Speaker Guidelines: Business Analysis Conference Europe

Call For Speakers: Business Analysis Conference Europe 2019

We will be issuing the call for speakers for our 2019 conference in February 2019.  If you would like to be informed when this has been published please e-mail jeremy.hall@irmuk.co.uk and mention which conference you would like to receive the call for speakers for.   To give you some guidance of what to expect you can view the 2018 Call for Speakers below as the 2019 format will be similar to the one below.

For information on sponsorship opportunities including sponsored speaking sessions please contact shane@irmuk.co.uk

Call For Speakers: Business Analysis Conference Europe 2018

Building Business Analysis Professionalism

The deadline for submissions has been extended to 8 March 2018.  

The Business Analysis Conference Europe 2018 will be held from 24-26 September 2018, and will be held in London, UK. The conference is organised by IRM UK and the Conference Advisory Panel which includes representatives from the UK Chapter of the International Institute of Business Analysis® (IIBA®), BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and Assist Knowledge Development Ltd.

We are looking for a range of session stylesincluding interactive workshops and standard conference sessions. We aim to offer a good balance across all the tracks of styles, topics, experiences and case study examples. You will be asked to indicate the Audience Skill level addressed: Basic, Medium, Advanced, All Levels, when completing your application. Workshops run on the first day and should last for three hours; standard presentation sessions take place on the 2nd and 3rd day, and should last for 50 minutes (including 10 minutes for questions), however, there will also be some 20 minute session slots (including 5 minutes for questions) available.

Presentation Proposals

Proposals are now being accepted from potential speakers. The Advisory Panel is looking for speakers who can provide information, insights and experiences on topics related to business analysis. Do you have a subject you wish to discuss with an informed audience? Is there a member of your team who has some interesting experiences to share? Could you or anyone in your team offer a presentation that would provide an interesting contribution to the conference? If so, we invite you to submit a presentation proposal.

We anticipate that there will be a large volume of submissions this year. In 2017 we received over 140 submissions, which meant we were only able to select one in three speaking proposals, and we’re expecting an even larger uptake this year. As such, it’s important that your proposal is focused, adheres to the conference guidelines and offers something engaging and useful; this way you can ensure it has the best chance of being selected.

We asked some of our previous speakers about their experiences. While they all found the experience rewarding, they commented that preparing a polished presentation takes time. The BA Conference Europe is a community driven conference so you don’t need to be a professional presenter. However, you do need to ensure that you will have time available to design and practise your presentation before the day. Our speakers tell us that this often takes longer than they had originally thought so please only put a proposal forward if you are confident that you will have sufficient time available.  Throughout the process, members of the Conference Advisory Panel will provide feedback on proposed presentations and will be available to assist you should you have any questions or require support.

If you are provisionally selected, we will ask you for a one-page synopsis of your presentation; this synopsis should offer an outline of the storyline.  Once the synopsis has been received and reviewed we will then confirm you as a speaker.  To ensure that we treat all proposals fairly, we may also ask follow-up questions once you have submitted your submission and possibly ask you to attend a short interview via phone. During the period leading up to the conference, your slides will be reviewed and you may be asked to make changes in order to ensure that they are of a good standard. Members of the Conference Advisory Panel will provide ongoing support, collaboration and advice to all selected speakers.  This is what you need to do:  submit proposal > get shortlisted > submit one page synopsis> draft presentation > work with track leaders > finalise presentation > rehearse > present > take a bow!

The Conference Tracks in 2018:

Track 1: BA Careers

Track 2: Techniques

Track 3: People

Track 4: Innovation

Track 5: Leadership and Governance: the 5Ps of a BA Community

These tracks are described in further detail below. In your submission, you should state the subject track you feel is most appropriate for your proposed presentation and explain why.

Track 1: BA Careers

Business analysis is an essential discipline for achieving successful change.  More and more organisations are recognising the skills that their BAs possess, as well as the value that good quality analysis can bring throughout the business change lifecycle.  Employers are increasingly offering a business analysis career path that has multiple entry points and routes for individual development.

