Blackmetric Business Solutions
BA Digest: September/October Edition
Your round-up of BA links from around the web
Welcome to the September/October edition of BA Digest., your regular round-up of BA related links and content from around the web. There's so much in this edition, that I'll keep this intro short.  One new online event that I'd particularly draw your attention to is the #BAFringe -- a monthly livestreamed 'TV show' that celebrates ideas at the edges of business analysis.  If you missed the first episode, check out the recording here and be sure to register for episode two.
I hope that you find this edition of BA Digest interesting.
Coffee Break Reading
Ten thought provoking articles from a range of authors around the web, each of which can be read in ten minutes or less
1. The Context Diagram:  In this article on the KBP Media blog, Kent McDonald explains what a context diagram is and why we should care.  If you aren't using context diagrams at the moment this is a 'must read' article!
2. Avoiding the “Solution Illusion” with Pre-Project Problem Analysis:  Ever found that stakeholders focus on solutions without understanding the underlying problem situations? This article on the IRM Connects blog advocates taking a 'thin slice' through the why, the what and the how.
3. User stories vs tasks vs epics. Are we missing the point?: In this thought provoking article, Agile Andy asks whether it really matters how we split backlog items.  
4. To Re-estimate or not; that is the question:  Mike Cohn of Mountain Goat Software gives his views on estimation and re-estimation, a topic that can be very tricky...
5. The Best Zoom Keyboard Shortcuts: Using Zoom? You'll love this article by Dave Johnson on the Business Insider website.
6. Perhaps We Should Welcome ‘Process Saboteurs’?:  When people don't follow 'official' process, sometimes there's a good reason.  Should we welcome this 'sabotage'?
7.How to Brainstorm Remotely: When working remotely, it's necessary to adapt our facilitative approaches.  This Harvard Business Review article by Art Markman provides tips for brainstorming where attendees are not in the same location.
8. Why We Are So Bad At Defining Problems: In this article, Paul Taylor argues that we should fall in love with problems not solutions.
9. The Art Of The Releasing Hand: Ever wondered if you need to let go of some things in order to progress? David Beckam explains why this is important.  (if you like this article, be sure to check out David's webinar 'Travelling Light: The Baggage Free BA')
10. The Obviousness Trap: Ever wondered what double yellow lines could tell us about mismatched understanding? Wonder no more, this article explains!
Do you enjoy our coffee break reading section? Follow us on LinkedIN for regular reading suggestions.
Webinars & Online Events
Our #BACommunity webinars and events are all completely free to attend, so feel free to pass the details on to anyone else who might be interested in attending. 
Upcoming Courses 
BA Conferences
A whole number of BA events and conferences have been re-scheduled or have transitioned to run as virtual or hybrid events. It's really important that as a community we continue to support these events as many conference organisers will have been impacted by the 'lockdown'. As soon as the lockdown is lifted and it's safe to do so, let's support the conferences that have supported our community for so long! Here are just some of the conferences that you should have firmly on your radar:
Austin Business Analysis Development Day: Austin, Texas 18th Sep (virtual event)
BA Conference Europe: London, 21st-23rd Sep (virtual event)
BA Summit Southern Africa: Cape Town/Johannesburg, 5th-6th Oct (virtual event)
Building Business Capability: Las Vegas, NV, USA 19th-23rd Oct ** Use code BMETRICLV2020 for a 20% discount! ** (virtual event)
BA & Beyond: Amsterdam & Brussels, 12th-13th Oct & 26th Oct
Business Change & Transformation Conference Europe: London, UK 26th-29th Oct (virtual event)
BA Istanbul: Istanbul, Turkey: 1st-2nd Dec  (virtual event)
BA World: Toronto, Canada, 14th-17th Dec
Minneapolis & St Paul Professional Development Day: Minneapolis, MN, USA, 20th Apr 2021
European BA Day: Frankfurt-on-the-main, Germany, 30th April 2021
BA Life: Edinburgh, Scotland, 3rd June 2021
Additionally, be sure to connect with your local IIBA chapter, as there are regular chapter events around the world too. For those of you in the UK, be sure to check out the IIBA UK chapter.
Thanks once again, I hope to see you somewhere (virtually) soon....

Kind regards,
Adrian Reed
Principal Consultant
Blackmetric Business Solutions Ltd
Business analysis consulting & training

T: +44 (0) 23 9298 4546
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