December 2013

Happy Holidays from Watermark Learning!

Sharing with others is the best way we know how to show our appreciation to you, our loyal customers and associates. As we have in the past 20 years, in lieu of holiday gifts, Watermark will contribute to local, national, and international charities. As an additional way of giving back, we also volunteer for organizations like PMI® and IIBA®. This year, we are proud to make contributions to:

  • Cure Alzheimer's Fund
  • Glaucoma Research Foundation
  • Humane Society International
  • International Center for Research on Women
  • Mercy Corps
  • Open Arms International Program

We invite you to learn more about these organizations and to consider supporting these or other organizations in need. And of all the gifts we might wish you during this holiday season, one stands out as most important - peace to you and your loved ones, and peace to all!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Watermark Learning!

Online Study Exam Use Expands To 71 Countries

Subscriber Map

Watermark Learning's CBAP/CCBA Online Study Exam is now used by more than 2500 people from 71 countries, with new CBAP and CCBA exam candidates from four additional countries. The latest additions include candidates from the Czech Republic, Senegal, Sweden, and Zambia. Click here to see a map of subscriber locations.

Learn more.

November 2013

First Germany-Austria Business Analysis Summit a Huge Success

Featuring a high-caliber roster of experienced presenters, the first ever Germany-Austria Business Analysis Summit exceeded all expectations. The Summit was held in Salzburg on October 11, 2013 and is the first German-language session for the business analysis profession held in Europe.

Summit sponsors included both Watermark Learning and its German partner, masVenta. Among the presenters were Watermark Learning principals Elizabeth Larson, CBAP, PMP, CSM, and Richard Larson, CBAP, PMP, while Rainer Wendt, CBAP, PMP, Managing Director of masVenta, co-chaired the event.

keynote
group

Elizabeth Larson delivered the opening keynote, presenting The Influencing Formula: Three Steps to Influencing when you don't have the Authority to a standing-room only crowd. Richard Larson led off an afternoon track session with Fantastic Voyage or Impossible Dream: The BA as Management Consultant.

The Summit was organized by the Austrian Chapter and the German Chapter of the International Institute of Business Analysis® (IIBA®). Rainer Wendt, who currently serves as Vice President of the German Chapter, presented opening remarks at the Summit, along with Peter Gerstbach, representing the Austrian Chapter of the IIBA.

Visit the Summit website for more information and access to downloads of the presentations.

October 2013

New Exam Results Summary Added to Watermark Learning Online Study Exams

The best online study exam for CBAP,CCBA, and PMP just got better! Based on subscriber feedback, we have added another significant feature to help certification candidates focus their study time and be better prepared to take their exam.

The previous release of our online study exams gave subscribers access to their past exam result history. This has been helpful for people to track their progress one exam at a time and for feedback on which areas are most in need of improvement.

Now we provide another new feature - a convenient and valuable results summary that displays a table of all exams, in reverse order, showing:

  • Percentage correct on each exam’s knowledge area for each practice exam
  • Aggregate score for each exam by averaging the knowledge areas
  • Overall average for all exams taken. We advise candidates to achieve an 80% or higher average to be prepared, and our results summary gives subscribers a quick way to view their overall score.
  • Ability to scroll through past exams at a glance, and view the results screen for any past exam.

These newest changes will provide even more feedback on progress and readiness for taking the actual exam. An example of the new results summary is shown below. Just click on the image to enlarge it.

Results Summary

August 2013

Watermark Learning Partner Vellicate Technologies Participates in BA Convention in Bangalore, India

Surendra Saxena, Managing Partner of Vellicate Technologies, Watermark Learning's training partner in India, submitted this report on the 2013 BA Convention. The BA Convention in Bangalore, India concluded last week and it was very well received. This was an exclusive conference to bring together experts from the industry, academia and other national bodies, harmonize the perception of Business Analysis, and discuss current related issues.

BA Convention Talk
Vellicate Table

This event spread over two days, attracted over 90 companies and more than 850 participants. It proved to be a great networking venue while simultaneously educating people from different spheres of the challenges, situations and circumstances faced by BAs.

My talk on "BA as Trusted Business Advisor" was received with great enthusiasm. About 450 people attended it, even though there was a workshop by Accenture running in parallel. The talk was voted as one of the best sessions by the participants.

The talk was successful due to Watermark Learning's wonderful work in developing the SARIE consulting process, defining the forms of power and the four quadrants from order-takers to trusted advisor. People kept mentioning these slides throughout the rest of the day. At the end of the workshop, one person literally pleaded for a copy of "The Influencing Formula" book.

Watermark Learning and RBN Consulting Announce Partnership to Offer Training Programs in Brazil

RBN Logo

Watermark Learning is pleased to announce a partnership with RBN, one of Brazil's largest business consulting and training firms, to offer Watermark Learning courses in Brazil.

"Watermark Learning is pleased to partner with RBN to offer our business analysis and project management training programs in Brazil" said Richard Larson, PMP, CBAP, President of Watermark Learning. "Our shared philosophy and focus on training and development leadership make this collaboration an excellent fit."

"Some years ago when I discovered the IIBA and Business Analysis, I saw it as the missing piece for my consulting work on Project Management," said Rodrigo Neves, PMP, MSc, RBN Managing Director. "So when I decided to educate myself on Business Analysis, I searched for the best courses that I could find worldwide, and Watermark Learning emerged as the obvious answer.

"Now RBN is a proud Watermark training partner. We can offer in Brazil its courses in Project Management, Business Analysis, Business Process Management and Influencing Skills, all of which my consulting team and I use to increase our own business knowledge. Through this partnership, RBN becomes an important ally for those who seek to improve their knowledge, optimize their work and pursue PMI or IIBA certification."

About RBN Consulting
Founded in 2001, RBN Consulting and Training has solid experience in consulting and training, with branch offices in Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre, Brazil. We are a company specializing in the development of business solutions to improve human relations at work and, consequently, the results of the business. For this we use the most advanced tools and management techniques, such as Project Management, Business Analysis, and Business Process Management. For more information, contact RBN at comercial@rbnconsultoria.com.br or visit http://www.rbnconsultoria.com.br/

April 2013

Bob Prentiss Presentation Breaks Attendance Records for Central Iowa IIBA Meeting

Bob Prentiss

A presentation by Bob Prentiss, Watermark Learning's Director of Client Solutions - Business Analysis, recently broke all attendance records for the Central Iowa Chapter of the IIBA. The meeting, held March 28 at John Deere Financial in suburban Des Moines, drew over 150 registrants, beating out previous meeting registrations by 20%!