This track will showcase presentations that offer personal insights into career journeys or offer organisational case studies and stories, for example:

  • The maturing profession: How teams have achieved recognition of the extent of the BA role and how teams have supported the development and growth of their practitioners.
  • The BA ‘Swiss-army knife’: The many and different roles business analysts play in their organisations. How BAs have adapted to different organisational contexts, delivery methodologies and delivery constraints.
  • Learning at the Intersections: Discussion of how the BA role interacts and collaborates with other disciplines, and how a good BA must be ‘T-Shaped’.
  • Key skills in career development: Stories from practitioners and teams related to how a BA can develop and grow. The professional learning to support career development.
  • BA career paths: Discussion of different routes into, through and beyond the BA role. The stepping stones provided by business analysis into other roles.

Track 2: Techniques

Techniques provide the basis for business analysis work and this track focuses on developing your ability to select and apply the wide range of tools and techniques which are available to the professional business analyst. This track has instructional and engaging presentations which include outcomes achieved to enable you to put the techniques to practical use.

This track is structured around the techniques that can be employed in the following elements of the business analysis service portfolio:

  • Shaping and Scoping – Understanding the context, problems, opportunities and scope for a business change
  • Feasibility Assessment and the Business Case – Investigating options and assessing the viability of a proposed business change
  • Process Improvement – Analysing business processes and proposing beneficial changes
  • Requirements Definition – Eliciting, analysing, validating, documenting and managing requirements
  • Transition and Change Management – Assisting organisations in accepting and deploying business changes
  • Benefits Management – Identifying, planning and managing the benefits of a change project
  • Stakeholder Liaison – Working with stakeholders to facilitate positive change outcomes.

Track 3: People

Change is not just about IT systems and processes, it is fundamentally connected to people. So, it is vital that business analysts are skilled in dealing with the wide range of people and characteristics they encounter as they perform their role. The People track will examine the human side of business analysis, ranging from subjects such as the inter-personal skills and behaviours that make Business Analysts unique, the process of change itself, through to the dynamics of the teams and organisations the BA operates within. It will also look at ways of keeping mentally alert and healthy in the face of what can be a stressful workload and ever-evolving role.

This track will provide an opportunity to learn and discuss a wide range of topics including:

  • The Team BA – working within and influencing teams, understanding the dynamics to inter-personal relationships and how to win the influencing game
  • The BA as Leader – how BA’s lead organisations through change, whether from within teams, through strategic analysis or direct application of their skills and experience
  • The Balanced BA – hints and tips on maintaining your wellbeing and work/life balance
  • The Cultured BA – understanding how organisational culture can assist or hinder the BA and conversely, the effect a BA has on the culture around them

Track 4: Innovation

Innovation is not just an overused buzzword, it is also a fundamental component of change, creating value from ideas. Business analysts are in a prime position to instigate and drive innovation forward, using skills and behaviours that promote idea generation and creativity, through to delivery of successful outcomes. We invite speakers to share presentations that encompass the potential for innovation at the individual and organisational level, providing attendees with skills or inspiration to enhance their BA role.

This track will encompass thoughtful and energising presentations covering topics such as:

  • Strategy – How an innovation strategy supports the business strategy. The considerations for sustainable incremental and radical innovation.
  • Collaboration – Successful innovation requires teamwork, stakeholder management, and influencing skills, all good BA attributes. Networking also, where innovative product or process improvements require the support of multiple entities.
  • Creativity & Innovation Techniques – Techniques, skills and behaviours that BAs can adopt and refine that will enable them to excel when innovating.
  • Measurement – How to measure innovation. Design and implementation considerations for effective innovation performance measurement.

