Meet Abeda Essop: Strategic Business Analysis delegate

Johannesburg, 05 Jun 2017
Read time 3min 30sec

Abeda Essop, Senior Business Analyst at Old Mutual, shares her training experience, having recently completed the Strategic Business Analysis course.

Here's what Essop had to say about her training experience:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background, personally and professionally.

I've been in the IT industry most of my life, focusing on business analysis for most of my time in the industry. I still recall my first performance review, where I was advised to focus on the bigger picture and that's exactly what I set out to do.

I'm big on family time, and make time for immediate and extended family. I exercise my right-brain by baking and decorating cakes for special occasions, and spend a lot of time as close to the ocean as possible.

How did you transition to become a business analyst, and what keeps you in the profession?

I started my career as a developer and back then we simply accepted specifications and developed accordingly. I soon realised I'd rather be involved upfront, gathering and validating requirements and not merely implementing them.

One of my previous employers had faith in me, took a chance, and gave me an opportunity as a business analyst / systems analyst. As much as I enjoyed the systems analysis, I definitely enjoyed business analysis more.

What is your approach to continued professional development and lifelong learning?

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

Similarly, I believe it's insane to think one can continue to apply the same tools and techniques acquired many years ago, and expect to adapt to the ever-changing business and IT environment.

I strongly believe in continuous improvement, as applied in the workplace, and to my own professional and personal development.

What were your objectives for attending the course and were they met?

While I've completed various courses and degrees over the years, I last attended a formal business analysis course in 2005 and I was keen to attend this course for two specific reasons:

* To assess the validity of the methods I have been applying in my current role and compare these to what would be shared on the course.
* To learn about new tools and techniques I could apply on a daily basis.

Both these objectives were met.

Which was your favourite module in the course?


The Business Activity Model, and learning how to get to that stage.

Specifically, the CATWOE Analysis and how it leads to documenting the BAM.

Did you have a particular 'AHA!' moment?

I had a few.

On the first day I went home and applied OSCAR to a current document I was working on.

On day two I realised I never actually went into CATWOE detail, documenting and comparing the perspective of EACH stakeholder in a clear and concise manner. (I suppose you'll have to attend the course if you want to learn about OSCAR and CATWOE).

How do you plan to use the skills you learned on this course in your career?

As mentioned previously, I am already applying some of the tools. We also have a culture of knowledge sharing when we return from any course, so I'll be sharing what I've learnt with our BA Forum.

What would you say to someone who is considering doing the course?

Just do it, you won't regret the learnings, discussions, insights.

What BCMG course are you keen to study in the future and why?

Benefits Management - as this is often neglected once a project has been implemented.

How would you describe the BCMG training experience in one sentence?

Relevant, aimed at the right audience and very well managed in terms of time allocation, per topic.

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