Business Analysis and Leadership

Penny Pullan & James Archer (eds.)

Published by

Kogan Page

ISBN

9780749468620

RRP

£24.99

Reviewed by

Dean Burnell MBCS

Score

10 out of 10

The business analysis profession has grown and matured over the last 10 years as businesses have begun to recognise the value of the skills and insights the profession can bring to a world that is becoming increasingly complex.

This inspiring and thoughtful book was written to fill a gap in the current literature; it considers how to develop a leadership mindset in change initiatives, in recognition of the ongoing evolution of the BA role. The book considers leadership from four perspectives: self, project, organisations and the wider world.

The book is essentially a collection of articles written by a wide range of authors working in the change/ business analysis field. It focuses very much on the ‘softer’ side of the profession, and is in itself an excellent example of how much the profession has developed, and how insightful and reflective it can be.

All of the articles are well thought-through, deeply reflective and both helpful (lots of practical advice) and, in many cases, inspiring. The level of insight is impressive, often with practical case studies to reinforce the points made. A wide range of issues and subjects are covered: an article describes what it calls the 'T-Shaped' business analyst; another considers the need for and the role of courage in BA work.

There is a fascinating piece on neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and practical advice on how you can use it to help you in a wide variety of BA activities. I particularly enjoyed the articles relating to facilitation, problem solving and analysis patterns.

The book can be read in the traditional way, or it could be consumed in small chunks when you need a little inspiration when faced with a challenging BA situation. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It should appeal to anyone working in the project/programme space. For business analysts ready for the leadership challenge, it should be considered required reading.

Further information: Kogan Page

April 2014