How to get your copy of the book
The book is available from a huge range of booksellers, both online and offline. Here are the three main options for purchasing it online. To buy it, click on the image of whichever option suits you best:
How the book is laid out
The book takes a framework for leadership, starting off with a focus on the self, then leading within your project, then moving out to leading across your organization and, finally, leading in the wider world. Here’s the picture:
The book starts off by exploring how you can work on yourself to become a leader, with contributions on:
- Facilitative leadership
This section concludes with a question: ‘Are you waiting to be annointed?
The next section looks at all aspects of leadership within your own project:
- Working with project managers
- Difficult stakeholders
- Visual thinking
- Design thinking
Effective business analysis deals more widely than just the project, so leadership across the organization is important. We look at:
- Operating effectively
- Context, climate and culture
- Global working
- Systems thinking
- Power and Politics
- Strategic thinking
The section ends with an opinion piece entitled: ‘Leading from the Middle’
In the wider world
The best business analysts will have a reach well beyond their organizations. You can read more in this section about:
- The leadership role
- Thought leadership
- Ethics and fair process
The section ends with an inspiring piece about being a change agent and an endpiece story, which integrates business analysis, creativity and play.
The story of how the book came into being
Penny Pullan tells the story.
Early in 2012, Kogan Page contacted me with the idea of a book about Business Analysis. My instant reaction was: ‘Book – what a lot of work!’, closely followed by: ‘What an honour to be invited to write a book by a publisher!’ It took a while to reconcile the two, but talking with friends in the business analysis world convinced me that
we could produce a better book by working together. The particular focus of the book would be leadership, surely a key skill for any effective business analyst?
I asked James Archer if he would be prepared to co-edit a book with me and bounced a lot of ideas off Emma Langman, who helped me to finalise the leadership framework I had in mind. We worked closely with our commissioning editor, Julia, who was brave enough to come along to an IIBA UK event in an underground bar in the City of London. It was packed out with around 150 business analysts attending. I think that convinced her that there was a potential audience for the book!
Then the hard work started. James and I had to think of leadership topics pertinent to the BA role and spread them over the four levels of our leadership framework (self, project, organisation and the wider world). Once we had the topics, we needed to choose the best person to write each chapter. The chapters needed to be short and useful, as BAs are busy people without much time to spare! Luckily, we had a marvellous set of authors and almost everyone said ‘Yes!’. In the autumn of 2012, chapters began to come in and the book began to take shape. James and I each wrote several chapters and web resources too.
The trouble with Business Analysts can be that they really want to come up with a really great solution. This happened to us editors as well! We ended up exceeding the inital word-limit by half as much again. Admittedly this wasn’t just our fault. Our authors had so much great stuff to say about their chapters that they consistently blew their word limits too. In the end, our long-suffering editor Julia agreed and increased word length. Kogan Page designed the book really cleverly, choosing a font that allowed many more words per page than normal, while keeping a really clear and easy to read look.
As well as blowing our word-limit, we blew our timescales too. I think that publishers expect that as they managed to cope with a three month delay in receiving the manuscript (well, really files on DropBox!) and still delivered the printed books on time in September 2013.
So, now as I write this in September 2013, the book is complete and we’re developing this website to provide a great resource to complement the book. In addition, we’re bringing together programmes to help business analysts to develop their own leadership, as well as leadership qualities across their BA practices. Our biggest hope is to create a conversation about the role of the BA and to inspire people to aim to lead themselves, their projects, across their organisations and even into the wider world!