The BA profession has been evolving for several years, as evidenced by the changing versions of the BABOK® Guide. What is changing now is the pace of change. There are many factors that drive that accelerated pace. Technology change is certainly there as a factor, and remains an enabler of new things, but it is more than technology that drives change. It is also the business models themselves that are changing with the likes of Amazon, and online retail, and changes in whole industries, like cameras, music, and the taxi business. It is also in society itself, with changes in information access, and in the way we interact as people in social media, and more real time connections.
What does all this mean for us as BA’s. What do we think and feel about our career future, and the future of the profession? Are we as a profession still relevant? At IIBA®, we think about this every day, and have an opinion about this. We believe that the core of the profession is still relevant and viable. Certainly, there is still the need to work with the business and to solve problems, to analyze problems and solutions, and work with other professionals to design solutions that improve business outcomes.
What is different is that the pace of change is driving all of us to look at how we keep pace ourselves. The answer is that we need to become lifetime learners and continually look at the changes occurring and decide on which set of new things interest us professionally and learn about them and to “bolt them on” to our core knowledge. Career development is no longer just about defining the next job, and climbing the ladder of seniority. Career development now, more than ever, means growing our skills and competencies to meet that changing need for new skills that the marketplace needs.
These new skills include the same elements of hard skills and soft skills, and they require new tools and techniques to apply them. More than ever, they require good digital skills. They will require more depth of knowledge in some ways. They will require more speed, and faster ways to get to value, but they still all depend on a solid foundational knowledge built on good analysis skills, and good people skills.
IIBA is committed to keeping our Members relevant and that means we need to change, and we are very much on target to do that. We are listening to the market and evolving our own practices and evolving our products to keep them moving forward. This year, we rolled out a new Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide, and we also put out a new core model for competency. We also pushed forward a whole new set of initiatives under the Global Thought Leadership program. These are all just first steps and there is more to come.
More than ever, we need to engage with the community and we need each other as a community. We need to learn from each other’s experiences, we need to encourage each other, and we need to be inclusive of the many new changes in our profession. We need to collectively learn and grow, and we, as a profession, need to assure we have a voice at the table when changes in our business are being discussed. We need to become leaders and influencers. We are poised for a great journey into that new future and we, as individuals, as a profession, as a society, need to be ready for that journey. We will not only be a part of this journey, we will help lead the journey.