Skip to content Forget the Titles. Follow Your Passion

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Forget the Titles. Follow Your Passion.

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I recently had a discussion with Yves Nicole, the President of the IIBA Montreal Chapter and 2020 Volunteer of the Year for Americas Northeastern Region. Talking to the Volunteers of the Year is one of my favourite activities every year. It is like coming home, being with family. It is so inspiring to chat with people who share the same passions. Equally, it is also an opportunity for important personal career reminders. 


Good, bi-directional mentoring is a key component to any career, at all stages.


Like many, Yves came to IIBA while pursuing certification. As a consultant, he was looking to bolster his already extensive resume with some additional credentials. In doing so, he met a similarly motivating practitioner in Georges Bryson, 2019 Volunteer of the Year for Americas Northeastern Region. He was soon volunteering for the Chapter Board, initially as the Treasurer, where he implemented new financial processes and technology for the Chapter. As a volunteer, he and his team have translated the BABOK® Guide into French, strengthening the shared practice and terminology of business analysis (and IIBA) both linguistically as well as geographically. 

Beyond his IIBA volunteerism though, Yves provided me with some very key personal professional reminders – ones that I think that we sometimes neglect, especially as we mature in our careers. Hopefully, these are good reminders for you as well. 

  • Follow your passion – When discussing his career, Yves acknowledged that he found consulting early – immediately out of college. He knew right away that he had a consultant’s heart. After an extensive career and even 25 years as an entrepreneur, Yves returned to consulting. He reminds us that we should all find what we love. 

  • Forget the titles – In a world that is hyper-focused on business analysis titles, I asked Yves what his title is….His response…Senior Business Analyst, Agilist, Project Manager, Solution Architect, Business Architect, etc. He emphasized that we play major and minor parts of all of these roles in our projects. It is less about the title that you have and more about the specific goal you are seeking to achieve. This is particularly pertinent feedback in a time when the business analyst title seems to equate to specific job functions to some organizations. The key to remember is that regardless of your title, you are accomplishing the same goal; and the skills you acquire (whether through practice, mentoring, or certification) are paramount to your success in achieving those project goals. 

  • Be humble and be resilient – I am in awe of Yves’s humility. He acknowledged that the business he ran with his brother for over 25 years did not end as successfully as he had hoped. Equally, he confessed that his first attempt at passing the CBAP had not been successful either. Regardless of these stumbles, it is clear that Yves has learned from these experiences; he applies his lessons learned to continue on to his next project and endeavor. The first CBAP exam could not have stalled him too much – all totaled, he has 10 certifications! 

  • Seek mentors – If you read this blog frequently, you see continual references to the value of mentorship. In last month’s blog, we interviewed two new Business Analysis professionals, who championed the value of their mentors. As we mature in our careers, the value of mentoring does not diminish. In fact, Yves referenced the importance of his mentors during those trying entrepreneurial times. The mentors enabled him to step back and think outside of himself and his present situation. Now, Yves has the opportunity to give back himself by being a mentor to young professionals entering the business analysis practice.

    Good, bi-directional mentoring is a key component to any career, at all stages. Do you have people that you consider mentors? If not, why not? Is it time to re-invest in those relationships that can support and inspire? Would an IIBA Chapter meeting be a good place to start? 

Thank you to Yves for sharing the passion for his craft as well as his inspirational career reminders! If you would like to know more about the IIBA Montreal Chapter, please visit its website at

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About the Author:  
Koryn Anderson

Koryn Anderson enjoyed a couple of careers before finding her ultimate one. She has been a business analyst for more than 10 years and is currently a Lead Business Analyst at Baird. She is passionate about the BA discipline, has her CBAP® certification, is Past President of the Southeast Wisconsin Chapter, and is the current Communications Director for the Global Chapter Council.