The Austin IIBA Chapter held the 2nd Annual Business Analyst Development Day in August 2013. The event provided an opportunity for business analysts in the Austin area to come together for workshops in various topics such as Agile methodology, Business Process Modeling Notation, and Better Decision Making. In addition to helping BAs in Austin further their knowledge in business analyst knowledge areas, the event also provided an opportunity for peers to help each other with the questions or issues that are facing business analyst roles and responsibilities. The event was a sell out with 80 attendees!!
As the president of the Austin IIBA Chapter, I still struggled with understanding why more BAs in the area were not trying to attend. If needed, we could have handled a few more attendees. I asked a few of the BAs that attended why others at their companies were not coming. I heard a few comments such as:
- "My company's training budget is really tight this year."
- "My company would not provide us a training day to attend."
- "We have too much work and taking time off for training is just not feasible."
- "There is no formal training plan for a BA in my company, so we just don't receive any training."
In the over 15 years I have been involved in business analysis roles, I agree with many of the above comments. I do agree that companies struggle to determine the training plan for BAs, and I do agree that for many BAs - their company will not provide training either due to budget constraints or work conflicts. BUT - none of the above is a reason for not taking control of your own training and career development. From my experience, you (as a BA) cannot rely on your company to provide you with the time or training budget to further your BA career. You (as a BA) need to plan for your own training which may include taking personal vacation days and spending your own money for training classes.
So the next time there is a BADD day in your area, take advantage of a great opportunity! Make a plan to attend Business Analyst Development Day to make your BADD day - your best day ever - no excuses!!