BA Academy’s Voice of the Community (VOC)
Episode 11 (Susan Moore) - The Business Analyst’s Role on COTS Projects

Episode 11 (Susan Moore) - The Business Analyst’s Role on COTS Projects

February 26, 2020

In this episode – we speak with Product Management professional Susan Moore to explore how to address the business analysis activities on a Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) project. Many business analysts make the BIG mistake of applying the same approach, practices and analysis techniques from custom built solutions to COTS solutions – but there are many differences to understand. Join us as we address these differences by walking through each of the 6 business analysis knowledge areas while discussing how your role and work needs to be tailored to support a COTS implementation.   

Susan Moore is a product management professional with more than 20 years of experience in the finance, insurance and utilities industries working on the Business and IT sides of technology as a business analyst, business architect and product owner. Her focus these days is on business analysis leadership and incorporating agile practices into the work of business analysts. Susan writes on these topics at  Susan is a PMI certified Professional in Business Analysis (PBA) and Agile Practitioner (ACP), holds an IIBA Agile Analysis Certificate and is a certified Scrum Master (PSM I).

Episode 10 (Tiauna Ross) - Business Analysis by any Other Name

Episode 10 (Tiauna Ross) - Business Analysis by any Other Name

February 2, 2020

In this episode – Tianua Ross discusses the power of business analysis – regardless of job title or discipline.  We explore why it’s a hidden gem of competencies – yet so many still fail to recognize its value.

Tiauna Ross is a Michigan-based project leader, career and empowerment coach, author, speaker and trainer who actively works with individuals and groups to improve personal effectiveness through career coaching, mentoring, seminars, training and personal development.

Tiauna has achieved great success in the areas of accounting, technology, project management and business analysis.  She has over 16 years of experience in finance and accounting, project/program management, business and systems analysis, communication and change management.  Tiauna is known for her innovative and resourceful approach to managing people, projects and systems and her reputation for helping others achieve career and personal success.  She has led many award-winning multi-million dollar projects throughout her career and has written articles for the PM Times, the BA Times and LinkedIn.  She is a co-author of the book “Positioned to Prosper” among other publications.  She has been a keynote speaker for the Michigan Association of CPAs, the Power of We Symposium (Chicago and Atlanta) and has been featured on numerous podcasts and shows, most recently featured on MTV.

Tiauna earned a Master of Science Degree in Accountancy and Bachelor of Business Administration Degree, majoring in Accountancy & Personal Financial Planning, both from Western Michigan University.  She completed the Stanford Advanced Project Management program in 2013 and is a Stanford Certified Project Manager, a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Business Analysis Professional, and a Project Management Professional.  She is also a Certified Human Behavioral Consultant and Certified 5D Coach through the Authentic Identity Institute.

Tiauna is a member of the Project Management Institute, the International Institute of Business Analysis and the Michigan Association of CPAs where she is contributor on the Program Curriculum and Membership task forces.  She is also the Chair of the Management Information and Business Show task force.

Episode 9 (Kevin Brennan) - From Business Analysis to Product Management— A Look at the Skills That Matter Most

Episode 9 (Kevin Brennan) - From Business Analysis to Product Management— A Look at the Skills That Matter Most

December 2, 2019

Product focused roles are in high-demand – but can a traditional business analyst successfully transition into one of these sought after positions? What skills are needed to make this transition? Should a business analyst target a position as a product owner or a product manager and what is the difference between these two roles any way? Are these positions part of the business analyst career path?

In this podcast, I sit down with Product Management Consultant - Kevin Brennan to answer these questions and a host of others as he presents “From Business Analysis to Product Management— A Look at the Skills That Matter Most”.

You probably already know Kevin Brennan from his years as the leading development subject matter expert for A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge™ (BABOK® Guide).  But today - Kevin Brennan is a product management consultant who helps companies turn product concepts into thriving businesses and build high-performing, high trust product teams.

Before starting a consulting company, Kevin spent 19 years as a business analyst and product manager with several startups and consulting firms and a senior executive at IIBA and the Canadian Federation of Library Associations. If you are interested in speaking with Kevin directly, you can reach him at


Episode 8 (John Zachman) – Enterprise Architecture, the Critical Path to a Sustainable Future

Episode 8 (John Zachman) – Enterprise Architecture, the Critical Path to a Sustainable Future

November 20, 2019

John A. Zachman is the originator of the “Framework for Enterprise Architecture” (The Zachman Framework™) which has received broad acceptance around the world as an integrative framework, an ontology for descriptive representations of Enterprises. Mr. Zachman is not only known for his work on Enterprise Architecture, but is also known for his early contributions to IBM’s Information Strategy methodology (Business Systems Planning) as well as to their Executive team planning techniques (Intensive Planning).

