Trevor McCarthy is an independent Business Analyst and a recent delegate on our Requirements Engineering course.
Trevor reflects that we tend to stick with what we know and what has worked in the past, but that the Requirements Engineering course challenged him to think differently about how he engages stakeholders during the various requirements phases.
Trevor found that learning when to use the right techniques was incredibly powerful, particularly using specific internal and external analysis techniques to derive a SWOT – instead of running a workshop and relying on people to brainstorm.
Here’s what Trevor had to say about his training experience:
Tell us a bit about yourself, Trevor.
I’ve been in business analysis for 10 years and I’m currently on sabbatical, having resigned from my previous role during August 2017 to explore some new options.
Beyond Business Analysis, I keep myself busy with:
- Hiking: 2 successful summits of Kilimanjaro to date
- Cycling: going for my 10th Cape Town Cycle tour ride in 2019
Why did you choose to take the requirements engineering course?
After taking a year off, I am keen to get back into the business analyst space and decided a good place to start off would be by completing this programme.
My expectations of The Business Analyst Bootcamp were to:
- Learn about the latest developments in the business analysis space
- Learn new techniques and skills so that I can add further value to a business
How will the course help you in your career?
The knowledge I’ve gained of strategic analysis techniques will certainly help me to better prepare effective business case’s in future – alongside the ability to perform investment appraisal’s when deciding on the viability of projects.
From a business process perspective it’s often difficult to find areas of improvement, specifically ways to implement them effectively and efficiently, but I’ve now got some good tools to do that, whilst causing minimal disruption to the business users.
Then when we moved on into requirements engineering, for the first time I saw the real relevance and true benefits of the use case.
What was your biggest learning - did you have an AHA! Moment?
That Use Case, as I said, was definitely one of them, especially for organising and categorising requirements.
Having a methodology, rather than just a notation, to follow when changing business processes – particularly working through the task analysis and human analysis of process activities – is another.
But pulling together specific techniques to derive a SWOT analysis, instead of running a workshop and relying on people to provide the SWOT, was a stand-out lesson (with a special mention to Porter’s 5 Forces and MOST of the PESTLE).
Oh, and, having the ability to use financial ratios to determine if a company is improving, that was pretty cool.
What did you enjoy most about your training experience?
Interactive classroom discussions guided by a skilled and knowledgeable facilitator.
Enough time is allocated to learn and understand the concepts presented and then to apply these learnings in classroom exercises. The opportunity to test your learnings by completing previous exam papers, further reinforced the learnings.
Plus, learning to write with a pencil again!
What would you tell someone who is considering doing this course?
We tend to stick with what we know and what has worked before.
But the programme gives you the opportunity to learn about when to use the right tools and techniques, and challenges you to think differently about engaging stakeholders in the requirements engineering process.
Overall it was good to review the value chain proposition and how this would / should drive your thinking; as it’s an often-forgotten step in the process, and to understand the various organisational structures and financial impacts that drive projects.
In the spirit of ‘keep growing’, what would you like to learn next?
Well, I’ve completed the four qualifying modules now – so the next stop is the preparation workshop and oral examination. Nearly there.
Additionally, I’d be keen to learn about Systems Modelling and Data Analysis techniques in more detail.
Trevor took the steps to challenge himself and is thinking differently about how he works as a business analyst. Are you ready to gear up? Download the Requirements Engineering course brochure now.