Bob's presentation, "Requirements Held Hostage - Elicitation in Crisis" presented the parallels between hostage negotiations and requirements elicitation in the life of a typical BA. "Bob absolutely crushed this presentation," said Andrew Walling, the Chapter's Director of Programs. "The facility where the meeting was held is somewhat remote, and the record attendance demonstrates the drawing power of Bob's topic," he added.

Bob's interactive presentation allowed the audience to make choices based on events presented in video clips. Bob then presented the outcome of each situation based on the audience's choices.

Attendees had many positive comments on the program. Here are just a few:

"Love the parallels between hostage negotiation and requirement elicitation. Very good things to think about and tips for practice -- this was engaging and fun!"

"This technique can be applied to my job. Thank-you for providing this presentation to us!"

"Reminders about building relationships and what to consider."

"Entertaining and informative. Great way to look at eliciting requirements."

February 2013

Helpful Books and Publications from Watermark Learning

Did you know that Watermark Learning offers several books to help in your prep efforts? Our Practitioner's Guide to - Part 1: Requirements Planning, has even been selected by a major university as required reading for a . Here is an overview of these publications. Click on the links to learn more about each book and how to order each.

The Influencing Formula

The Influencing Formula: How to Become a Trusted Advisor and Influence Without Authority
This new book by Elizabeth Larson and Richard Larson covers every aspect of developing the skills to influence to enhance your ability to effectively manage projects by establishing yourself as a trusted advisor. The unique project-focused book, packed with countless practical tips, techniques, and examples of how to influence without authority, is receiving positive reviews. Learn more.

CBAP Certification Study Guide CBAP certification study guide
This comprehensive study guide highlights all the important points of the CBAP® 2.0 exam. Readily master all knowledge areas of the BABOK® Guide and focus your study time. Our guide comes with a free trial of our Exam, with hundreds of practice questions and answer explanations. The only study guide you will need to help you pass the CBAP exam. Great for the CCBA®, too! Learn more.

Requirements Management

Practitioners Guide to Requirements Management, Part 1: Requirements Planning
If you are a business analyst or project manager involved in business analysis, you understand how important it is to plan your work. Aligned with both the BABOK Guide and the PMBOK® Guide, this practical guide leads you through the maze of requirements planning. This step-by-step guide has been selected by a major university as required reading for a BA course. Learn more.

Andrea Brockmeier Named Director of Training Services for Watermark Learning

A Brockmeier

Andrea Brockmeier, PMP, has been named to the position of Director of Training Services for Watermark Learning. Andrea's new responsibilities include managing all Watermark Learning instructors and class production, in addition to continuing to teach classes and developing and maintaining courseware.

Andrea Brockmeier, PMP, has been named to the position of Director of Training Services for Watermark Learning. Andrea's new responsibilities include managing all Watermark Learning instructors and class production, in addition to continuing to teach classes and developing and maintaining courseware.

"We are excited to have Andrea take on these new responsibilities," said Chris Anderson, Watermark Learning's Vice President of Sales and Delivery. "She will be instrumental in managing our courseware development, internal and contract instructors, and process improvement and communication for our educational programs as Watermark Learning continues to expand."

Andrea has been Client Solutions Director - Project Management for Watermark Learning since 2009. Since joining the company in 2001, she played a key role in leading and strengthening Watermark's Project Management curriculum, including its Professional (PMP®) program. Her background includes over 20 years of project management experience in non-profit and for-profit organizations, as well as experience in developing and leading technical project teams.

An active member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Andrea is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Scrum Master (CSM). She has also published articles on the topics of Project Management and Virtual Teams.

Andrea holds a Master of Arts degree from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from North Dakota State University.

SEAN Conducts First Watermark Learning Courses in Mexico City

The first workshop for CBAP® and CCBA® Certification to be held in Mexico City was conducted by SEAN (Servicios Educacionales en Analisis de Negocios), the foremost Business Analysis training provider in Mexico, in December. SEAN partnered with Watermark Learning, a leading worldwide provider of Business Analysis, Project Management, and Business Process Management training, to offer the workshop.

"The objective of the workshop is to prepare students to take the exam for the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) or Certificate of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) designations and help them make the most of the limited study time they have,"said Gabriel Almeida, Vice President, Educational and Professional Services of SEAN.

"It is current with the framework of knowledge outlined by the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK®) version 2.0,"Almeida added. "Students learn test-taking tips and strategies, along with practice questions and exercises to reinforce the material."

"Going forward, the CBAP/CCBA Workshop will be available as both a virtual course and as an instructor-led course in Mexico City," said Richard Larson, CBAP, PMP, President of Watermark Learning. "The workshop is designed for experienced business analysts who qualify to sit for the CBAP or CCBA exam, and who wish to successfully pass the exam on their first attempt,"Larson added.

The CBAP/CCBA workshop is the first in a series of Watermark Learning Business Analysis courses to be offered by SEAN. The additional courses will be added as interest in Business Analysis education continues to grow in Mexico.

About SEAN
SEAN is a 100% Mexican company dedicated to the development of content for training courses in business analysis topics. It is made up of national professionals in this area of competency and supported by experts of international stature. SEAN has strategic partners which allow it to keep up to date on the latest topics in business analysis that are submitted for consideration for course agendas. For more information, visit www.seanmexico.com.

January 2013

Watermark Learning Partners with Leading German Training Firm
masVenta to Provide Business Analysis Courses

Watermark Learning is pleased to announce a partnership with masVenta Business GmbH, a leading German-based training, consulting, and software services organization, to offer Watermark Learning Business Analysis and CBAP® certification study courses in Germany.

The Business Analysis courses offered through this new partnership are designed to help business analysts develop the valuable skills needed to analyze competing business needs and solve underlying business problems. The program also offers exam preparation courses for both the CCBA® (Certification of Competency in Business Analysis) and CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) designations offered by the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis).

"Watermark Learning is delighted to partner with masVenta to offer the first public CBAP course in Germany" said Richard Larson, CBAP, PMP, President of Watermark Learning. "The course is designed to increase CBAP candidates' confidence and improve their chances of passing the CBAP certification exam," he added.

"Our partnership with Watermark Learning provides us with best-of-breed learning materials for Business Analysis with which we effectively prepare candidates for their CBAP exams," said Rainer Wendt, CBAP, PMP, Managing Director of masVenta. "By including Watermark's excellent CBAP Study Guide and the flexible Online Exam Simulator in our courses, we make sure that our students pass the exam on the first try." Wendt added.

