From humble beginnings to international acclaim – but above all making a huge positive impact
Listening to the rumble surrounding business analysis
There was the constant noise of ‘immutable failure’, the findings from numerous industry studies, year on year, indicating that “project failure is the industry standard”.
Much of the ‘rubble’ was laid at the door of business analysis – via poor, missed and misunderstood requirements. Yet whilst these studies identified symptoms, none of them went as far as looking for the root causes
Then while Joe Newbert was presenting ‘Steps To Business Analysis Competency Success’ at a local chapter meeting, and commenting on the underlying key reasons for the current state of affairs, he was struck by the thought that whilst he intuitively knew what he was stating was true he had a shallow statistical basis to back up his opinion.
The birth of Inter-View (not that it was called that back then)
In September 2013 Business Change Academy launched the inaugural business analysis survey aimed specifically at practitioners and how it’s performed on the ground. A knowledge-gathering exercise contributed to by real people with hands-on experience.
The results painted a #BAPortrait to address the lack of available information and ultimately help companies leverage the true value of business analysis for successful business change.
With the data in hand (albeit in a bit of a makeshift format), Joe started sharing the findings and this soon reached Mohamed Bray who latched onto the value for his team of business analysts at Saratoga.
Switching on the lighthouse
Encouraged by the bigger picture shift the results provided, Joe and Mo knew the information could help steer better business analysis in organisations far and wide.
With generous support from Mark Gebhardt, a small team was shaped with Tracy Gander giving much-needed marketing strategy and design polish to the concept. And so now with a new name and some slicker branding the Inter-View Report was ready to reach the hands of people that could make an everyday difference.
The Inter-View Report officially hit the newsstands
A flyer for the first edition was drawn up, including a link to get a copy of the electronic report. And after being published on ITWeb and handed out at the Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa 2014 taking place in Johannesburg the downloads started to flow.
(Happily given freely in exchange for the persons’ contact details – purely to extend the subscriber base and build future survey data reach, a value we still hold true today).
Next, people started to share the findings at conferences, on presentations and in meetings.
The research started to be referenced online by companies interested in the figures, their meaning and what it could do for business.
The insights were resonating.
Plus it even made it into the Entrepreneur South Africa magazine, as well as finding dizzy new heights on-board SAA Express flights as a complementary read!
Giving rise to the popular (and much prized) magazine
The 2015 edition saw a new format that complemented the survey results with industry narrative – the idea of giving context through content – by including authentic stories (not advertorials) and transforming the Inter-View Report into a community magazine.
The report doubled to 74 pages, brimming cover to cover with features, articles and Q & A’s alongside all the numbers.
But crucially, the content was not exclusively from business analysts or exclusively for business analysts.
Throughout the survey and the magazine, Inter-View seeks to engage ALL relevant stakeholders in business analysis – painting a 360° business and IT perspective, from the C-Suite to the Subject Matter expert and from the Project Sponsor to the change manager.
And it’s with this edge that Inter-View is breaking down silos. It’s about knowing that business analysis is not exclusive to business analysts. And it’s about knowing that the success of business analysts extends beyond business analysis.
Appropriately, the very first industry conversation talked about how Business Analysts are the CEOs Army with Ian Mann (which Joe still considers the most valuable ‘personal’ hour he’s spent on Inter-View).
Snowballing interest from the worldwide community
Having been impressed by the nature of the publication, Ryan Folster (then IIBA-SA Chapter President) had the vision for the IIBA South Africa Chapter to get involved as a supporter in 2015 (with the IIBA-SA supporting every volume since).
Plus with a growing interest from other African countries, the Inter-View Report 2015 decided to go continental and see how it could help across Africa.
The momentum built, and for 2016 Inter-View opened its survey doors to a global audience for the first time
Finding traction in 13 countries.
And the magazine content was crafted with the interests of this international community firmly at heart.
2017 grew even further still, with the PMI joining to contribute to the conversation from a content perspective.
Then with all the social chatter happening, Inter-View caught the eye of Tim Coventry from Business Analysts Pty Ltd (BAPL) in Australia. Tim called Joe up, and together they rallied to publish a special edition of the magazine for Australia, supported by the IIBA Australia Chapter and launched at their Business Analysis Professional Day.
Inter-View had truly gone international.
All the while broadening the fan base
Without interest from the community, Inter-View would be a non-starter.
And with 10,000+ downloads, the reports are in demand. The subscriber list has grown steadily over the four editions, yet the challenge is to convert readers into respondents.
(Please click here to get notifications and pledge to share your input when the survey next opens.)
And during this time the reporting team has grown wonderfully too, with more and more people grabbing the opportunity to help shape the initiative.
In order of appearance: Joe Newbert, Mohamed Bray, Rafieqah Isaacs, Charlotte Keuris, Ryan Folster, Charlene Seini, Belinda Knol, James Neethling, Noelene Noone, Jéan Raath, Agnieszka Ceitil, Dorothy Mhlanga, Gareth Jones and Bryce Undy.
Before a brief hiatus
Quite simply, Joe needed to focus his energy elsewhere. So the Inter-View Report was shelved for 2018 and 2019.
But we’ll be back in 2020
You can’t keep a good idea down.
And that’s the story so far
The report reveals pragmatic insight to improve understanding of the business analysis population and its practices, providing a critical benchmark in terms of its impact on project delivery and growth of the profession year on year.
Inter-View has established itself as a platform for practical improvement – a #baportrait where the business and IT projects community at large collaborate and learn from contemporary business analysis and change influencers.
Our huge thanks to you for joining us on this journey, and we look forward to you continuing to be a part of this remarkable story.
The next chapter for the Inter-View survey and report
Doing this is fun. But, we’ll be honest, it’s tough-going too.
We have some big, hairy ideas. But given the nature of this initiative (it’s brought to you for free, by a core team of volunteers, with bundles of energy, and a spot of money) it means that we cannot say for sure what the future will bring.
Is there a way you can help?
- Every share counts – if you like what we do please pass it on to your network
- Do you know someone with a story worth telling? We’d love to hear it.
- Fancy becoming an Inter-View reporter?
- Link with us as a professional association or a local chapter to collect insights on your region(s)
- People seem to respond to cool freebies and prize giveaways! Can you donate something as simple as a copy of a book, a virtual coaching session or a complimentary conference pass?
- We’re keen to enable people to leverage more insights from the data themselves by making the results available and interrogable online – can you assist?
- And (obviously) we’re always super happy to welcome new sponsors on board to help us invest in taking Inter-View even further
If you can help with any of the above or have something else in mind – please do get in touch with the team.