If you ever wanted proof that government departments and agencies are serious about building their digital capabilities, you’d need look no further than Canberra’s booming business analysis community.
As specialists in analysing business processes, applying IT solutions and acting as catalysts for change, business analysts are uniquely placed to support digital government initiatives – from improving how agencies use technology to developing reusable products and platforms.
It’s no surprise, then, that good business analysts are in demand. Fortunately for Government, Canberra’s business analysis community is growing at an equally fast pace, ensuring that local business analysts have the skills, knowledge and network of peers to consistently deliver high-quality work.
The Canberra branch of the International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA), for example, has seen event attendance more than double over the past two years. Member numbers are on the rise, and events now regularly attract high profile guests and speakers. Recent presenters have included the National Blood Authority’s chief information officer Simon Spencer and Royal Australian Navy Commodore Rob Elliott.
IIBA Canberra chapter president Jonathan Tremethick attributes this growth to an increased interest in the practice of business analysis (driven in part by government demand), as well as a renewed focus on providing events and services that offer value to both business analysts and specialists in other fields. Its services include free monthly events, presentations and networking opportunities for members and non-members, as well as members-only study groups.
“Due to popular demand, we’ve increased branch events from four times a year to monthly. The turnout is usually around 50 people, with up to 100 for joint association events. That’s a huge increase from 2015, when we averaged between 15 and 20 attendees,” he says.
“To ensure that we deliver the best value, we poll members and guests on what it is that they want in an event, and then find the best speakers, presenters and subject matter experts to deliver those insights. People come to our events, which are free, and are impressed. They see the value in becoming a member and belonging to a professional organisation that has their interests at heart.”
Jonathan says corporate sponsors such as Canberra professional services firm Cordelta and consulting agency Mindavation have played an important role in building the local business analysis community of practice since 2016.
“Cordelta was involved in our transformation very early on. They saw the potential, enthusiasm,
passion and growth we were creating and it obviously aligned with their own passion and interest in the professional community. They understand that a stronger and vibrant community of practice will always benefit the whole,” he says.
“Having the support of Mindavation and Cordelta associated with IIBA Canberra Branch has benefited the community based on their vast and diverse knowledge and helping identify the high calibre speaker network to share with our members and guests. They continue to make our lives easier.”
Cordelta senior executive Stephen Anderson says the decision to support Canberra’s business analyst community through the IIBA was an obvious one.
“A thriving business analysis community benefits everyone. Cordelta is committed to helping people succeed, so of course, it helps our staff and clients that Canberra’s business analysis practice is constantly improving its skill levels and growing its sense of identity.
“The IIBA provides a really positive opportunity for business analysts to listen to informed and interesting speakers, and also provides a study group for those who want to work towards the BABOK [Business Analyst Body of Knowledge] qualification.
“We also like that it reaches out to other peer groups like the Australian Institute of Project Management, which we also sponsor, and the Australian Computer Society. Business analysis doesn’t exist in a bubble, and so it’s great to support staff to develop business analysis skills to complement their primary role, which may be as a project manager, solution architect, procurement specialist or change manager.”
Mindavation CEO Hadyn Thomas says the success of the IIBA Canberra branch depends as much on running great events as it does on sponsors and volunteers.
“I am delighted to see the efforts of the IIBA Canberra Branch deliver innovative and meaningful events that not only give value to individuals, but also build the narrative of a successful Community of Practice.”