Among the first courses to be offered by masVenta in the Business Analysis curriculum is Facilitation Skills for Project Managers and Business Analysts. "This course empowers participants with the skills needed to effectively manage people dynamics, build teams, resolve conflict, and identify and solve problems," said Elizabeth Larson, CBAP, PMP, CSM, and CEO of Watermark Learning. "It is an excellent example of how this partnership will provide attendees with the hands-on training and skills practice needed to be an effective and confident business analyst." masVenta regularly offers various Watermark Learning courses in both German and English language in major European cities; the very first CBAP Preparation course in Germany will take place end of January in Dusseldorf.

About masVenta

Founded in 2007, masVenta aims to offer best services in areas of business analysis and project management. This is achieved by providing coaching, training, and the initialization of highly-qualified staff. The masVenta Corporate Philosophy is to professionally support companies during the process of ongoing improvement by providing business analysis and project management to close the gap between strategy and solution. The name masVenta originated with a CRM project and is Spanish for "more sales" (mas venta). For more information, visit www.masventa.eu.

December 2012

Happy Holidays and Thank You from Watermark Learning

Looking back over 20 successful years of serving the industry, we realize that we couldn't have done it without our past, present, (and future) clients and students. We have much to be thankful for and we are grateful to all those we have trained, mentored, and helped obtain their certification.

Sharing with others is the best way we know of to show our appreciation to you, our loyal customers and associates. As a way of giving back, we volunteer for organizations like PMI® and IIBA® and groups like the Alzheimer's Association, the MS Society, and Cancer Society. Watermark Learning also contributes 5% of its net profits to charities and non-profit organizations. Here is a list of the organizations our staff are most connected to and thought were most in need this year. We invite you to learn more about these organizations and to consider supporting these or other organizations in need.

  • Alzheimer's Association: Empowers and equips people affected by Alzheimer's disease and related disorders with expert information and resources.
  • American Cancer Society: The leading organization for research into cancer prevention and treatment.
  • Feeding America Food Network: The largest charitable hunger-relief organization in the United States.
  • Humane Society International: Working to protect animals in countries all over the world to provide direct, hands-on care to animals in need and spread the culture of compassion.
  • International Center for Research on Women: Works to make women in developing countries an integral part of alleviating global poverty. Identifies women’s contributions as well as the obstacles that prevent them from being economically strong and able to fully participate in society. ICRW translates these insights into a path of action that honors women’s human rights, ensures gender equality and creates the conditions in which all women can thrive.
  • Mercy Corps: Assists people in the world's toughest places to turn the crises of natural disaster, poverty, and conflict into opportunities for progress.
  • Open Arms International Program: Open Arms partners with non-profit organizations in sub-Saharan Africa to provide nutrition and technical assistance to people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, from daily hot lunches to community gardens and food parcels to clean water projects, to help bring hope to communities in South Africa, Namibia and Ethiopia.
  • Salvation Army Heatshare Program: Provides emergency assistance with heating and utility bills on a year-round basis.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

July 2012

Watermark Learning Announces Partnership with Equinox IT to Offer Training Programs in New Zealand

Watermark Learning is pleased to announce a partnership with Equinox IT, one of New Zealand's largest IT consulting, development, and training firms, to offer Watermark Learning courses in New Zealand. The partnership was launched in Wellington, New Zealand, on June 11 and 12 with presentations by Elizabeth Larson and Rich Larson to Business Analyst meetings sponsored by Equinox IT. Elizabeth presented on Seven Trends in Business Analysis and Richard's topic was Fantastic Voyage or the Impossible Dream? The BA as Management Consultant.

:We are pleased to partner with Equinox IT to offer this training,"said Elizabeth. "Our shared philosophy and focus on training leadership make this collaboration an excellent fit."

"The partnership with Watermark Learning will further our goal of working with partners from around the world to bring the best value to the software development and IT community," added Roger Dalgleish, Managing Director of Equinox IT. "This partnership contributes to our vision of the best people doing the best work to make a positive and significant difference for our customers."

About Equinox IT

Providing expert, independent IT consulting, development, and training since 1995, Equinox IT is a New Zealand-owned IT business with offices in Wellington and Auckland. With over 60 employees and a selection of key partner and associate relationships, Equinox provides a full set of services "in and around" the software development lifecycle. For more information, visit www.equinox.co.nz.

June 2012

Watermark Inaugurates Indian Partnership with BA World Presentations

Elizabeth Rich and Surendra BA World

Watermark Learning recently announced a partnership with Vellicate Technologies to begin offering Watermark courses in India. In conjunction with this partnership, Rich and Elizabeth Larson met with Surendra Saxena, Managing Director of Vellicate Technologies, while in India to present at Business Analysis World 2012. Sessions for BA World were held in two Indian locations, first in Pune May 21 – 22, and then in Bangalore May 24 – 25.

"Vellicate Technologies will be a fantastic partner for us in India," Rich Larson said. "Surendra Saxena was our host while we attended BA World, and was instrumental in making the trip a success." Both Rich and Elizabeth were presenters at the BA World sessions in Pune and Bangalore. Rich gave his talk on "Bulletproof Business Cases," while Elizabeth presented on "The Influencing Formula."

"This partnership reflects an increased demand for a higher level of skills in all areas," Surendra Saxena said. "We are excited to partner with Watermark Learning to help organizations develop skills and expertise needed to be successful."

There were enthusiastic attendees for each session in both cities. "Common issues raised by participants included projects getting launched by solution without a business case, lack of cost-benefit analysis, business leaders responding to the wrong stakeholders, launching projects with inappropriate features, and projects being scrapped because they lacked business value," Rich said. "It is obvious that the profession of Business Analysis is thriving in India," he added.

About Vellicate Technologies

Vellicate Technologies Private Limited is a Training, Consulting, and Software Services Organization providing cost effective, innovative, and high-quality solutions to their customers with a passion for excellence. They provide training and consulting to help their clients develop the necessary skills and processes to improve business and employee performance. Vellicate is an IIBA® Endorsed Education Provider (EEP) and their key focus areas are business analysis, project and program management, business process management (BPM), leadership development, and power engineering. For more information, visit www.vellicate-tech.com.

March 2012

Watermark Leaps into its 21st Year

The date has finally passed. March 2 marks the 20th Anniversary of Watermark Learning's founding. Like 1992, 2012 is also a leap year, and with the passing of the anniversary date, we take the leap into our 21st year.

Watermark Learning began as Watermark Technical Services, a one-person operation offering a handful of IT training courses, and is now, literally, an international institution. We offer our college-accredited training in business analysis, project management, and business process management not only as in-person courses, but also as live, virtual classes attended by people all over the world. We also license our course materials to companies in South Africa, India, and Mexico.

The significant events of Watermark's first 20 years are highlighted in our 20th Anniversary Timeline. View the Timeline.

Read more about 1992 happenings.

