UK IIBA Chapter Event – 14 October 2010 Event Summary

An open mind works like a parachute

Last Thursday saw yet another successful event organised by the IIBA UK Chapter. Based on personal experience, I knew the events to be well-attended. What I wasn’t expecting was a turnout of more than 200 people, coming from domains as varied as midwifery to investment banking.

Building BA Communities

The evening began with a warm welcome by Gill Reed, Frontline Support Manager from Barclays Bank. Gill was followed by David Avis, Senior BA at Barclays Bank, who gave a heartwarming presentation on ‘Building BA Communities’. David recounted the tale of ‘Incredible Edible Todmorden‘ (scroll to the bottom of the home page for their vision and goals), the story of a small town in England who took it upon themselves to grow vegetables to share with everyone. The “Incredibles” are those who give a bit of their land (such as a patch of in their front garden) for public vegetable growing as well as those who give their time to do the gardening. The “Edibles” are the tasty vegetables of their labour. Wow – what a great idea! And it works!

Tips for Building BA Communities

David’s tips include:

  • Just start
  • Facilitate, listen, synthesize
  • Raise awareness
  • Set momentum
  • Co-ordinate
  • Empower others
  • Make some time
  • Work on the most important thing to you
  • Collaborate
  • Look for synergies
  • Volunteer and share
  • Encourage others.

The essence of David’s talk is this: To build a community, you need a bunch of people enthused about the same thing and who want to do something about it. Amplify David’s tips by using them to build any community you wish. Download David’s presentation here.

Agile in a Nutshell

I was next up to present ‘Agile in a Nutshell‘, an interactive presentation designed to transform an audience into participants. A number of people had told me beforehand that they were intrigued by how I was going to fit Agile into a nutshell. Based on the positive feedback of the session (and the acceptance testing at the end of the session), we’d managed to do this – thanks to the help of an enthusiastic and attentive audience.

I distilled what I knew about Agile based on my knowledge and experience into 5 principles + 5 values.

The 5 Agile Principles

#1 Deliver Value – Be value-driven! Both business value and personal values.
#2 Respect for People – People are at the heart of any process. People make things happen. The quality of deliverables is a product of the team.
#3 Eliminate Waste – Beware! If you’re not adding value, you’re most likely producing waste.
#4 Continuous Learning – Be open-minded. Reflect often to keep learning.
#5 Continuous Improvement – Be better than you were yesterday every day. Identify actions from your learnings. Take baby steps.

The 5 Agile Values

These are the 5 XP Values of: Communication, Simplicity, Feedback, Courage, Respect. Put your own agility to the test by doing this short exercise.

Agile is much more than a methodology. It’s a mindset shift. Most important of all, Agile’s a party and everyone’s invited. Share Agile with colleagues, friends and family!

Download ‘Agile in a Nutshell’ here. Watch the presentation on YouTube: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3. Thanks to Simon Ward for producing the video!

If you liked my presentation, you’ll love this…

If you liked the style and spirit of ‘Agile in a Nutshell’, you’ll love XP Days Benelux 2010 (25 – 26 November) in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. It’s a conference jam-packed with highly interactive and experiential sessions. Get one quick, while there are still a few tickets remaining! And bring your friends!

The Grand Finale

James Archer, IIBA UK Events Organiser, concluded the evening by emphasising the importance of keeping an open mind and keep learning. Last, but not least, he showed us a moving video on behalf of Cancer Research to help us decide whether or not to donate as part of our appreciation for this free event. Barclays Bank promised to double the first £1,500 donated by the attendees so I hope we raised lots of a money for a great cause!

Upcoming IIBA UK Chapter events

I’m looking forward to the next event already. Visit IIBA’s website for information of upcoming events. Better still, show your support by becoming a member!

6 Responses to “UK IIBA Chapter Event – 14 October 2010 Event Summary”

  1. portiatung writes:

    To those who attended, all feedback welcome! Post and share them as a comment. Many thanks!

  2. Leena writes:

    Hi Portia,
    I just wanted to say I thought your presentation skills were excellent at the event.
    Not only did you engage the audience, you made the evening interesting and fun.
    It’s also great how you managed to engage the audience and break up your slides.
    The images used in your slides were also very eye catching!
    It’s a shame you didn’t have more time to talk about some of the terminology mentioned but you did give a comprehensive overview.
    Thank you for answering my question on how to introduce agile methodologies into a Banking environment.
    I’m looking forward to looking over your deck again.

  3. Marc writes:

    Just a quick to one to say that I really enjoyed your talk at the IIBA last night. You have a very fun, interactive yet quietly confident style presentation style.

    I’m looking up the various different flavours of Agile and seeing which best suits a project I’ve ear marked for trial.

    Thanks again!

  4. David Avis writes:

    Thanks Portia – see you soon!

  5. Ahmed Badawy writes:

    I watched your session on youtube,really your are amazing..u make it simple and funny,
    i have only one question..can i study BA from BABOK by reading only cause i dont have a chapter in my country or it will nt be effective.

  6. admin writes:

    Hi Ahmed,

    Thanks for your comment. As for the answer to your question. The best way of gaining a proper understanding of something, in my experience, is to PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act). This usually involves theory and application, so reading BABOK alone probably won’t be enough to learn how to do business analysis effectively. You could of course consider starting a local chapter to attract others who are interested in the subject and leverage the skills, knowledge and experience of those who participate and learn from them!


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