Mr. Zachman retired from IBM in 1990, having served them for 26 years. He is Chief Executive Officer of his own education and consulting business, Zachman International® and Owner and Executive Director of the Federated Enterprise Architecture Certification Institute in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Zachman serves on the Executive Council for Information Management and Technology (ECIMT) of the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) and on the Advisory Board of the Data Administration Management Association International (DAMA-I) from whom he was awarded the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award. In August 2015, Mr. Zachman was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for “recognition of his long term impact and contribution to how people think and practice Enterprise Architecture today, leaving his mark on generations to come” by the Global University Alliance and LEADing Practice.  He was awarded the 2009 Enterprise Architecture Professional Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center for Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture Profession as well as the 2004 Oakland University, Applied Technology in Business (ATIB), Award for IS Excellence and Innovation.  In August 2011, he was awarded the Gen. Colin Powell Public Sector Image Award by the Armed Services Alliance Program.  In November 2013 he was acknowledged for Achievement and Excellence for Distinguished Innovative Academic Contribution by the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society Technical Committees on Enterprise Information Systems and on Enterprise Architecture and Engineering.

Today Mr. Zachman travels nationally and internationally, teaching and consulting, and is a popular conference speaker, known for his motivating messages on Enterprise Architecture issues. He has spoken to many thousands of enterprise managers and information professionals on every continent.

Episode 7 (Gladys Lam) – 10 Things About Business Rules You want to Know but were Afraid to Ask

Episode 7 (Gladys Lam) – 10 Things About Business Rules You want to Know but were Afraid to Ask

October 23, 2019

Gladys S.W. Lam is a world-renowned authority on business design. She is Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rule Solutions, LLC (, the most recognized company world-wide in developing business capabilities based on business architecture and business rules. Based upon her experiences consulting to over two hundred organizations, Ms. Lam developed the landmark BRS methodology with Ronald G. Ross featuring numerous innovative techniques including the popular ConceptSpeak™ and RuleSpeak™. She co-authored Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules (2nd Ed.).

Ms. Lam is widely known for her lively, pragmatic style. She speaks and teaches worldwide at conferences and other professional events. She is also Executive Director of the Building Business Capability (BBC) Conference, the official conference of the IIBA®. She also chairs the steering committee for the Business Rules Excellence Awards (BREA). Ms. Lam is Co-Founder of, professionals and home of Business Rules Journal.

Ms. Lam is an expert on business project management, having managed numerous large-scale projects across a variety of industries and government organizations.  She works comfortably with senior executives and senior management providing insights and advice on business solutions to business problems. She is highly effective with mentoring and training business analysts and other professionals.

Ms. Lam is recognized for her ability to identify the source of business issues, and for her effectiveness in developing pragmatic approaches to resolve them.  She has gained a world-class reputation for fostering positive professional relationships with principals and support staff on projects.

Ms. Lam graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.S. in Computer Science.

For any questions related to business rules or this podcast topic, you can reach Gladys at:

Episode 6 (Dave Mantica) – Likenomics and Influence: Survival Skills for the 21st Century Knowledge Worker

Episode 6 (Dave Mantica) – Likenomics and Influence: Survival Skills for the 21st Century Knowledge Worker

October 7, 2019

Relationship building is critical for all members of a product development team – but it’s especially important for project managers and business analysts because their work requires the ability to lead resources without necessarily having the positional authority over those they lead. In this podcast, I sit down with Dave Mantica VP and General Manager for Soft Ed US to talk about the intriguing concept of ‘likenomics’.

Dave teaches us about the importance of being likeable and its direct connection to helping us successfully build relationships, influence, and communicate. He walks us through 5 important characteristics every project manager and business analyst should assess themselves against in order to improve their likeability factor. Dave shares that you can’t influence others and develop great relationships without being likeable and being likeable involves much more than just being nice! Listen in to find out how to improve your likeability factor.

Additional readings you may enjoy:

Episode 5 (Camille Spruill) – Business Agility – the Need for Business Analysts to Step Up Their Game!

Episode 5 (Camille Spruill) – Business Agility – the Need for Business Analysts to Step Up Their Game!

September 25, 2019

Listen in on my conversation with Camille Spruill as she educates us about the business analysis skills Agile teams desperately need. Camille helps us understand how the role of the traditional waterfall analyst is changing. She highlights how traditional analysts need to ‘step up their game’ in order to compete in this more-fast paced evolving project space. If you are working in waterfall and desire the opportunity to advance your skills – Camille shares her experience on how you must own your career path and begin your professional development journey with the one skill money can’t buy - self-motivation. The good news is we learn from Camille that the path to becoming an Agile BA is not that intimidating, very doable for those who seek it, and a whole lot of fun.


Camille is the founder and CEO of ezTagile. She is a Business Agility Strategist and Instructor who focuses on the eco system of an organization’s agile journey, to yield the best results. 

With over 19+ years as a Technologist and 9+ years as an Agilist, across a broad spectrum of industries and a diverse clientele, she has acquired extensive knowledge and insights into solving complex organizational challenges.  Her experience has included working with such organizations as Fidelity Investments, Red hat, Dell EMC, IQVIA, Allegis Group, Credit Suisse and the City of New York.

Camille is certified as a Certified Scaled Agile Framework Program Consultant (SPC4®), Certified Scaled Agile Framework Agilist (SA®), Certified Scaled Agile Framework Scrum Master (SSM®), Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Master (CSM®), Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Professional (CSP®), IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) and a PMI Certified Project Management Professional (PMP®)

In her spare time, she is an avid volunteer giving back to her local community, speaking at local conferences, universities, professional user groups, and communities of practices.  She also participates in local charities and embeds the principles of giving back into the culture of ezTagile.

Episode 4 (Greta Blash) – Creating Group Memory with Models

Episode 4 (Greta Blash) – Creating Group Memory with Models

September 10, 2019

Modeling is a very important activity for any product development team – yet this important work is often overlooked. Even the teams who embrace modeling don’t always understand how best to leverage its value, choose which models are appropriate, or pair models for obtaining the greatest impacts. Join me as I have the opportunity to interview Greta Blash – a longtime community contributor in the project/program management space - as we discuss using models to create group memory.

Greta shares with us how product development teams are changing up how they use modeling or should be. Where once models were the itemized deliverable requiring much rigor, formality, and adherence to modeling language syntax – today adaptive approaches to delivery are using models as the "means to the ends". Come listen in as Greta shares with us how she uses modeling to facilitate group discussions, set scope, elicit requirements, validate understanding for what the product team will build and of course to create group memory.

About our guest:

Greta Blash has extensive experience as an executive and consulting IT professional, both domestically and internationally. Her areas of experience include program management, project management, agile/adaptive development, business analysis, customer relationship management, and business intelligence.  She believes in using a blended approach for successful project results incorporating multiple approaches, competencies and techniques.

In addition to her PMP certification, she also holds program management (PgMP), agile (PMI-ACP) and business analysis (PMI-PBA) certifications from Project Management Institute (PMI).

Greta has taught project and program management, business analysis, and agile foundation and certification courses worldwide for the last ten years. She has published numerous articles and blogs on these topics, and has served as a global team participant in the creation of “What’s New in PMBOK® 6th Edition – An In-Depth Comparison.”

She is a frequent presenter at various PMI and IIBA chapter events and conferences at the local, regional and global levels.  Greta has contributed as a Subject Matter Expert reviewer for The PMI Guide to Business Analysis, PMI’s Benefits Realization Management: A Practice Guide, and reviewer for A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, the Standard for Program Management Fourth Edition, and PMI’s Practice Standard for Scheduling - Third Edition.

Episode 3 (Jay Hicks)  – Transitioning Military Veterans

Episode 3 (Jay Hicks) – Transitioning Military Veterans

August 23, 2019

Many service members have challenges associated with transitioning from the service for a variety of reasons.  Finding good jobs after the service continues to be a challenge.  Post 911 service members continue to have a higher unemployment rate than the rest of the country. 

 Gr8Transitions4U has developed the “Transitioning Military Book Series” that enables military personnel to map their military skills and values from the service into lucrative commercial positions through education and guidance.  Join me as I interview founder of Gr8Transitions4U and creator of the military liaison position for PMI Chapters, Jay Hicks.

Jay’s mission is to lend his support and experience helping military personnel with developing their own personal roadmaps to transition their military careers into successful commercial careers.


  • The Transitioning Military Project Manager
  • The Transitioning Military Logistician
  • The Transitioning Military IT Professional 2016
  • The Transitioning Military Cybersecurity Professional 2016
  • The Transitioning Combat Arms Professional – 2017


Episode 2 (Steve Blais) – The Future of Business Analysis

Episode 2 (Steve Blais) – The Future of Business Analysis

July 26, 2019

Join us for an in-depth discussion with technologist and industry thought leader Steve Blais PMP, PMI-PBA. Steve takes us on a very insightful journey of the business analysis profession – discussing where it all started, how the profession has evolved, what is happening today and what we can expect for our future. If you are a current business analyst – concerned about the changes occurring with agile, digital, and analytics, you’ll want to tune in! Your future is bright and Steve shares his optimism and predictions for the future of business analysis.

 About Steve….

Steve is an author, consultant, teacher, and coach who has acquired over 50 years of experience in Information Technologies. He has fulfilled roles as a Programmer, Project Manager, Business Analyst, Systems Analyst, General Manager and Quality Assurance Analyst a.k.a. tester and has held executive positions for several start-up companies.

Steve continues to work in the profession today and is a regular contributor to BA Times and Modern Analyst. Steve has presented key note addresses for PMI in the Pacific Rim, South America, and the EU and for other conferences around the world.

He is the author of Business Analysis: Best Practices for Success and one of the co-authors I had the pleasure of working with on Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide (PMI 2015) and A Guide to the Business Analyst Body of KnowledgeTM (BABOK® Guide), V3 (IIBA 2015).

Steve is currently writing a new book about the future of business analysis publishing in 2020.