January 2012

Watermark Learning to Launch Training Programs in Mexico

Watermark Learning is pleased to announce that it will launch courses in Business Analysis in Mexico beginning in 2012. The courses are being offered in conjunction with SEAN (Servicios Educacionales en Analisis de Negocios), the foremost Business Analysis training provider in Mexico.

The first course to be offered will be a workshop for those preparing for the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) or Certificate of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA®) designations. The CBAP/CCBA® Workshop will be available as both a virtual course and as an instructor-led course in Mexico City.

"Watermark Learning is pleased to partner with SEAN to offer this training in Mexico" said Richard Larson, CBAP, PMP, President of Watermark Learning. "The CBAP/CCBA® prep course is designed for experienced business analysts who qualify to sit for the CBAP® or CCBA® exam, and who wish to successfully pass the exam on their first attempt," he added.

"As interest in CBAP/CCBA® certification has grown, so too has the availability of both online and instructor-led courses. We are proud to be affiliated with market leader Watermark Learning in offering this course in Mexico," said Gabriel Almeida, Vice president, Educational and Professional Services of SEAN.

CBAP/CCBA® is a registered certification mark of International Institute of Business Analysis

December 2011

Watermark Learning to Offer College Credit through Concordia University, St. Paul

Watermark Learning has signed an agreement with Concordia University, St. Paul for Watermark students to earn college credit for Watermark Learning Courses in Project Management, Business Analysis, and Business Process Management.

"We at Watermark are very excited about the new collaboration with Concordia University. This option will help fill the void for some of our clients for whom it is difficult to attend and pay for training that isn't tied directly toward a degree, either at the Bachelor's or Master's level," said Chris Anderson, Vice President of Sales and Delivery at Watermark Learning.

"We are pleased we can enrich the academic experience of Concordia students through the addition of targeted, relevant training on topics of high value to employers and students alike," said Dr. Eric LaMott, Concordia senior vice president and chief operating officer. "Watermark's up-to-the-minute expertise aligns well with Concordia's practitioner-focused degree programs. We appreciate the mutual benefit to both Concordia and Watermark students."

The collaboration will apply to all Watermark Learning open-enrollment classes currently offered in Minneapolis, MN, Chicago, IL, Phoenix, AZ, and Toronto, as well as additional cities to be added in the future. All internet-based virtual training courses are included and offer access to Concordia credits to students around the world.

As part of the agreement, Watermark will promote the collaborative courses and training to its clients and Concordia will promote the courses and training to its undergraduate, graduate and certificate students.

Watermark Learning will provide credentialed instructors for each class, and will provide Concordia with information on student attendance, assignments, and other accreditation information on which grades will be based. Watermark will also provide students with course materials and the courseware requirements necessary to receive college credit.

Concordia will register all "for credit" students, process their payments, answer student inquiries, and share registration information with Watermark. These students will have access to all Concordia resources, including the university's library. Watermark Learning students who are not Concordia students will be enrolled as visiting students and receive a Concordia student identification number.

Concordia will also provide all "for credit" students with grades and transcripts upon request, and provide classroom space for courses held at Concordia as requested by Watermark.

Learn more about Concordia University

Happy Holidays from Watermark Learning

Reflecting back on the 19 years that Watermark Learning has served the industry, we have much to be thankful for. We have benefited from and are grateful to the past, present, (and future) clients and students we have trained and mentored. As a way of giving back to the community, we volunteer for organizations like PMI® and IIBA® and groups like the Alzheimer's Association, the MS Society, and Cancer Society.

Like you, our time is limited, so we also donate financially to worthy causes. There are an endless number to choose from, so we polled our staff again to create this year's list. We all feel strongly about the world around us and giving to others in need.

Here is a list of the organizations our staff are most connected to and thought were most in need this year. We invite you to consider supporting these or other organizations in need. We donate over 5% of our pre-tax earnings in dollars and time each year to charitable and industry causes.

Happy holidays from our family to yours!

  • Alzheimer's Association: Empowers and equips people affected by Alzheimer's disease and related disorders with expert information and resources.
  • American Cancer Society: The leading organization for research into cancer prevention and treatment.
  • Feeding America Food Network: The largest charitable hunger-relief organization in the United States.
  • Humane Society International: Working to protect animals in countries all over the world to provide direct, hands-on care to animals in need and spread the culture of compassion.
  • International Center for Research on Women: Works to make women in developing countries an integral part of alleviating global poverty. Identifies women's contributions as well as the obstacles that prevent them from being economically strong and able to fully participate in society. ICRW translates these insights into a path of action that honors women's human rights, ensures gender equality and creates the conditions in which all women can thrive.
  • Mercy Corps: Assists people in the world's toughest places to turn the crises of natural disaster, poverty, and conflict into opportunities for progress.
  • Open Arms International Program: Open Arms partners with non-profit organizations in sub-Saharan Africa to provide nutrition and technical assistance to people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, from daily hot lunches to community gardens and food parcels to clean water projects, to help bring hope to communities in South Africa, Namibia and Ethiopia.
  • Salvation Army Heatshare Program: Provides emergency assistance with heating and utility bills on a year-round basis.

November 2011

Project R.E.A.L. Receives 2011 PMI Continuing Professional Education Product of the Year Award

Watermark Learning's Project R.E.A.L. training has been honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®) as the recipient of its Product of the Year Award in the Continuing Professional Education Category. Project R.E.A.L. (Real Experience; Applied Learning) was selected for the award from numerous submissions received from around the world. The award was presented during PMI's annual Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 22 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center.

"We are proud to be the recipient of this prestigious award," said Elizabeth Larson, CEO of Watermark Learning. "Project R.E.A.L. teaches students how to lead and make the tough decisions in moments of difficulty. The course shares real life success stories and failures that help guide students through both the Project R.E.A.L. course and their real-world jobs," she added.

The Project R.E.A.L. live training exemplifies exceptional professional development instruction for project practitioners. Project R.E.A.L. was designed for both Project Management and Business Analysis professionals. This advanced course expands on students' previous learning and job experience in a robust, dynamic, and fast-paced environment using a hands-on, live project simulation.

Project R.E.A.L. is guided by an experienced facilitator with extensive background in Project Management and Business Analysis. Students are immersed in more than just a simulation, and allowed to expand on previous learning and job experience where they are prepared to handle obstacles that may impede project success.

Participants experience the pitfalls, roadblocks, curveballs, successes, and celebrations that happen on every project as part of a working team in a live, interactive, and safe environment. Structured flexibility is built into the course utilizing an outline combined with guidance from the facilitator and the overall approach of the project chosen by the students.

Learn more about the 2011 Awards.
See a video of the awards ceremony.

