and in a host of industries and for millions of managers that that don’t know what the heck to do with us…..yes there are exceptions, but that’s not the point here. We’ve all be whining and complaining for years about our woes in not getting promoted, not getting hired, getting hired for something we don’t do, not getting raises, not getting validation and appreciation, blah blah blah. I’m even willing to admit that I’ve made a few remarks myself. Fortunately, the IIBA has been formed and is maturing as our guiding organization to educate those that don’t know anything about business analysis. However, they can’t do it all. It is you and I who have the best opportunities to reach out first and with more effectiveness to those that need to hear our message. The international IIBA organization is there to back us up with support.

Step Up

How can you "step up" and contribute? It doesn't have to be big to make an impact.

In the all-volunteer organizations that exist at the chapter level, it’s sometimes difficult to motivate action. We’re all busy and overloaded these days, but I’d like to suggest that we each take a look at what our responsibilities are to help ourselves become more distinguishable and understood. I’d like to offer a few suggestions and challenge you readers to act. There ARE things that you CAN do to help that won’t impact your lives too much in time and effort yet could produce great benefits.

As Individual IIBA Members

  1. Learn about the IIBA Chapter Resources page and read through the marketing and other material. This content contains the message that is best delivered to those that need to understand your value. Go to http://www.theiiba.org and review the Chapter resources page to see what supporting material is available.
  2. Take the knowledge about our profession into your organization. Become a company representative for the IIBA to spread the word about chapter events, schedule and organize Lunch-and-Learn sessions with your peer analysts to discuss pertinent topics and share experiences, and evangelize the IIBA message to your manager and HR department so they know how to best utilize you and help you grow.
  3. Attend your local chapter meetings when you can and speak up. If you aren’t hearing from your Board about value statements for BAs or there is not promotion of the profession, ask them to discuss it publicly. Remember that while you are paying a fee to be part of IIBA membership and should obtain value for it, the Board of Directors is ALL VOLUNTEER and there is a lot to do. Getting feedback from members is a form of volunteering and helps your Board understand what’s important to the membership itself. Apathy is poison. You can even take it a step further if you have time to help with the solution to your own feedback.
  4. Stay smart and abreast of your profession. In addition to the wealth of book knowledge members have access to in the Books 24X7 offering on the international site, read some blog posts, write some articles, ask questions, offer opinions and bring it all back to your chapter and your office for discussion. Ask your Board to arrange educational offerings and/or discounts for your chapter pertaining to both the central IIBA message and professional development. Also, try to visit some of the forums on the international site to see what the direction from the central IIBA organization is and how it impacts you.
  5. Try (I know you are busy) to offer one or two hours a month or quarter to lend a hand at your chapter. You don’t have to give over your life to help. Every hour of assistance adds up.

As a Local Chapter Board of Director

  1. Learn about the IIBA Chapter Resources page and read through the marketing and chapter materials that will help Board volunteers better guide the chapter. This content contains the IIBA message that must be conveyed from each Board to its respective membership. Go to http://www.theiiba.org and review the Chapter resources page to see what supporting material is available.
  2. Contact your area’s network of recruiters and invite them to a meet-and-greet at the chapter meeting to listen to the IIBA message. Hiring professionals are best positioned to not only take this message into organizations, but also to help properly place analysts into the right roles. In our Dallas chapter, we regularly hold Career Connector events that bring hiring professionals in to meet candidates that are invited, whether they are members, or not. This positions the chapter to be a central point of focus for both groups and we form a stronger bond.
  3. Get your chapter digitally visible and start communicating regularly about the IIBA message. Host online discussions and prompt your membership to participate. Reach out to the same recruiting network from #2 above and ask them to post positions to your site for member consideration. Become the go-to place for local analysts to obtain knowledge, stay abreast of news and find work while also providing a venue for educators and recruiters to find good candidates.
  4. Speak of the IIBA message at your chapter meetings EVERY month. Why are we analysts? What are we good for? What is our value? If you are a Board Member, bring these topics up and elicit discussion. Bring recruiters and HR professionals to the meetings to hear it. Get marketing materials into their hands to not only use themselves, but to offer to candidates who might not know about the IIBA.
  5. Form partnerships with other non-analyst professional organizations, so they may hear the IIBA message. This information helps them know how to better interact with analysts and defines when they should think about bringing one in for an assignment.
  6. Visit analyst departments in organizations and evangelize the IIBA message. Help these folks organize their areas and become their own best advocates to inform themselves, their management and their HR departments about analyst value.
  7. Reach out directly to your members and ask for help. Keeping members engaged and participating is part of providing value to them for the fees that they are charged to support the organization.

In summary, I’d like to leave you with this thought…”If I don’t care about what’s important to me, why should anyone else?” I’d also like to ask that you tack on your thoughts to the end of this post about what you read here.

Have a great new year!

Free Training - Quick Start to Success

(Stop the frustration and earn the respect
you deserve as a business analyst.)

Click here to learn more

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Comments

  1. Doug – Great Post! This is exactly why I have started the CLT Business Analysis (http://www.meetup.com/CLTBAs) group to supplement the work that the Charlotte Metro IIBA chapter does (http://charlotte.theiiba.org). Thank you for providing something that I hope with inspire the Charlotte, NC area BA community to go forth and spread the word!

  2. Doug goldberg says

    Thanks vet much Michelle. You are absolutely correct in suggesting the iiba international site for remote volunteering. I had actually done a little bit of that myself until my other endeavors got in the way. There’s always tons to do there and the one thing I really like was the exposure to an international effort without getting completely sucked in to the whole picture. Thanks for reading!

  3. Michelle Swoboda says

    Hi Doug,
    I love reading your articles! One learning I had with the IIBA is that they are willing to take on volunteers remotely – so if your day job is swamped but you still want to help, ask if you can join the meetings/teams remotely. Bring them into the technology age 🙂
    Michelle

  4. I could not agree more. Thank you for reading!

  5. Great points here. Continually growing oneself and continually growing your craft is crucial for success.

Comment

*

Before you go, would you like to receive our absolutely FREE workshop?

(No formal experience required.)

21689
21690

Quick Start to Success
as a Business Analyst

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy.