As analysts, it is going to be natural that we are going to methodically analyze to make sure we select the best course that fits our requirements. Sometimes, however, the analysis can often get in the way of the decision rather than help it. So it is our hope that this post can help you – in your analysis and your decision – to choose the best Business Analysis class for you and your team.
Choosing which course to take is actually not that difficult.
Admittedly it is more challenging today with the options available from the plethora of 1-2 hour recorded video modules to live public courses and multi-day workshops and boot camps.
Most important is obviously what course most closely meets your needs: the topics and skills you want covered and the learning outcomes you want to achieve upon completion. Most course webpages will give you insight into the course content and their learning objectives. And a quick call, chat or email can often get you more detail if needed.
Of equal importance to those requirements are the course’s quality attributes (or what you could call its ‘non-functional’ requirements.) Culled and simplified from the hundreds of RFPs we’ve responded to are these top ten considerations in choosing what is the best course for your Business Analysis training needs.
1. Is it a credible organization?
The company should have been around a while, be well known, large enough to support you, and should specialize in the subject area rather than be a generic training company.
2. Is the course designed professionally?
It should be more that a basic PowerPoint, built along sound pedagogical principles by professional instructional designers.
3. Is the content strong?
It should align with common, modern concepts, and be practical vs. theoretical. Be wary of outdated, proprietary, or irregular terms – and untested or non-standard practices.
4. Does the instructor have real and recent experience (outside the classroom)?
Check to make sure they do more than just teach. You want someone who is (not just has been) doing business analysis as their career – and you also want an instructor that knows how to communicate, coach and teach professionals as well.
5. Does the course include exercises and a case study?
Any course (especially a boot camp) without practice exercises is not going to be very effective.
6. Are there a lot of examples and demonstrations?
Confirm that you’ll get to see samples, demos, and examples – in the slide deck, in handouts, and in the instruction.
7. Are templates provided?
The better programs will provide templates, samples, and extra materials to help you apply the concepts and produce professional work product.
8. Is there access to online reference materials?
Most of the established companies will provide a class collaboration site (like SharePoint or Teams) for case work, communications, and access to handouts and extra materials.
9. If it is online, is the tech good?
There should be video, electronic whiteboard, collaboration space, etc.
10. Is there support after the class?
Does the organization provide further assistance – coaching, mentoring, kick-start, pilot projects, outsourcing, and consulting services on the practices, tools, and processes?
(Obviously, at IAG, we are proud to check all those boxes – and we’d like to say we exceed all these requirements. So if you are looking for training or some help with your business analysis, give us a shout.)
We hope you find this list valuable. Some other good criteria had to be cut to keep it at ten, so if you have more that are important to you, feel free to share in the comments.