Watermark Learning Receives DEED Recertification from State of Minnesota

Watermark Learning has been recertified by the Department of Education and Economic Development (DEED) of the State of Minnesota to be licensed as a Private Career School. Licensure is required by private schools and training firms that offer non-degreed career training programs in Minnesota.

State licensing requires a school to meet strict standards for certificates or diplomas, student records, finances, and faculty. Licensed schools must also provide accurate and useful information about school programs and courses, tuition and fees, admissions, evaluation, dismissal and refunds.

"We strive to not only meet but to exceed state standards for licensure," said Chris Anderson, Watermark Learning's Vice President of Sales and Delivery. "We are proud to once again meet these requirements, and plan to continuously improve our course offerings and support programs to meet licensing standards in the future."

Watermark Learning's programs are categorized under Project Management Training and Business Analysis Fundamentals by the state, and as being offered both as public and online courses. The 2011 recertification marks the fourth consecutive year that Watermark has received a Private Career School license from DEED.

Auburn University Representative Visits Watermark Learning

Wanda Lambert, Administrator of Outreach Programs for Continuing Education at Auburn University, visited Watermark Learning last month to review and recertify Watermark programs.

While in Minneapolis, Lambert audited courses and met with Watermark's management team. "In addition to the audit, we discussed new programs that our two organizations will jointly participate in," said Chris Anderson, Watermark's Vice President of Sales and Delivery. "These will include additional distance learning options for project management and business analysis training," he added.

"We plan to continue our successful partnership with Auburn University to grant our students Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for our classes," said Elizabeth Larson, CEO of Watermark Learning. "Watch for details of our new partnership programs very soon."

October 2011

Watermark Learning Is Now a Premier Sponsor of IIBA

We're pleased to announce that Watermark Learning is now a Premier Sponsor of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®), the professional association for Business Analysis practitioners.

As a Premier Sponsor, we are now one of a select group of companies who directly support the IIBA in its mission of developing and maintaining standards for the practice of business analysis and the certification of business analysis professionals.

"We believe strongly in the importance of the IIBA and what it can do for the Business Analysis community," said Richard Larson, Watermark Learning President. "As part of the Premier Sponsorship Program, Watermark Learning will participate with the IIBA in various events and programs in the coming year," he added.

Included in the Premier Sponsorship program are two webinars where sponsors can present topics relevant to the Business Analysis community. Sponsors are also recognized at other events and on the IIBA website as leading supporters of the IIBA and its programs.

We continue to be a leading provider of training programs and skill development services for Business Analysts worldwide. All Watermark Learning training supports the IIBA Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK®) Version 2.0. Watermark Learning also offers Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) and Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA™) study programs through its public open-enrollment classes, virtual classes, private on-site training courses, mentoring, certification preparation products, and other related resources.

Find out more about the IIBA

Watermark Delivers Recently Updated PMP® Certification Preparation Course Materials and Online Simulation Exam

Watermark Learning recently delivered its new PMP® Certification Preparation course which has been updated to reflect the exam changes that went into effect August 31. Watermark PMP® Prep students receiving the new materials for the live instructor-led course, delivered in classrooms and online, will find the study tools, exercises, and in-class practice tests to be critical to their certification success. A free 90-day subscription to the updated Watermark PMP® Online Simulation Exam, which includes over 500 questions, is also included with the course.

September 2011

More Virtual Classes Announced

We are pleased to unveil four more classes that are available in a virtual environment over the Internet. Classes are held in 3.5 hour sessions, typically two or three per week. The classes include some of our most popular classes, including:

Class Start Date Number of Sessions
Business Analysis Fundamentals Sept. 26 6
Requirements Modeling Essentials Oct. 10 4
PMP Certification Preparation Oct. 10 6
Influencing Without Authority Nov. 29 4

Our virtual classes will provide the same PDUs/CDUs as in-person classes, and are eligible for CEUs with our Master's Certificate programs from Auburn University. Contact us for more information. Watch for more virtual classes soon!

Business Process Management Program Announced

We're pleased to announce our newest certificate program, the Business Process Management Certificate from Auburn University and Watermark Learning. Help your organization capture additional value from its processes where you will learn an industry standard framework for managing and improving business processes, develop new skills such as process analysis and process improvement, and apply basic facilitation and change management skills to help adopt new and improved processes.

We designed this new program because of a need by organizations to harness their process assets and increase both process efficiency and effectiveness. It complements our 5 day Associate Certificates in Project Management and Business Analysis. All certificates are $2450.00 for 5 days of classes and include CEUs from Auburn University.

Join us in December for these practical and engaging classes:

  • Getting Started in Business Process Management (Dec. 5)
  • Business Process Modeling (Dec. 6-7)
  • Business Process Improvement (Dec. 8-9)

For more information, visit our BPM Certificate page.

Classes are also available individually. For additional information, please call Roberta Hoffman, 952-921-0900, x208 or 1-800-646-9362, ext.208, roberta.hoffman@watermarklearning.com.

May 2011

Webinar Recordings Available

We have now published three of our popular webinar recordings to the Resources section of this web site. With just a quick registration, you can view any of our past sessions, including CBAP® and CCBA® Application Tips and Tricks, Pulp Fiction: BA Theory Versus Real Life, and Understanding Business Intelligence and Overcoming its Challenges. Each webinar could earn a PDU or CDU if you are a PMP® or CBAP® seeking re-certification. Read our self-reporting page for details on reporting webinar development units.

Watch for additional topics to be posted regularly, and check back for more announcements. Or, register as a member to receive our Project Brief eNewsletter for regular announcements such as these, and industry new, articles, tips, and more. You will then be able to view all of our webinars as we make them available.

View Webinar Recordings

March 2011

Watermark Learning Turns 19 this Month! 19 Scholarship Seats to be Granted in 2011

It is hard to believe that it was 19 years ago in March, 1992, that Watermark Learning began life as a training company. We are pleased and appreciative that our training and services are valuable to you, our loyal and supportive customers.

To honor the occasion, we will be giving out 19 scholarship seats to Watermark Learning public classes the remainder of the year. Candidates must be currently in job transition and submit a short application.

To enroll for consideration, please email your interest to marketinginfo@WatermarkLearning.com. Tell us how you would benefit by a Watermark Learning class and how it will help you land your next job. Contact us for further details and an application.

February 2011

Online Study Exam Launched

We are pleased to release our Online Study Exam today. Like its counter-part, the CBAP® Online Study Exam, we provide hundreds of realistic and challenging questions designed to prepare you for the exam. Read more about it and register today to ensure you pass the first time!

