ABADD 2021 Sessions

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Learning to Unlearn

As Business Analysts we are facing unprecedented levels of disruption with constant challenges to adapt to ensure we stay current & relevant. The COVID-19 pandemic has poured accelerant on the adoption of digital technologies. It has been estimated that in 10-weeks, the world has accelerated 10 years in the adoption of digitally distributed work! Make no mistake the world we live in has changed, and there will be no return to what was considered normal back in Feb 2020.

If we continue to rely on experience and past achievements as well as old behaviors and thinking that worked well in the past, we are in grave danger of becoming irrelevant, and this could happen faster than we think!!! We all get that we must continually learn, but our biggest challenge is Unlearning the past.

The big problem is that as humans we operate on autopilot most of the time. Our brains are wired to be recording devices and pattern seekers, so unlearning the past is not so easy to do! The latest thinking in neuroscience suggests that 95% to 97% of what happens in our brain is automatic responses, based on our subconscious mind. What we need is a simple repeatable and actionable system which can help us to Unlearn the past when it’s needed. In this presentation you will get skills, tools and techniques to empower you to move away from once-useful but now old mindsets and behaviors and move to mindsets and behaviors that will allow you to thrive in rapid change.

Opening Keynote: Stephen Dowling

The Career Insurance Canvas for Business Analysts

There are all kinds of insurance out there. Some we are forced to have (like auto liability insurance) and some we can decide on (like extended warranties for electronics). It is implied that insurance is not guaranteed protection against something happening but protection for if something were to happen.

The Career Insurance Canvas is a tool you can use for proactive career management. All too often we hear and see the stress and strain of a colleague frantically working on their job search. We have all been there and we know that stress, but it does not have to be that stressful. Given the rapid pace of change in the world of work, it will become a necessity to be proactive in your career planning instead of reactive.

In this session we will go through the core elements associated with developing career insurance. We will explore each element and provide examples and tools to support the development of each. The key is doing this all through the lens of the Business Analyst role.

The first step in getting value from this session is grasping the mindset that change is the rule not the exception and the ability to thrive in change is a career competitive advantage.
In this session we will cover:

  • The “human work machine”, what you need to know.
  • Embracing being adaptive.
  • Making yourself invaluable without burning yourself out.
    • What does it mean to be likable
  • Preparing for the job search long before the search.
    • Recruiters vs. networking
    • Trade association activity
    • Personal brand development
  • Giving back to get back and managing your contacts

Career Track: David Mantica 

AI: BA Threats and Opportunities

The world is at a tipping point with Artificial Intelligence. The odds you will encounter AI in some form, every waking day, are 100%. Whether it’s talking to Siri or Alexa, watching dancing robots, reviewing your LinkedIn or Facebook feeds or ordering from Amazon, AI is at work.

But there are also places where AI is not so obvious. Where it is poised to rapidly replace traditional roles just like customer service operators were replaced by pre-AI interactive voice response systems. And not just lower-level roles will be supplanted. Medical specialists, software developers and yes, analysts are all susceptible to this ongoing disruption.

From this presentation you will take away:

  • An understanding of the fundamental building blocks of Artificial Intelligence
  • Real examples of how cheap and easy it is to use AI
  • How Analyst roles are being negatively impacted, now and tomorrow
  • Options for what Analysts can do to protect and enhance their careers

Long-time independent trusted advisor Cris Casey shares his recent research focused on the potential and real impacts on analysts, along with strategies and tactics to prosper in an age of AI.

Career Track: Cris Casey

BA Knowledge Game

Move over The Price is Right and welcome to the BA Knowledge Game. Enjoy a competitive round of questions on a wide assortment of Business Analysis topics. Prizes will be awarded!

We will be playing our game in the Kahoot! format. You will need a second browser to play this game, which could be on your laptop or cell phone. Both the Apple App Store and Google Play have the Kahoot! app that you can download or you can go to https://kahoot.it in your second browser. We will show you the trivia question in the conference meeting browser and you will answer in your second browser.


Hosted by Dave Nagy - Chapter VP of Professional Development and Programs

Lightning Round: Transformation Stories

Transforming a 300-person Field Service Operation. Acquiring and assimilating business units, especially 100+ year old dysfunctional ones, is never easy. Learn how grass roots design thinking combined with short-cycle simulations was applied to achieve deep transformational change. Changes that enabled rapid process and technology adoption resulting in faster customer response, reduction of inventory cost/shrinkage and an increase in unit billing.

