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Business Analysis and Leadership: Influencing Change

Do you work with business change?

Do you strive to understand organizations undergoing change, define what’s needed and deliver value?

Do you work towards the delivery of real and lasting benefits?

Then this new book and website is for you! Please have a look around and join in the conversation. You can click on the pictures below for a quick overview, use the menu above for a more in-depth look and sign up to the right to hear more about business analysis and leadership occasionally and when we release new resources. Thank you!

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About the book

This inspirational book consists of contributions from leading thinkers and practitioners in business analysis around the world, blending together a wide range of perspectives. Their case studies and practical advice will support you in becoming an outstanding influencer of change. Topics covered include:

facilitative leadership
working with the project manager
dealing with difficult stakeholders
the iterative business analyst
global working and virtual teams
systems thinking
power and politics
strategic thinking
becoming a thought leader
ethics, professionalization and best practice
developing your skills, and the courage to apply them
communication and negotiation

Whatever your job title, if you are involved in business analysis in any way, you will find this book and this website invaluable.

How the book is laid out

The book takes a framework for leadership, starting off with a focus on the self, then leading within your project, then moving out to leading across your organization and, finally, leading in the wider world. Here’s the picture:


The book starts off by exploring how you can work on yourself to become a leader, with contributions on:

  • Skills
  • Courage
  • Facilitative leadership
  • Communication

This section concludes with a question: ‘Are you waiting to be annointed?


The next section looks at all aspects of leadership within your own project:

  • Working with project managers
  • Difficult stakeholders
  • Facilitation
  • Problems
  • Visual thinking
  • Design thinking
  • Agile
  • Patterns
  • Uncertainty
  • Creativity


Effective business analysis deals more widely than just the project, so leadership across the organization is important. We look at:

  • Operating effectively
  • Context, climate and culture
  • Global working
  • Systems thinking
  • Power and Politics
  • Partnering
  • Strategic thinking

The section ends with an opinion piece entitled: ‘Leading from the Middle’

In the wider world

The best business analysts will have a reach well beyond their organizations. You can read more in this section about:

  • The leadership role
  • Thought leadership
  • Ethics and fair process
  • Professionalization

The section ends with an inspiring piece about being a change agent and an endpiece story, which integrates business analysis, creativity and play.

About the Authors


The majority of Penny’s work is with people in large organizations who are grappling with tricky projects and programmes of change. Many of these are working in business analysis, influencing and enabling successful change in tricky situations. This means:

  • changing, complex, and often ambiguous, requirements;
  • a complex and usually culturally diverse mix of stakeholders, who need to be interested, engaged and involved;
  • probably team members dispersed all over the world;
  • lots of risk!

Within this context, Penny brings order and clarity, providing support and tools to develop the leadership skills necessary for effective business change.

Penny has twenty years experience across many multinational companies and the consultancy she founded, Making Projects Work Ltd. She hosts the free, global, virtual Business Analysis Summit www.basummit.com in November each year, which is attended by thousands of business analysts, and helps to organize the annual Business Analysis Conference Europe.

Penny contributed chapters on Facilitation, Global Working and Virtual Teams, Developing Thought Leadership, Visual Thinking and Dealing with Uncertainty to this book. Penny supports business analysts and other project professionals to develop their skills in these areas through her innovation Facilitation Skills Course for Project Professionals, her Virtual Working Open Programmes, her Outstanding Outsider programme for contractor business analysts, her Graphics Made Easy starter workshops with Vanessa Randle and her Virtual Risk Facilitation Programme with Ruth Murray-Webster.

She has a PhD from Cambridge University, is a Certified Professional Facilitator and has multiple qualifications in business analysis, project and programme management, as well as being a Chartered Engineer.