January 2011

International Partners Sought

Watermark Learning announces it is seeking international partners who wish to license courseware in business analysis, project management, and influencing skills. Watermark Learning courses reflect industry best practices, a practical approach, and foster an engaging delivery. For more information, please contact Chris Anderson, Vice President of Sales and Delivery. "We have been licensing our courses for several years," notes Anderson. "Now we are formally seeking partners who want to offer our world-class training and be up and running quickly."

December 2010

Watermark Prepares for the CCBA® — New Courses and Products On the Way

The International Institute of Business Analysis® (IIBA®) has announced that the online application for the new Certification of Competency in Business Analysis™ (CCBA®) designation is now available.
CCBA® is a professional certification for business analysis practitioners who want to be recognized for their experience and skills by earning a formal designation. BA practitioners who do not qualify for the CBAP® should consider applying for the CCBA®. Watermark Learning has created a number of resources to help you prepare for this exam:

  • Blog Post: CCBA® Exam to Launch Soon
  • CBAP®/CCBA® FAQs
  • Free Online Webinar: CCBA®/CBAP® Application January 13
  • CCBA® Certification Preparation Class on February 22-24, 2011 (virtual) and April 18-20, 2011 (live classroom)
  • CCBA® Online Study Exam: Based off of our popular CBAP® Online Study Exam, this new CCBA® version is scheduled to launch January 1st.
  • Flashcards: Our flashcards are getting a new name “BABOK® Flashcards” to better reflect their content. Because they cover the BABOK® Guide from A to Z, these flashcards are perfect for preparing for both the CBAP® and CCBA® Exams.

Want to get started right away? The CCBA® exam blueprint is very similar to the CBAP® and is heavily based on the BABOK® Guide. All our CBAP® exam prep resources cover the BABOK® material thoroughly and apply equally well to either exam.

For more information about submitting your CCBA® application, review the CCBA® Handbook or to apply now, click here. The CCBA® exam is launching in early January 2011.

Happy Holidays from Watermark Learning

Reflecting back on the 18 years that Watermark Learning has served the industry, we have much to be thankful for. We have benefited from and are grateful to the past, present, (and future) clients and students we have trained. As a way of giving back to the community, we volunteer for organizations like PMI® and IIBA® and groups like the Alzheimer's Association and Cancer Society.

Like you, our time is limited, so we also donate financially to worthy causes. There are an endless number to choose from, so we polled our staff again to create this year's list. We all feel strongly about the world around us and giving to others in need.

Here is a list of the organizations our staff either had a personal connection with, or in general thought were most in need of help this year. In lieu of holiday gifts, Watermark Learning will contribute 5% of its net profits to these non-profit organizations, including donating volunteer time to industry groups. We also invite you to consider supporting these organizations or others you feel concerned about. Happy holidays from our family to yours, and share the joy!

  • Alzheimer's Association: Empowers and equips people affected by Alzheimer's disease and related disorders with expert information and resources.
  • American Cancer Society: The leading organization for research into cancer prevention and treatment.
  • Central Asia Institute: promotes and supports community-based education, especially for girls, in remote regions of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Feeding America: The largest charitable hunger-relief organization in the United States.
  • Lupus Foundation of America: the foremost national nonprofit health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus.
  • Mercy Corps: Assists people in the world's toughest places to turn the crises of natural disaster, poverty and conflict into opportunities for progress.
  • Salvation Army Heatshare Program: Provides emergency assistance with heating and utility bills on a year-round basis.

Elizabeth Larson to be Content Lead for the Scope Management Section for PMBOK Guide 5th Edition.

Elizabeth Larson, CEO of Watermark Learning, has volunteered to be the content lead for the Project Scope Management Knowledge Area in the revisions of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

Elizabeth’s background, overall knowledge, and her involvement with the IIBA’s A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide) and the committee to coordinate the BABOK Guide and PMBOK Guide make her uniquely positions for this volunteer role. She will guide the content team as they review and revise the section. “It is truly an honor to fill this role,” said Larson. “I look forward to the working on this important project.”

The PMBOK Guide represents generally recognized good practice in the profession. It is developed through a voluntary consensus process which brings together volunteers and/or seeks out the views of persons who have an interest in the topic covered by the standards.

To learn more about the PMBOK Guide – Fifth Edition visit the Project Management Institute’s website. For more information about project management and business analysis training and resources visit www.watermarklearning.com.

November 2010

Watermark Learning Launches PMP® Online Study Exam

Minneapolis, M.N. – November 1, 2010 – Watermark Learning today announced the availability of its PMP® Online Study Exam, an exam preparation tool that combines an exam simulator and study guide into one user-friendly package.

Containing over 500 realistic PMP® exam questions created after years of teaching PMP® Certification Preparation Courses, this comprehensive tool covers each area of the PMBOK® Guide. The three-in-one tool adapts to the student as they progress in their studies and is available 24/7 for students during their subscription period. A warm-up section allows them to ease into the exam with fewer and easier questions. The drills section of the tool allows the student to choose which knowledge area of the PMBOK® Guide they would like to focus on. “It’s the three-in-one feature and the detailed answer feedback for both right and wrong answers that sets our exam apart,” stated Richard Larson, Co-principal of Watermark Learning. This detailed feedback includes PMBOK® Guide reference numbers so students know exactly where to go to find additional information on each question.

When ready, students can progress to the exam simulator portion of the PMP® Online Study Exam for a true taste of the PMP® Certification Exam. Summary information at the end of each exam attempt shows how well the student has done in each Knowledge Area. “This gives students guidance on which areas of the PMBOK® Guide to focus the remainder of their study time,” Larson added.

The PMP® Online Study Exam is sold in 30, 60, and 90 day subscription lengths. It follows up Watermark Learning’s popular CBAP Online Study Exam which launched in February 2010. Learn more about all the exam preparation resources Watermark Learning has available at www.watermarklearning.com/pmp.

Are you Ready to Get R.E.A.L.?

Expand on your previous learning and job experience in a robust, dynamic, and fast-paced environment using a hands-on, live project experience. Do you want to become a leader and make tough decisions in moments of difficulty? Are you sometimes so focused on day-to-day tasks that you don’t take advantage of the full life cycle of projects and requirements? Would you like to better navigate project and stakeholder needs in the context of project and corporate politics? Check out our newest offering, “Project R.E.A.L. - Real Experience; Applied Learning” and start getting real on your projects now!

 

August 2010

PMI's Salary Survey Shows Increased Earning for Credential Holders

(From PMI.org) Knowing your earning potential is an invaluable asset when you want to leverage opportunities in your current job, invest in skills to raise your marketability and plan the next phase of your career. It's also critical for organizations that are competing for top talent as the demand for project managers grows.

PMI's latest project management salary survey shows that despite the global recession, for 51 percent of respondents, salaries are increasing. The median salary across all countries, roles, and experience levels is $90,260.

