BA profiles for certification

Ainsley Haslett, CBAP®

ainsleyhaslett.jpg    The CBAP® study process made clear a lot of the concepts and techniques that had been a part of my work as a business analyst. It is a way of qualifying and quantifying your skills.
Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring has taken my thinking to the next level, guiding the start of analysis activities into a structured approach to planning communications, elicitation and governance and standards for business analysis teams. 
If you are looking to become certified, joining one of the study groups is an excellent head start as it can otherwise be hard to cover all the material in the BABOK©. The study group will guide you through the learnings step by step and finish up with a practice exam to assess your readiness for the real thing. In the study group you'll also have a chance to share practical examples with the group - a technique which I found was extremely useful in remembering the many techniques covered in the syllabus.
Gaining CBAP© status has provided a structured point of reference for the skills I had, and also extended my analysis toolbox with a number of techniques and models I didn't have. The CBAP© helps to make clear the role of business analysis within an organisation and defining the boundaries between business analysis and project management. 
I believe the future value of business analysis lies in assisting organisations to develop strategies to execute change, and to assist in the delivery of change and business improvement initiatives. A big part of this breaks down to assisting the business through complex decisions, such as by summarising the alternatives and simplifying the complexity by translating information into information digestible by the decision maker.
If you are a business analysis or aspire to join the profession, I’d recommend you join the IIBA© so that you gain access to the training and reference materials, as well as the monthly workshops held in Auckland and Wellington. From there you’re half way to your certification, and there’ll be plenty of others to help you along the way. See you at the next IIBA© NZ meetup.  


Kirsten Eriksen, CCBA™

kirsten.jpg    Kirsten Eriksen works as a business analyst for Datacom in Wellington.  Kirsten has been a business analyst (BA) for about 8 years and became a Certified Competent Business Analyst™ (CCBA™) in 2011.

“I heard about the International Institute of Business Analysts™ (IIBA™) CCBA™ designation when the IIBA launched it in early 2011. At that time I had been trying to gain the hours required to sit the CBAP™ designation, and knew that I would be able to gain the CCBA™ designation more quickly as I already had the hours required for that.”

“I wanted to be certified as I had no other qualifications that enabled me to objectively formalise my experience as a BA. I liked the idea of the IIBA™ certifications as they required the applicant to provide proof of their experience as well as know the theory – I felt this was more robust and, as the certification process is the same throughout the world and internationally recognised, I felt it would be a good way to increase my marketability as a BA.”

“I found the application process relatively easy, but the exam preparation was a lot of hard work. I did a preparation course, and about 3 months of self-study before I sat the exam – while taking 2 papers at university as well – let’s just say it was a busy time. I still remember the trepidation I felt when going into the exam, because there isn’t any published information on the exam content, beyond the fact that it’s 150 multiple choice questions. I was extremely nervous of whether I had done enough to pass; thankfully I had!”

“I think that studying the Body of Knowledge (BABOK®) in preparation for the exam has made me a better BA as it has given me more confidence. It has provided some structure around which to hang what I already knew.  For anyone that is considering gaining certification, be it CCBA™ or CBAP™ I would definitely recommend that they take the plunge, as they will learn a lot, not just about business analysis but about themselves.”