[email protected] | +44 (0)1509 821691

James is a consultant and trainer working to bring about change in organizations. He specialises in:

  • connecting high level strategy to all levels of organizations and projects;
  • helping people understand what the real problem they need to solve is;
  • applying systemic thinking to real life problems;
  • using business analysis techniques to cut through complexity;
  • understanding the implications of solutions on different stakeholders;
  • providing innovative solutions to business problems;

James has helped organize the Business Analysis Conference Europe since it began and co-founded the BCS Business Change Group. In 2009 he was voted’ Business Analyst of the Year’.

After teaching in Darfur and programming in Cobol, James moved to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea as a business analyst on award-winning projects. Most recently, he defined common business processes in social care across 3 councils as part of the ground-breaking tri-borough project in London. James is a partner of Perspectiv and a qualified consultant in the Volere approach to requirements.

James contributed chapters on Skills, The Business Analyst as a Facilitative Leader and Ethics to this book. He is completing his Masters in Innovation, Creativity and Leadership at City University, London.

[email protected] | +44 (0)7736 527092


Author of ‘The first shoots of creativity’.

David Baskerville is a Lead Business Analyst within a major financial services company and has had detailed experience in introducing new and re-engineering business processes/procedures.

He has completed a BA role for the last 17 years working with the retail network, telephony and online delivery channels. Over the past 12 months, David has played a key role in the re-organisation of Business Analysis Community within his organisation


Author of ‘Strategic thinking for business analysis’.

Dav Bisessar is a Strategist and Business Architect in IBM’s Global Business Services division. Dav is also head of IBM UK Business Analysis community of practice.


Author of ‘Business analysis is a leadership role’.

Kevin Brennan, CBAP, PMP, is the Chief Business Analyst and Executive Vice President for IIBA®.


Author of ‘Dealing with difficult stakeholders’.

Michael Brown has been a Business Skills trainer for over 16 years and blogs at Real Learning for a Change.

Michael says:

I have worked for 16 years with organisations of all types across Europe, Asia and USA, offering tailored training events, coaching and L&D consultancy. Clients include Cisco Systems, Goldman Sachs, John Lewis and Deutsche Bank, as well as recruitment companies, local authorities, driving instructors and even the owners of a magnificent castle in Devon!

Specialist fields are Negotiations, Conflict Handling, Leadership and Team Development. I also deliver corporate seminars in topics such as Authentic Communication and Dysfunctional Meetings. I work at all levels, from graduate entry to senior executive.

I deliver courses that challenge, motivate and inspire, using a down to earth, high energy and high impact approach. I strip away the fluff and focus on the practical application of skills that make a real difference. With heaps of real world business experience matched by 16 years working in the training room, I am able to flex the course to the needs of the group in the moment. My courses are organic, based on the learners’ needs, and are pretty much a voyage of discovery.

I regularly use technologies such as WebEx and TelePresence for delivering Virtual Training sessions in a range of soft skills topic areas.

I’m Myers Briggs Steps 1 and 2 qualified, TMSDI and Belbin accredited, and licensed at Levels A and B in Occupational Testing. I’m also a leading user of the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Profile.

Specialties: Negotiation Skills | Conflict Handling | Team Development | Leadership | Meetings Skills | Sales Skills | Presentation Skills | Consulting Skills | Assertiveness Skills | Myers Briggs | Belbin | TMSDI | Facilitation Skills | Appraisal Skills | Performance Management | Customer Relationship Skills | NLP | Personal Impact | Time Management | Personal Effectiveness | Career Planning | Personal Coaching | Coaching Skills | Authentic Communication | Change Management |


Author of ‘Dealing with power and politics’.

Sarah specializes in change in organizations, and specifically in helping
organizations to develop the capacity, capability and appetite to
successfully face an increasingly volatile, uncertain and ambiguous global
economy. She works across the UK and internationally. Her clients say they
value her for her communication skills and for her ability to challenge
positively and constructively. She also has a particular passion for
developing the next generation of business leaders.

Sarah’s background is in Information & Telecommunications Technology (ICT)
have started out as a systems programmer and business analyst. ICT is an
acknowledged driver for change and Sarah increasingly found herself
designing and implementing programmes of change to work with and complement
the ICT initiative.

