Speaker Guidelines: Business Analysis Conference Europe

Call For Speakers: Business Analysis Conference Europe 2019

Business Analysis in an Ever-Changing World

The deadline for submissions has been extended to 8 March 2019.  

The Business Analysis Conference Europe 2019 will be held from 23-25 September 2019, 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 2018 we received over 130 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 2019:

Track 1: BA Core Skills

Track 2: Business Analysis & Intersecting Disciplines

Track 3: The BA as Trusted Advisor

Track 4: BA Personal Effectiveness and Behaviours

Track 5: Business Analysis in the Digital World

Track 6: And Now for Something Completely Different

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 Core Skills

It’s a great position to be in, working on a project confident in the knowledge that your mastery of the essential BA skills and techniques will enable you to tackle any business situation and help your stakeholders implement the right solution.

This track focuses on topics that will be of interest to Business Analysts who work at the project level and who wish to explore the core skills and techniques that would be used once projects have been identified and scoped. Main themes/topics could contain, but not be constrained to the following aspects of Business Analysis:

  • Business Modelling
  • Business Process Improvement
  • Data Modelling and Design
  • Requirements Definition and Management
  • Relationship Management
  • Benefits Management

Track 2: Business Analysis & Intersecting Disciplines

Business analysis is a crucial discipline that enables the delivery of effective change.  However delivery of change is a team sport, and it relies equally on the skills and competencies of our colleagues in related disciplines. In an increasingly fast moving world, we are likely to find ourselves facing complex and complicated problems to solve.  In order to respond quickly, we need to continue to build bridges with other disciplines, so that our organisations can be nimble and move quickly. In doing so we blur the boundaries–we become T-shaped–and we start to chip away at silos. We ‘borrow’ techniques from other disciplines, and share our techniques with them. Collectively we ‘learn our way through’ the tricky problem situations that our organisations throw at us.

This track focusses on topics, techniques and toolsets that complement, adjoin or overlap with business analysis. Sessions will provide practitioners with new perspectives on their analysis work, and will help to broaden our professional horizons. Possible topics include:

  • Business & Solution Architecture
  • Change Management
  • Systems Engineering & Development
  • Product Ownership, Innovation & Management
  • Project, Programme & Portfolio Management
  • Data Science & Data Analytics
  • … And many more!

Track 3: The BA as Trusted Advisor

Increasingly, business analysts are moving out of the confines of requirements engineering and facing a more active role alongside senior management in the shaping and, particularly, execution of strategy. This requires them to take on more leadership responsibilities and position themselves as ‘trusted advisors’ to senior managers.

This track will examine not just the techniques, but also the skills and behaviours that business analysts will need to succeed in this more challenging world, for example:

  • The role of the consultant as a ‘trusted advisor’ to senior management.
  • Techniques for gaining strategic insights.
  • Assessing and analysing enterprise and business architectures to bridge the gap between high-level strategy and detailed execution, in other words ‘telling the transformational story’.
  • Putting strategy into action; translating high-level aspirations into operational plans; ‘turning dreams into reality’.
  • Leadership skills for business analysts.
  • The personal characteristics of a business analyst who thrives in removing the ambiguity that exists in the consultancy role.

Track 4: BA Personal Effectiveness and Behaviours

There is plenty of commentary available on the importance of BAs having a depth to their personal skills, exhibiting the correct behaviours, and the crucial attribute, emotional intelligence. This track seeks to provide tangible insights in those areas that are often difficult to quantify and evidence.

We are also keen to hear from potential speakers who have insights on the mental or emotional well-being of the BA and how this can be preserved or improved. You could also be someone who has found that your personal traits or life experience makes the crucial difference in your effectives as a BA. Empathy and understanding can be as important as logical reasoning!

Speakers could provide current thinking on issues such as;

  • Being curious enough to care
  • Having the stamina and resilience to survive in an ever changing analysis world
  • Maintaining self and team motivation
  • Mastering difficult situations through negotiation

 Track 5: Business Analysis in the Digital World

The digital enterprise uses technology as an enabler to gain competitive advantage. This could be through:

  1. Providing engaged, responsive customer experiences (Customers)
  2. Uncovering trends based on data and analytics (Analytics)
  3. Providing personalised services (Services)
  4. Improving workflows in addition to straightforward automation (Processes)
  5. Offering automated responses, information and feedback where possible and helpful (Responses)
  6. Innovating and improving on a continuous basis (Innovations)

This track will offer presentations that relate to one or more of these six areas. Submissions are sought that will offer insights into the application of a Digital mindset and the potential impact upon the enterprise, and will answer questions such as:

  • How can Business Analysts help an enterprise apply the CASPRI elements from conceptualisation to delivery, and embed a digital philosophy?
  • Can business analysis help identify where the enterprise can benefit from a Digital focus and approach?

Track 6: And Now for Something Completely Different

Business analysis is not a profession for cookie-cutters. Inspired thought and duly considered approaches can achieve significantly better outcomes than a checkbox mentality. With that in mind, this track focusses on content that is novel, inspiring and practical. The sessions will be high-energy, with style of delivery as important as the content. Fundamentally we want to ‘wow’ our attendees, while offering valuable content in a style conducive to learning.

This track will encompass original and energising delivery of topics that:

  • Inspire the attendees to challenge their norms and adopt different approaches
  • Energise the room and build positivity
  • Deliver novel ideas that are relevant and applicable to the attendees and their organisations

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 2019.

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.

DO:

  • 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.

AVOID:

  • 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 2019.

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