Cris Casey - Independent Contractor

The 6 W’s (really 5 W’s and 1 H) of my CBAP journey

  • Who?
    • Gautami is a Certified Business Analyst Professional, currently working with CapTech Consulting as a Senior Business Analyst. Her work on the OnBoard Project will help modernize the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.  Gautami has previously been a Business Analysis professional with The NY Independent System Operator in Rensselaer, NY, and Department of Health and Human Services in Austin, Texas. Her primary strengths are requirements elicitation, documentation, process mapping/ improvement, and client communication.
    • Gautami holds a Master’s in Public Administration with concentrations in Healthcare Management from the Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from International Technological University. She has recently received the ‘Employee of the Quarter award’ and ‘Tech Terrific’ awards from her employer, Tech Valley Talent for her significant project contributions. She became a Professional Scrum Master- 1 in July 2018; Certified Business Analysis Professional in Nov 2019 and is now actively pursuing Agile related/ PMP Certifications.
  • Why did you get certified?
  • When did you feel ready to get certified?
  • How have you used your BA experience to leverage your CBAP prep?
  • What do you consider keys to success? (techniques/ recommendations/ courses)
  • Where do you see the most impact? (personal/ professional)

Gautami Sonty - NYISO

Laura Gribbin will share “My Career Journey” and tips to thrive as a BA

Laura Gribbin - NYISO

Transforming your Speaking and Leadership Skills

Elizabeth Keeling, MBA, has worked for the New York ISO (NYISO) as a business analyst for the past four years. She earned her Master’s Degree in 2020 from Clarkson University. Three years ago she joined her company’s Toastmasters program to work on her public speaking abilities and leadership skills. Now, she has advanced her speaking abilities and is leading her corporate club as president. She will discuss some lessons she has learned as a leader and also tips for public speaking.

Elizabeth Keeling - NYISO

Changing your Body

There have been many experiences in my life which have triggered change – my goal in each of them was to “make my own sunshine”.

  • AWARENESS: Usually there is a triggering event. Hidden within this even is a message.
  • KNOWLEDGE: It is up to me to analyze this message and understand what it means to me.
  • UNDERSTANDING: The moment of truth is when I finally gain proper interpretation.
  • DECIDE: This is the moment you understand that change is up to you.   That the pain associated with doing nothing (or staying the same course) will be worse than the positive outcome to be achieved with change.
  • BELIEVE: This is the hardest part when you start out – having the confidence within that you CAN achieve that which you dream of.
  • COMMIT: Commitment involves being organized, setting priorities, making decisions, creating good habits, and doing within while you do without (sacrifice).
  • ACHIEVE: you need a timeline with clear outcomes, and a way to visually monitor progress.

George Diaz - Orbus Software

Product Management and the BA

Many organizations are evolving the way they work and have a greater need for Product Owners and Product Managers. Will you be ready for this next step in your career? Come to this interactive session to explore the role of the Product Manager and understand how this can be the next evolution of the Business Analyst. You’ll understand the mindset shift needed to be successful as a Product Manager, learn how you’ll need to adapt, and get experience with new tools and techniques.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the role on the Product Manager and why it may be the next step in your career
  • Recognize the shift needed to be successful as a Product Owner or Product Manager
  • Learn new tools and techniques that will help you be successful in a product role

Practicing BA Track: Dave Saboe

Building Trust with Design Thinking

An unacceptably large percentage of projects fail to meet the stakeholder expectations. Survey after survey show that misunderstanding stakeholder expectations and their needs are the main drivers for these failures. Ever wonder the reasons for the misunderstandings? I believe its lack of credibility, reliability, intimacy and self-orientation; the key ingredients of trustworthiness and the Design Thinking practice provides the tools to build trust and improve the chances of success.

Practicing BA Track: Sanjay Acharya

Trends and Career Opportunities in Business Analysis from the Source

The International Institute of Business Analysis has the unique position to take a World-Wide look at how business analysis is being conducted across the Global. That research has accelerated under Delvin Fletcher leadership.
In this presentation you will be provided with a detailed look at the trends in Business Analysis and the hiring of Business Analysts. Topics to be covered include:

  • Skills and capabilities sought by industry for Business Analysts
  • Trends in certification growth and requirements
  • A look at how industry looks at Business Analysis aka a skill or the role
  • Trends that will impact how BA professional long and near term career planning

This is also a great opportunity to ask questions and present ideas, thoughts, and concerns to the President of IIBA.

Closing Keynote: Delvin Fletcher

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