Sarah has thirty years experience across many multinational companies and
the consultancy she founded in 2007, Business Evolution Ltd. Throughout
much of her career she has worked with nationals and multinationals leading
large, high profile and complex ICT programmes across public services, not
for profit and private sectors predominantly in the financial services,
health, telecommunications, technology and professional services sectors.

Sarah is also a qualified and experienced project and programme manager, and
is used to working with changing and ambiguous requirements, multi-cultural
and multi-located virtual teams in multiple time zones, and with a wide
range of stakeholders all focused on their particular idea of “success”.
She is also a Fellow of, and Non-Executive Director for, the Association for
Project Management (www.apm.org.uk).

Sarah holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, is Visiting Senior
Fellow at Lincoln University (Organizational Strategy & Business Growth) and
Associate at Judge Business School, Cambridge. She is a Fellow of the
Chartered Management Institute and Fellow of the Institute of Leadership
and Management. She is a guest lecturer at business schools, a guest
speaker at events and conferences, facilitator, blogger and contributor to
various books and publications.

Sarah is currently writing “Project Leadership 3rd edition” with co-author
Donnie MacNicol, to be published by Gower.

Sarah Coleman specializes in business transformation and organizational change at Business Evolution and is a Visiting Senior Fellow at Lincoln University.


Author of ‘Are you waiting to be anointed?’.

I have worked as a Business Analyst and led teams of BAs over the last 13 years as a permanent employee at a number of companies including Co-operative Insurance, IBM, Virgin Media, Skandia and British Gas. I have also been the President of the IIBA in the UK for more than two years and am an active member of the BA community across Europe, having spoken at a number of conferences and for other corporate organisations.

I am passionate about the strength of the BA community in developing and sharing ideas and whilst at Skandia in 2010 I launched pragnalysis.com in conjunction with Phil Bailey, a website dedicated to sharing entirely free Business Analysis tools, templates and other collateral.

I am now leading a team of Service Designers and Infrastructure Architects at British Gas and I continue to be involved with Business Analysis as a customer of BA services from within my organisation!


Author of ‘Professionalization and best practice’ and the web chapter ‘People-orientated approaches’ (available here).

Nick de Voil is the founder and managing director of De Voil Consulting and a director of the IIBA’s UK Chapter.


Author of ‘Operating effectively as a business analyst inside an organization’.

Simon Edwards has 20 years’ experience as a business analyst, project and programme managerin international banks in London, UK.


Author of ‘Through the stage door: design thinking to refresh business analysis’.

Tamsin Fulton MA (RCA) is a Service Design Consultant.


Author of ‘Knowledge sharing and analysis with patterns’.

Although Allan Kelly is best know for his work with, and writing about, all things agile he passions run far deeper. For a start he sees all technology work as an exercise in learning and the application of knowledge to create change (which then creates learning).

Another of his passions is patterns, he has been writing patterns for over 10 years and shepherding other authors’ patterns for almost as long. He is a past chair of EuroPLoP the premier European patterns conference.

Allan works for Software Strategy providing consulting and training to help teams adopt and deepen agile practices. He specialises in working with software product companies and aligning products and processes with company strategy. While agile is most closely associated with programming side of development he finds that the “what are we building” question needs to be addressed just as much – if not more!

He is the author of two complete books: “Business Patterns for Software Developers” and ³Changing Software Development: Learning to be Agile², and one work in progress “Xanpan – reflections on agile and software development”. He is also the
the originator of Retrospective Dialogue Sheets.

More about Allan at allankelly.net and on Twitter as @allankellynet.


Author of the Endpiece: ‘Integrating business analysis, creativity and play’

Andrew Kendall is a Consultant and Trainer, currently managing a creative problem solving hub for the NSW government in Sydney, Australia.


Author of ‘Systems thinking for business analysts leading change’.