PMP® Credential Status Has Positive Impact on Earnings

The survey showed that the Project Management Professional® (PMP®) credential has a positive impact on annual salary, a finding that varies by country.

In six major countries—Australia, France, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States—salaries are at least $10,000 greater for PMP® credential holders than for those who don't have the credential.

The cumulative difference in salary over a number of years can exceed $100,000. For instance, in the United States, the cumulative difference between the earnings of PMP® credential holders and those without the PMP® credential is more than $102,000 during the time period between their third year of experience in project management (when one can first get the credential) and their 15th year (when experience starts to have a greater impact).

Background on Survey

Created and conducted by PMI's market research team, the PMI Project Management Salary Survey—Sixth Edition measures salaries across eight major position description levels in 19 countries. The latest survey, conducted in 2009, reflects a greatly increased sample size for more accurate results, based on self-reported data from nearly 35,000 project management professionals around the world.

Represented countries include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Some of the information found in the survey includes:

  • The country with the highest median salary ($116,625) is Australia
  • Sizes of projects (in terms of number of team members and average project budget) positively correlate with annual salary

Salary correlates with the number of years a respondent has worked within the profession. In some countries, the salary difference from least- to most-experienced practitioner is dramatic.

The full report of the salary survey features:

  • Cross-tabulations of salary data by eight positions and 13 demographic variables
  • Reported salary increases over the past year Expected salary increases for the next year
  • Information on benefit packages, work environments and available global project management career paths

The salary survey country reports feature the same information as the full report for each of the countries listed above. Both the full report and the country reports are available for sale in PMI's Marketplace.

Resources for IIBA® and PMI® Chapters

We are launching a program to provide resources and support to IIBA® and PMI® chapters for the members. The problem all chapters face is making membershiprelevant and valuable, and to provide practical information for members. We can provide chapters with a number of resources of interest to Business Analysts and Project Managers.

On the resources page of our website we publish articles, tips, templates, and in the near future, webinars on demand.

We post frequently to our ProjectBrief™ Blog with incisive thoughts and ideas for project success.

We can provide articles for inclusion in a newsletter or other emailing program.

Chapter members will immediately benefit from access to our continually growing body of information that will help them on the job. Please contact us for more information.

July 2010

Earn a Lifetime Watermark Learning Discount

Students who earned a Masters Certificate in Business Analysis or Project Management through our public classes receive a lifetime 20% discount on all future public classes through Watermark Learning. Just one more reason to pursue your Masters Certificate!

Watermark Learning Now Offering Classes Virtually!

We are excited to be offering our first-ever virtual class, and are leading off with CBAP® Preparation. Class begins July 26th. It's a convenient way to attend training, providing access to the class from anywhere. It also integrates into your schedule with 6 sessions, from 9 am to 12:30 pm (US-CDT) two days a week. The class will provide 21 CDUs to satisfy CBAP® certification requirements. We chose the time to maximize the availability of the class to our customers around the world. We'll experiment with this and other classes to find the optimal time for virtual training. Look for more virtual classes in various topics later this year!

IIBA® Announces New Certification

The IIBA® recently announced and will have a new certification for people who don’t meet the 7500 hour requirement for the CBAP® certification. It is called the “Certification of Competency in Business Analysis™” (CCBA®) and will launch in late 2010 with an exam ready by early 2011. You need 3750 hours to qualify and must pass a 150-question exam and other requirements. See the IIBA® CCBA® web page for more details.

June 2010

Rich Larson Quoted in PM Network Magazine

Rich Larson, CBAP, PMP, principal of Watermark Learning, was quoted in PM Network magazine in an article on “influencing without authority.” This article discusses the importance of project managers to act as consultants to 'dig' for the why behind projects and how they can better position themselves to take a leadership role.

May 2010

Elizabeth Larson Earns Certified Scrummaster Designation

Elizabeth Larson, Co-Principal and CEO of Watermark Learning, recently earned the designation of Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) through the Scrum Alliance. Besides being a key member of the management team, Elizabeth directs a number of courses, and teaches workshops, seminars, and training classes for Watermark Learning. Congratulations on this achievement, Elizabeth!

Watermark Learning's Masters Certificate Program Approved by the Illinois Workforce Development System

Watermark Learning’s Masters Certificate in Business Analysis and “Mini” Masters Certificate in Business Analysis programs have been accepted on the IWDS (Illinois Workforce Development System) list of WIA Certified training programs for Illinois residents currently without a job. For more information visit the consumer info button on http://iwds.cmcf.state.il.us/ and search for “Watermark Learning”.

Watermark Learning focuses on skill development that dislocated workers can reference immediately on resumes and interviews. Our project management, business analysis, and influencing skills courses give you the knowledge you need to solve real-world business problems.

We keep our classes small so that you get the one-on-one attention you need. We utilize a lecture / hands-on workshop approach, so you can immediately apply the concepts you've learned and replicate them in a real-world setting. All of our instructors are PMP® and/or CBAP® certified, assuring you will learn from experts who are at the top of their field and skilled at instruction.

Being unemployed presents particular networking challenges. Watermark Learning encourages and promotes peer-to-peer networking during and after classes to increase your chances to learn about possible job opportunities.

Both the Masters Certificate and Mini Masters programs provide CEUs from Auburn University and therefore qualify for federal funding as well. Contact Darcy McQuillan for more information.

IIBA® Minneapolis Chapter Completes Successful Professional Development Day

The very first IIBA® Minneapolis St. Paul Chapter Professional Development Day was a huge success! The event was sold out—selling 203 tickets. There were 182 actual attendees and 10 sponsors of which Watermark Learning is a very proud Heritage Sponsor (founding sponsor of the chapter) in 2010, our very own Bob Prentiss (Watermark's Client Solutions Director of Business Analysis and Past President/Executive Counsel for the IIBA® MSP Chapter) chaired the PDD committee that ran the event. The event featured Kathleen Barret, President of the IIBA® as the Keynote Speaker, Rich Larson presenting the Foolproof Plan for CBAP® Preparation and Elizabeth Larson was a key panelist in the afternoon on the Changing Face of Business Analysis. The IIBA® MSP has already secured the facility for next year and plans on doubling the size of the event in attendees and speakers. We look forward to seeing you there!

New Resource for Project Management Learning, Education, and Development

Project Management Institute (PMI®) has introduced a new online community resource for its members. The new community—which is free to PMI® members—provides a place for project practitioners to connect, share knowledge, and explore PM topics in greater detail. The community site offers tools such as discussion boards, shared documents, wikis, and blogs. Log into this resource at http://lead.vc.pmi.org.

