Bursary Programme - 2018 - Next chapter of our student’s journey


The bursary recipients in the pilot programme are now ready for the exams.  It has been a path of learning, growth and making a difference in the community.  We are looking forward to seeing the difference that these individuals will make in their respective companies and their communities at large.

Our bursary recipients



Neo Letsaba

Then: Business Analysis for Neo was completely misunderstood.  She has been involved in analysis of some sort, but only to a level of checking and fixing, not really understanding the problem and never getting to the detail, enough to provide a meaningful solution.  She always questioned whether the methodology was understood and to what extent it was actually applied.  
Journey:  Neo realised that the problem is not always superficial.  She realised that through applying the BA principles and techniques, the cause of the problem is clearly identified whereby the BA can then provide a more guided suitable solution.  The programme teaches students to think beyond only the surface of an identified problem! 
Tops & Flops: For Neo it has been an improvement of her study method and she aims to focus on what is really expected from her as a BA.  How the path to successful analysis was perceived is vastly different from what is really out there.  Coming from a financial accounting background to her being exposed to more analytical thinking has been quite a challenging mind shift for Neo.  The objective of becoming a skilled BA has been strengthened and motivated through this programme.
Exam:  Neo has a 50/50 understanding of what the expectation is. However, applying her mind and focussing on the detail will assist Neo with the last step to writing the exam.  Currently her focus is on the detail and the facts not to be diluted by workplace experience and the ‘other’ world out there.



Duka Hlatshwayo

Then:  Duka’s tried validating his skills and techniques against something he did not quite understand but had been exposed to.   For him it was about how to apply what he has learnt over time.    
Journey:  Exposure to the programme has been an interesting road for Duka, being part of a community by joining as a volunteer, just contextualised his understanding of what business analysis is all about.  The opportunity for career development is endless. 
Tops & Flops: Being part of the Business Analyst community and networking has been quite a highlight for him.  Experienced a social gratification through applying shared principles.  He had his own challenges in not understanding the principles and techniques and then not knowing how to apply those principles in the real working environment.
Exam:  The exam will close a chapter on achieving my end goal for this programme, and setting the scene for the next goal.  The ECBA exam will be that end goal of achievement for hard work that paid off.



Robyn Bouillon

Then:  Robyn has been involved with Business Administration, dwelling in the shadow of BAs and coming to realise that it is time to come out of the shadows.  
Journey:  The ECBA journey enlightened that shadow and it opened a whole new world of potential opportunities.  It sparked the passion for becoming a skilled Business Analyst, building an exciting future.
Tops & Flops: The highlight for Robyn was interacting with the IIBA members, other volunteers, sharing knowledge and expertise and becoming part of the community.  Reading the BABOK has been a tough practical experience, not always easy to balance and segregate between the real world and theory.
Exam:  She is feeling prepared but still travelling the snail route to making that mind shift in realising that an exam is creeping up on her. 



Zandile Keebine

Then:  Zandile did not have any background in BA, it was a jump into the unknown.  In the environment she currently finds herself, it has just always been a ‘go with the flow’, do what is prescribed, not really questioning why things are done the way they are.  This is mostly due to a lack of understanding as to what business analysis is really all about, meaning you analysing the business.  Start with the problem not the solution. 
Journey: ECBA taught Zandile to focus on the problem, understand the detail then go to solution.  She realised that the way she currently works is completely different to what she should be doing.  The programme brought excitement into the learning, opening a new world of applying an established methodology.  As the only BA in an organisation, there is not a lot of support and sharing experiences; it has been hard to apply the rules and sometimes requires referring back to the theory rather than just speaking to a colleague. 
Tops & Flops: For Zandile it has been challenge balancing work and studying, even though it is only temporary.  Still adjusting to the pressure from work and studying, therefore at times a bit bumpy.  She is gaining momentum now that she understands what the goal is.  It was difficult at first for her to move from a bespoke approach to now having clear rules and guidelines.  She has been growing into her ‘new’ BA role, not just focussing on what is right but also how to articulate exactly what the project expectations are. 
Exam:  Making slow progress through the chapters, but confident that she will be 100% prepared for the exam.  She did the preparation exam, with disappointing results but good in the sense that now she understands what to focus on and how to remove current practice from BABOK theory. 



Ada Brand

Then:  Ada has been exposed to the methods and principles but could never determine when what is to be applied.  There was this uncertainty of not knowing what you know, what tools are applied and how to measure the expectation amongst resources.  There was a lack of clarity on what the tools are.    
Journey:  The programme was a learning experience, a practical exposure for Ada to be able to improve by understanding the tools and managing expectations. 
Tops & Flops: The highlight for Ada was all the various tools and techniques and how easy it is to apply once there is a clearer understanding.  ECBA gave her the best of all – collaboration, sharing, and support.  A challenge for her has been to try and find a balance between profession and personal.
Exam:  She is stressed, but has committed to studying hard, and for now that is all she is focussing on.  The difficulty is slicing out the grey areas.  BABOK is only right or wrong, no maybe.