Dr Langman specializes in using Systems Thinking approaches for helping her clients to lead change through her company Progression Partnership Ltd. www.progressionpartnership.com.


Author of ‘Becoming the change agent’.

Jake Markham is a Director at Credit Suisse, and EMEA lead for Client Technology Solutions. Jake organises Credit Suisse’s Business Analysis community events and training opportunities.


Co-author of ‘Business analysis, leadership and agile’.

Chris Matts is a consultant who is writing a graphic novel on project risk management using Real Options. He blogs at theitriskmanager.wordpress.com.


Author of ‘Leading from the middle – a business analyst in television’.

Roger Mawle is a Consultant Business Analyst working for a large commercial broadcaster in London, UK.


Co-author of ‘Business analysis, leadership and agile’.

Kent J. McDonald helps organizations understand and solve the problems they face. He is active in the business analysis and agile software development communities helping people share stories about what does and does not work. He shares those stories through beyondrequirements.com, techwell.com, and projectconnections.com in addition to presentations at various conferences and local user groups.

Kent is currently the Agile Practice Lead for B2T Training, where he helps organizations improve their effectiveness in the intersection of agile and analysis. He is co-author of Stand Back and Deliver: Accelerating Business Agility, a book that brings together immediately usable frameworks and step-by-step processes that help organizations deliver business value and build competitive advantage. Kent is taking a structured procrastination approach to authoring Beyond Requirements, due out… sometime.
Kent has lead through influence as a co-founder and former Board President of the Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN), and Board President of the Greater Iowa Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He also chaired the 2009 Iowa Business Analyst Development Day, has been on the organizing committee for the Agile 2008, Agile 2009, and Agile 2011 Conferences and was Conference Chair for the Agile 2013 Conference.


Co-author of ‘Dealing with uncertainty’.

Ruth Murray Webster is a leading organisational change consultant, managing partner of Lucidus Consulting Ltd, and is a visiting fellow at Cranfield School of Management. Together with Penny Pullan, co-editor of this book, she set up www.facilitatingrisk.com to help people to facilitate risk management.

You can read more about Ruth here.


Author of ‘The courage to ask’.

John Niland is the co-author of book “The Courage to Ask”, written with Kate Daly, and is a conference speaker and coach with VCO Global.


Co-author of ‘Visual thinking for business analysis’.

Vanessa Randle is a leading UK graphic recorder, working through her company thinkingvisually Ltd. With co-editor Penny Pullan, shes help business analysts and others to use visual thinking through www.graphicsmadeeasy.co.uk


Author of ‘Partnering Across Organizations’.

Adrian Reed is the Principal Consultant of Blackmetric Business Solutions and holds the position of Marketing Director of the UK Chapter of the IIBA.


Author of ‘Discovering the essence of the problem’.

Business analysis responsibilities are changing. Gone are the days when the business analyst was simply a stenographer, faithfully recording whatever the business people said they wanted and faithfully translating whatever they wanted into requirements.

Now we are seeing the role take on additional meaning as the business analyst becomes more of an internal business consultant, advising on business processes, and how best to improve those processes.

Innovation is one of those things that every organisation says is a good thing, but very few actually practice it. Here is where the business analyst, in his/her unique position within the organisation, is able to lead innovation workshops as a way of improving the business practices. After all, if there is no innovation within a project, then it is likely that the project is delivering very little value. Simply taking a legacy COBOL system and rewriting it in Java does not add value to the organisation. But an innovative business process can add considerable business value.

There are some fundamental truths in our industry, and one of them is that we must understand what it is that we are wanting our projects to achieve. And that what we want to achieve is not to implement some software, but to improve our client’s business. This is where business analysis is heading, and may it arrive there sooner rather than later.

James Robertson of the Atlantic Systems Guild is a consultant, teacher, project leader and co-author of Mastering the Requirements Process


Author of ‘Working with the project manager’.

