IIBA-SA Successfully Pilots an Outreach Programme

As part of the IIBA®-SA Strategy Session at the beginning of the year, volunteers and IIBA®-SA board members decided to form an outreach programme project. The first outreach took place at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where Cape Town IIBA®-SA Volunteers presented to the 3rd year and Honours Information Systems students. It was great to also have the presence of Francois Combrinck (CBAP®) from the IIBA South Africa Chapter board at the lecture.
The following topics were covered:

- Introduction to IIBA® and the various membership and certification criteria - What is a Business Analyst?
- How do you become a Business Analyst? (BA as a profession) - How do you become a successful BA? (Skills, Competencies)
- Personal Project Experiences (Tools and techniques used) - How to contact IIBA®

“The lecture was very interactive and it was presented in a way which encouraged engagement” said Larissa Raga. She continued to say “The key interest areas were surrounding the personal project experiences and tools and techniques that are available. Students seemed to be most concerned about the actual responsibilities of a Business Analyst and asked for insight on what a typical day of Business Analysis includes. Being the lead on this initiative has made me realise how important it is to introduce learners and students to the field of Business Analysis so that they can start envisioning their career path at an early stage. “
Francois Combrinck, Head of Professional Development for IIBA®-SA, made the following observation:
“Interacting with the Information Science Final Year and Honours students at UCT made it clear that Business Analysis has grown into a profession that university graduates aspire to. At a time when “disruption” has become the word of the day, there could be no more exciting time to spend your working life delivering value to stakeholders and it looks like this group of aspiring BAs are more than up for the challenge. “
An interesting achievement was that the lecture turned a group of students who knew little to nothing about IIBA® into a group of potential brand ambassadors who were keen to get involved and find out more about the Chapter.
Kudakwashe Kandemiiri had the following to say “If we can reach out to students at universities across the country we can increase the Business Analysis footprint and encourage more students to aspire towards a career in Business Analysis. “
The following are some of the questions asked by students:

  • Why did you join IIBA®?
  • How would you describe the typical day of a Business Analyst?
  • As a Business Analyst in a Systems Development project, do I need to know how to code?
  • What are some of the challenges you faced when starting your career as a Business Analyst?
  • What is the industry average salary for a junior Business Analyst?
  • What is the difference between Business Consulting and Business Analysis as a profession?
  • What role does a Business Analyst take in ensuring Information Security?
  • What advice can you give me as someone that is about to start my career?
  • I feel like I do not know enough to get into the working world, how best can I prepare myself?

The above are only a few of the questions asked, both during and after the presentation. Students were very interested in the Business Analysis field, and in finding out what to expect when they start working as a Business Analyst.
Lucy Davies, Secretary for the Board of the IIBA South Africa chapter proudly commented that When IIBA-SA hosted the Strategy-to-Execution" workshop earlier in the year, Outreach was one of the identified projects, and what a great asset this team has become for IIBA-SA. “
She further was of the opinion that “This team have really applied themselves and made it happen. They are dedicated, focused and action people. They visited UCT and gave the low down on what it is, who does, why it is done and how business analysis helps companies to overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities.”
The IIBA-SA chapter looks forward to further developing the programme and adding more value to the profession in South Africa.