Best Business Analyst Training, A 2016 Vantage Point

A friend of mine (also a certified PMP) sent me an email the other day which simply said, “Looking to get some Business Analyst training - any recommendations?”. I had to think about this a little bit because very little of what I know came from classroom training? As I pondered my response, I thought I'd invest a little extra time and see if I could make a blog post from my feedback.

The had a photographer taking pictures in my BA class for their brochure. I actually made my appearance as a cover model! Although, I guess they thought I looked more like the construction type!

CLASSROOM TRAINING
University of Washington has a plethora of certificate courses on a wide variety of subjects. I enrolled in three of these, (Software Product Management, Business Analysis & Business Intelligence) and each certification program is about 9 months long with 30 weeks of classroom training. 

The Certification In Business Analysis (https://www.pce.uw.edu/certificates/business-analysis) was excellent but expensive. I was reimbursed for the training by my employer at the time. Loved the first 10 week session with Gary Mesick and Shelly Lawrence! Gary reminded me of a "Bill Nye, The Science Guy" of business analysis and Shelly is equally awesome. For the second 10 weeks, I had Andy Miles and he is fantastic and I loved his approach to the content. All three of these trainers are warm, empathic, patient and funny! I give this a solid two thumbs up because two of the three courses have the same instructors I had (this being 2016 and I took the class in 2013). 

However, the entire cost of the course is about $4,000 when you factor in tuition, fees and books. Most of the books are not used that much in class and I've never seen a reason to use them since then. 

SPEAKING OF BOOKS, HERE ARE SOME AWESOME ONES
Software Requirements 3rd Edition - Wiegers and Beatty
Software Requirements Memory Jogger - Gottesdiener
BA Techniques, 72 Tools - Paul, Cadle and Turner
 - not specifically BA but awesome -
Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies - Demarco and many others

PMI HAS SOME AWESOME CONTENT
These were free when I got them and perhaps they still can be had for that low price!
Business Analysis For Practitioners - A Practice Guide  (200 + pages)
Requirements Management - A Practice Guide (90 + pages)

FREE CONTENT ON THE WEB
When I was starting out learning about the business analysis domain, I stumbled across BA Experts (http://businessanalysisexperts.com). They have a section called KnowledgeKnuggets™ and it is quite good. I haven't tried any of their training courses but I did consume one of their published books (Writing Effective User Stories) via the Kindle. Although the production quality of the book was a little homegrown, I found the quality of the material very good. Additionally, the Kindle version of the book is very reasonably priced and always available via the Kindle application for smart phones!

© 2016 Dwayne Wright