Principal of the Atlantic Systems Guild

Suzanne Robertson is a systems engineer who specialises in the field of requirements. Suzanne is co-author of Requirements-Led Project Management (Addison Wesley 2005) a book that provides project managers with guidance on how to use the work done by requirements analysts as input to steering projects. The book defines the relationships between effective requirements practices and project success. This management book connects to Mastering the Requirements Process (Addison-Wesley Edition 3, 2012) a guide for practitioners on finding requirements and writing them so that all stakeholders can understand them.

She has more than 30 years experience in systems specification and building. Her courses on requirements, systems analysis, design and problem solving are well known for their innovative workshops. She has varied experience as a manager, programmer, analyst, and designer. She has consulted, done research and taught in Europe, Australia, the Far East and the United States.

In her work on business analysis, Suzanne uses a mixture of teaching, mentoring and hands on work to help organisations to tailor their requirements deliverables and processes to suit their own particular projects. She also runs requirements audits and facilitates requirements quality reviews.

Her experience with different projects in both the private and public sector has built skills in a wide variety of systems modelling notations, development paradigms and automated tools. She has experience in using many systems engineering notations for building data models, process models and state models, including the UML and other industry standards. She has used object-oriented development, model based development, agile development and many other paradigms.  She has worked with a variety of Case and Requirements automated tools.

Current work includes research and consulting on managing the project sociology, the specification and reuse of requirements and techniques for auditing requirements specifications. The product of this research is Volere, a complete requirements process and template for assessing requirements quality, and for specifying business requirements. Volere http://www.volere.co.uk has been adopted by organisations all over the world as their standard for gathering, discovering, communicating, tracing and specifying requirements.

Suzanne’s collaboration with Neil Maiden of City University London, explores how creativity can be used by requirements engineers to discover and invent requirements. Suzanne and Neil designed and ran a series of creativity workshops for Eurocontrol in Paris. Eurocontrol are making major investments in a program of new applications and they want to ensure that they build systems that are robust enough to cope with change in the industry. The project-based workshops helped air traffic controllers, pilots and systems developers to use creative principles to discover the requirements for the air traffic control systems of the future. The use of experts from fields as diverse as modern music, visualisation and cookery was a major breakthrough in inspiring creative ideas.

In 1983, in partnership with Tom De Marco, Tim Lister, Steve McMenamin, John Palmer and James Robertson, Suzanne founded the Atlantic Systems Guild http://www.systemsguild.com

The guild is a New York, London, and (with the addition of Peter Hruschka) Aachen, based think-tank that researches system development techniques. The aim of the Guild is to make good systems engineering ideas more accessible. Guild principals have written numerous books and seminars that are among the most successful in software development history. Pooling their experience with many diverse projects the guild members have published Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behaviour (Dorset House, 2008). This book won the 2009 Jolt award for the best general computing book.

Suzanne and her husband James Robertson are co-authors of Complete Systems Analysis: the Workbook, the Textbook, the Answers (Dorset House, 2013, 1994), a text and case study that teaches the craft of systems analysis and provides a guide on how to build process, data and state models.

Apart from her books, Suzanne is author of many papers on systems engineering (many of these papers are on the web sites www.systemsguild.com and www.volere.co.uk ).  She also speaks at numerous conferences and universities. She is a member of IEEE and on the board of the British Computer Society’s Requirements Groups. She was the first editor of the Requirements Column in IEEE Software. She is a reviewer of the International Institute of Business Analysts’ (IIBA) body of knowledge (BOK) and is on the board of the International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB).

The Atlantic Systems Guild is an IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) Endorsed Education Provide 

The Atlantic Systems Guild is an IREB (International Requirements Examination Board) Endorsed Education Provider.

Suzanne studied Computer Science and Information Processing at the New South Wales University of Technology. 

Other interests include a passion for the opera, cooking, skiing and finding out about curious things.


Author of ‘The iterative business analyst – increasing insight, reducing waste, delivering value.

Melanie Rose is the Business Analyst Team Lead for Totaljobs Group and has delivered requirements and governance on Prince 2 and Agile projects for over ten years.


