A blog written by Linda Parker, in our new registers team. Read more below about Linda’s experience at the European Business Analyst of the Year Awards.
For a few years now a friend of mine from the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysts) has been encouraging me to apply for the European Business Analyst of the Year Award.
Up until this year, 2018, I’ve resisted as I had always felt that I’d never quite met the criteria, or I’d not been on a project where I can show the full extent of my skills.
Then, in 2017, I joined the New Registers team working on the Landlord Register and all that changed.
The approach we were taking to the work on the Landlord Register seemed to align perfectly with the criteria for the BA of the Year Award.
The key criteria for the award was to demonstrate:
- Putting new skills into practice
- Exploring options
- Analysing requirements
As well as showing how I help out other Business Analysts, both within RoS and across the BA community within Scotland.
So why did the Landlord project align so well? …because it’s a brilliant example of a classic success story!
The project team inherited a live service that had many challenges to overcome:
- 32 Local Authorities (LAs) as stakeholders, all with varying wants and needs. Many with a poor perception of the service due to the level of incidents.
- Scottish Government (SG) stakeholder, with some different requirements to the LAs. SG were also the stakeholder funding the project.
- 1200 service incidents, and this number was still rising when we took over the project.
- Many of the service incidents were creating dead-end journeys, leaving the end user (the Landlord) unable to complete their journey.
- The team were trying to firefight on all fronts struggling to find a way forward.
Trying to overcome these hurdles was at first almost too difficult.
In the early days, the team worked closely with a couple of experts in their field; we learnt and put into practice new techniques to enable us to slow down development and focus on a few key areas.
- Reducing new defects and removing dead-end journeys
- Winning back customer trust by delivering what they needed, one thing at a time
We also examined how we were delivering features and the techniques employed, looking at enhancing the way in which we were splitting user stories to deliver small functionality often. Ultimately, encouraging immediate feedback from our customers.
We started to release functionality into production every week, and often a couple of times a week. In doing so, we were working ever more closely with our customers through the setting up of working groups for feature work.
With all of this great learning from within the team, I was able to use it as evidence for the Award.
Now, although we still have some work to do the Landlord register is in a great place:
- We have 251,000 users of the public site in the last year, 26,000 in last 28 days
- Incidents have dropped to less than 70 (instead of the previous 1200)
- Thanks to the creation of the working groups, Local Authorities (LA) are now more involved in the development process.
- We have a roadmap to work towards, currently being reprioritised by Scottish Government
The European BA of the Year Award was announced at the Business Analysis conference in London on 25th September. All finalists were invited to the conference to hear the announcement and to take part in the conference.
I was super excited when I found out a few weeks before that I had become one of the 8 finalists!
All of the finalists were brilliant (and mostly young!) – all but two of us were from big corporate finance companies and we were both from Scotland. In fact, he was from one of the LAs we work with regularly, Renfrewshire Council.
The conference was very good with four brilliant key note speakers (some details of these I’ll share internally through our Community of Practice).
Whilst I didn’t win on the day (this went to a BA from Allianz), I’m really pleased to be considered one of the top 8 Business Analysts in Europe J
I’m also delighted for the amazing Landlord Register team I work with (because there is actually no ‘I’ in team) and how their efforts over the past year have been recognised Europe-wide.
All in all, a very worthwhile experience.