In conversation with Tshepo Matjila
By Lesogo Siti
Tell us three things about yourself?
- I am a management consultant specializing in Design Thinking and Business Analysis. I work for one of the leading independent management consulting companies in South Africa – IQbusiness.
- I am the new IIBA®-SA Regional Chair for the Johannesburg Region – a role I am enjoying and looking forward to fulfilling in the next year. The Joburg Region has the largest and most enterprising membership and community in the country. Our plans are audacious and, most are attainable. I am aiming to use my role to serve the community in defining the future of analysis in the country and internationally.
- I am a podcaster for the Turning Points podcast series available on Anchor (https://anchor.fm/turningpoints) and distributed across many leading platforms like iTunes and Spotify. The podcast is about celebrating and learning from people’s turning points or defining moments. I encourage everyone to listen to at least one podcast to experience the inspiration.
How long have you been practicing Business Analysis?
About 14 years. I switched to Business Analysis in the Spring of 2006 after a 21 month stint as an IT Auditor for one of the Top 4 IT Audit and Advisory companies in the country. This is one of the best career decisions I have ever made.
What is your current role?
My current role involves working with Financial Institutions to design digital products to delight customers. My role tends to vary depending on the assignment. It can range from a Product Owner one day, to an Analyst or Design Thinking consultant tomorrow. Quite an interesting space as I get to work closely with fintechs, business, developers and the creative team. I would like to do more work with customers in future, though.
How did you find the Business Analysis practice in SA compared to that of New Zealand?
I was in New Zealand for less than six months, so my view is limited to the interactions I have had and the assignments I have been on. But if I was forced to benchmark, I would say that I think we fare quite well given the macro- and micro-constraints which shape our work. I have worked with, and know of, brilliant analysts in this country. I think BA’s in New Zealand work on first-world-type problems and we do development on world-type solutions. Our challenges, our constraints and our diversity make us more resilient and marketable globally. We have become incredibly innovative in our outlook and approaches. You just have to see the number of South African analysts who are taking up space in New Zealand and other countries and doing great work there.
Socially, I am a keen reader, father, husband and farmer. My hands are always full
What are your interests?
Professionally, I want to see the role of the BA grow on projects and in organisations. I tend to believe, irrationally so, that we have more to give than most professions. If we all continue to disrupt ourselves and cross the chasm between analytical thought and intuitive thought, we will continue to be the engine of organisational change. Our BA toolkit is choc-full of great skills which makes us ideally placed to help organisations and people with wicked problems. Socially, I am a keen reader, innovation enthusiast, father, husband and farmer. My hands are always full.
What are you currently reading or watching?
This depends on whether it is for leisure or work. As a management consultant you have to read all the time in order to stay abreast of the trends and innovations in your industry. Having said that, I am currently reading a lot of Design Thinking, Agile and business analysis material. My leisure reading consists of biographies, personal leadership and innovation books. I am a fan of Malcolm Gladwell, Tim Brown and Whitney Johnson. I have a big backlog of books I need to finish reading – I need about 40 days and 40 nights to finish all my books ;-)
After a long day at work, what do you do to unwind/relax?
Typically, my day returns to me after 9pm, as my after-work routine consists of me trying to help the little guy with homework, playing with the littlest and catching up with the Missus on matters relating to the family, work and general. So my unwinding is primarily sleep - as I said, not enough hours in a day :)