Track 5: Leadership and Governance: the 5Ps of a BA Community

Business analysis communities form both within and across organisations to provide leadership and governance, determine and distribute standards, support learning and career progression, and ultimately, convince senior executives of the business analysis value proposition. Therefore, the cornerstones of a successful Business Analysis community may be categorised as: Placement, Proposition, Position, Promotion and Product.

This track will offer sessions that discuss and provide insights into these areas, including:

  • Placement: The business analyst identity in the changing world of business
  • Proposition: Developing the business analysis service and value propositions, whilst improving professionalism
  • Position: Leading and maintaining an effective and efficient business analysis community
  • Promotion: Promoting and advocating the business analysis service offering
  • Product: Defining, communicating and adopting standards for effective business analysis practice

Sponsorship and Exhibit opportunities

There are sponsorship and exhibit opportunities available at the conference. If you wish to discuss these further, please contact Shane McGlynn at shane@irmuk.co.uk.

Speaker Guidelines

If you feel you can offer a presentation that would align with one or more of the subject tracks then please see below for speaker guidelines; these will help you prepare a successful abstract. These guidelines set out the requirements for speakers at the Business Analysis Conference Europe 2018. Please read them carefully before you make your submission.

If you have any questions about submissions, please direct them to Jeremy Hall at jeremy@irmuk.co.uk and Shane McGlynn at shane@irmuk.co.uk. Presentation proposals must be submitted by 8 March 2018.

Presentation Styles

We are looking for the following presentation styles:

  1. 3 hour pre-conference workshops.
  2. Conference Presentation mainly 50 minute sessions (including 10 minutes for questions), however, we will also accept some 20 minute sessions (including 5 minutes for questions).

Submissions: We expect to receive a large number of submissions for this conference and to take a wide range of factors into account in making selections, in particular the need to provide a balanced programme. A shortlist of the most promising abstracts is sent to the Advisory Panel for review before a final decision is made.

Please submit your abstract directly on the IRM website using the submission form. You may submit more than one abstract and you can do this across tracks. Your abstract should be between 120 and 150 words and should describe clearly the presentation content. Please also add three to five bullet points at the end to summarise what attendees will learn from attending your session. You will also be required to submit a short biography of up to 150 words.

Bear in mind that your abstract needs to be sufficiently polished for inclusion in the conference brochure and must achieve the following objectives:

  • Provide enough information for us to evaluate your submission relative to others.
  • Be attractive to conference attendees and help them to select the sessions most valuable to them, given their interests and the level of maturity of their business analysis experience.

Your biography will also be included on the conference website.

You can view last years agenda here where you will be able to view session copy and speaker biographies

Achieving selection

Based on previous conference feedback and programme assessments, here are some tips to help you maximise the chances of your proposal being selected.


  • Be specific and concrete about what you will be presenting and how the audience will benefit from it. Use the bullet points to highlight the key ‘takeaway’ messages.
  • Demonstrate real-world achievements, showing examples of business analysis work/experience if possible and describing relevant outcomes.
  • Aim to engage and challenge the audience with fresh insights and ideas.
  • Ensure that your presentation is really relevant to this conference and the particular track.


  • Submitting a presentation proposal that is a means of selling your products, services or organisation. This is not well-received by conference audiences so the Advisory Panel will exclude such presentations.
  • Exceeding the word count limit.
  • Trying to cover too much ground in the time available.
  • Putting forward unsubstantiated theories or opinions.
  • Using vague abstractions and jargon.

If you have presented recently at another conference on a similar subject matter, we suggest that you indicate this on the submission form (under additional comments) and indicate how this presentation is different from the earlier presentation.

If you are not sure whether your presentation is suitable, please contact Jeremy Hall (jeremy@irmuk.co.uk ) or Shane McGlynn (shane@irmuk.co.uk) to discuss your ideas before making your submission.

Please note that abstracts that are longer than the specified length may be shortlisted, but will be edited down by us to fit the brochure and presented back to you for approval.

You will be notified whether your submission has been provisionally accepted by April 2018.

Click here to submit your proposal by completing the Application Form.