Co-author of ‘Skills for business analysis’ and ‘Context, culture and climate’

Kate Stuart-Cox is a founding partner of Perspectiv, a consulting and training company, combining proven methodologies with practical application to enable organisations improve performance. Before founding Perspectiv, she acquired over 20 years of management/leadership experience in new product development and new business development within the publishing and media arena, integrating creative problem solving, and training and development initiatives to enhance performance and innovation.


Author of ‘Communication for success’.

Corrine Thomas is Head of Business Analysis Practice at Virgin Media and holds the position of Operations Director for the UK Chapter of the IIBA. Corrine is also a certified trainer and Master Practitioner of NLP.


Author of ‘Dealing with problems’ and co-author of ‘Context, Climate and Culture’.

Andy Wilkins is an Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School and founding partner of the UK based professional services company Perspectiv.

The story of how the book came into being

Penny Pullan tells the story.

“Early in 2012, Kogan Page contacted me with the idea of a book about Business Analysis. My instant reaction was: ‘Book – what a lot of work!’, closely followed by: ‘What an honour to be invited to write a book by a publisher!’ It took a while to reconcile the two, but talking with friends in the business analysis world convinced me that
we could produce a better book by working together. The particular focus of the book would be leadership, surely a key skill for any effective business analyst?

I asked James Archer if he would be prepared to co-edit a book with me and bounced a lot of ideas off Emma Langman, who helped me to finalise the leadership framework I had in mind. We worked closely with our commissioning editor, Julia, who was brave enough to come along to an IIBA UK event in an underground bar in the City of London. It was packed out with around 150 business analysts attending. I think that convinced her that there was a potential audience for the book!

Then the hard work started. James and I had to think of leadership topics pertinent to the BA role and spread them over the four levels of our leadership framework (self, project, organisation and the wider world). Once we had the topics, we needed to choose the best person to write each chapter. The chapters needed to be short and useful, as BAs are busy people without much time to spare! Luckily, we had a marvellous set of authors and almost everyone said ‘Yes!’. In the autumn of 2012, chapters began to come in and the book began to take shape. James and I each wrote several chapters and web resources too.

The trouble with Business Analysts can be that they really want to come up with a really great solution. This happened to us editors as well! We ended up exceeding the inital word-limit by half as much again. Admittedly this wasn’t just our fault. Our authors had so much great stuff to say about their chapters that they consistently blew their word limits too. In the end, our long-suffering editor Julia agreed and increased word length. Kogan Page designed the book really cleverly, choosing a font that allowed many more words per page than normal, while keeping a really clear and easy to read look.

As well as blowing our word-limit, we blew our timescales too. I think that publishers expect that as they managed to cope with a three month delay in receiving the manuscript (well, really files on DropBox!) and still delivered the printed books on time in September 2013.

So, now as I write this in September 2013, the book is complete and we’re developing this website to provide a great resource to complement the book. In addition, we’re bringing together programmes to help business analysts to develop their own leadership, as well as leadership qualities across their BA practices. Our biggest hope is to create a conversation about the role of the BA and to inspire people to aim to lead themselves, their projects, across their organisations and even into the wider world!”


This page contains a growing range of resources for business analysis leadership of self, project, organization and within the wider world.

LinkedIn Group for discussions around Business Analysis and Leadership

We’ve created a LinkedIn Group called Business Analysis and Leadership.
The group is open to all and just starting out, so please do feel free to join in.

Chapters for the web:

Leadership of Self

Leadership of Project
Five questions of an effective negotiator by Michael Brown here

Leadership of Organization
Modelling the Business by Penny Pullan here

Leadership in the Wider World
People-oriented approaches by Nick de Voil here

Virtual Business Analysis and Leadership Summit

Each year, our co-editor Penny Pullan runs a virtual summit on Business Analysis and Leadership. You can find out more at the Business Analysis Summit website, where you can sign up for free.

+44 (0) 1509 821691

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