April 2010

Watermark Learning Welcomes Bob Prentiss

Watermark Learning Welcomes Bob Prentiss Minneapolis, MN—Watermark Learning is pleased to welcome Robert Prentiss as our new Client Solutions Director of Business Analysis. Bob manages the Business Analysis curriculum and provides training and mentoring on business analysis with special focus on Business Analysis Fundamentals and BA Centers of Excellence. Previously, Bob managed the Claims Services Center of Excellence at Express Scripts—a Fortune 150 Pharmaceutical Benefits Management company. The Center of Excellence managed standards, tools, metrics, competency, governance and change management to help mature Business Analysis and Project Management practices. Bob has 14+ years experience in the field of Business Analysis and is CBAP® certified. Bob stays very involved in giving back to the Business Analysis community through mentoring and coaching Business Analysts, providing formal Business Analysis training, developing Business Analysis best practices, speaking at industry conferences on topics such as; CBAP® Certification, Centers of Excellence, Business Analyst Competency and Business Analysis careers. Bob has been involved with the IIBA MSP Chapter since its inception in 2005 wearing several hats on the board, and currently serving as the Past President and Executive Counsel.

March 2010

Happy Anniversary Watermark Learning

On March 2nd, Watermark Learning celebrated our eighteenth year of project management and business analysis training. In these eighteen years, we have successfully developed, delivered and perfected our own sought-after training based on firsthand, real world experience. Watermark Learning has now taught over 35,000 students in more than 3,000 classes. We're proud of reaching this milestone, and thank our customers for their support over the years!

Watermark Learning Announces New Agile Methods Course

Minneapolis, MN—Agile processes have joined the mainstream of software development approaches according to a Forrester Research report released last month. In response, Watermark Learning has created a new three day course which provides a solid foundation in agile methods.

Developed for all project team members, including Business Analysts, Project Managers, Software Testers and Developers, Agile Fundamentals builds the students’ knowledge and skills in the agile approach to defining, estimating, and prioritizing requirements, as well as in planning releases and iterations. Using Scrum as a reference, attendees learn how to build a Product Backlog, estimate sprints, write user stories, use burndown charts, and complete reviews and retrospectives.

Co-Principal and CEO of Watermark Learning, Elizabeth Larson, CBAP, PMP, says, “With more and more of our clients adopting agile methods, we felt it was important to respond to their needs with a hands-on, comprehensive course that offered practical and realistic case studies.”

An awareness of Agile and Business Analysis methods is helpful but not required for this class. This course can also be taught on-site for a project team.

Watermark Learning Releases CBAP® Online Study Exam

Minneapolis, MN—Watermark Learning, Inc. released their CBAP® Online Study Exam on February 15 of this year. This three-in-one study aid has over 700 realistic exam questions and adapts with students as they progress in their studies.

“We are extremely pleased with the depth and breadth of the practice exam system we created to help CBAP® candidates,” said Watermark Learning President Richard Larson. “Our system has more features and flexibility than any other exam simulation on the market. And, our extensive question feedback and BABOK® references will help people better prepare and focus their valuable study time,” he added.

For students just beginning their preparations, a warm-up section helps ease anxiety, a common problem for many exam-takers. The drill section allows the exam-taker to focus on one or more Knowledge Area of the BABOK® at a time, with detailed answers and BABOK® reference numbers provided for each question. Once the student is ready, the exam simulator gives them a chance to take a full, realistic exam to see where their areas of weakness are. Simulation questions are randomized according to the CBAP® exam question blueprint provided by the IIBA® (International Institute of Business Analysis).

“The drill section is critical for me because I can learn one chapter at a time and then review. The drills motivate me to read the BABOK® chapters thoroughly,” said Kathy Longar, CBAP® Certification Candidate.

The CBAP® Online Study Exam is the newest addition in a suite of tools offered by Watermark Learning, which also includes a CBAP® Preparation course and a best-selling study guide.

Marsha Hughes Earns CSP Designation

Marsha Hughes, Watermark Learning’s Agile Instructor, has earned the advanced designation of Certified Scrum Practitioner (CSP). To become a CSP, a practitioner must be a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and have run a project using Scrum for at least one year. There are approximately 950 CSPs worldwide. Congratulations on this achievement, Marsha!

January 2010

Marsha Hughes to Join Core Team for the IIBA® Agile BABOK® Addendum

Marsha Hughes, Watermark Learning's lead Agile instructor, has been invited to join the core team involved in the IIBA® Agile BABOK® Addendum. Marsha will be part of a small team of people chosen to lead and be active in the development of an Agile Business analysis knowledgebase and contribute to an Agile addendum to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge ( BABOK®).The objective of this group will be to define how the business analysis tasks and techniques described in the BABOK® Guide apply under different agile methods, and to define the additional knowledge not described in the BABOK® Guide that is required to be effective when acting as an agile business analyst or product owner. Materials developed by this committee will eventually be incorporated into version 3.0 of the BABOK® Guide.

In addition to holding CBAP and PMP designations, Marsha is also a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and is the developer of Watermark Learning's new “Agile Fundamentals” course. Congratulations Marsha!

December 2009

Focus on Sharing: Year-End Donations

As we have for each of our 17 years in business, Watermark Learning will contribute 5% of its net profits to charities and non-profit organizations. Our entire staff is concerned with the world around us and feels strongly about giving to others in need. Not just at year-end, but all throughout the year.

Here is a list of the organizations our staff thought were most in need of help this year. We also invite you to consider supporting these organizations or others you feel concerned about. Happy holidays from our family to yours, and share the joy!

  • Alzheimer's Association: Empowers and equips people affected by Alzheimer's disease and related disorders with expert information and resources.
  • American Cancer Society: The leading organization for research into cancer prevention and treatment.
  • Feeding America Food Bank: The largest charitable hunger-relief organization in the United States.
  • Mercy Corps: Mercy Corps is a team of 3,700 professionals helping turn crisis into opportunity for millions around the world.
  • Resource, Inc.: Provides high-quality, caring, and effective services in the areas of employment services, training and disability assistance, mental health services, and chemical health assistance.
  • Salvation Army Heatshare Program: Provides emergency assistance with heating and utility bills on a year-round basis.
  • The Soldier's Project: Provides free counseling and support to military service members and veterans who have served or who expect to serve in the Iraq and/or Afghanistan conflicts.

October 2009

Focus on Sharing: Mercy Corps

Did you notice the huge number of typhoons, tsunamis, and earthquakes that have hit southeast Asia this year? Indonesia in particular has been hit with several earthquakes this fall—the latest on Oct. 23rd—with numerous casualties, building damage, flooding, and other disruptions. The media didn't give them much attention, but luckily Mercy Corps did.

Mercy Corps is a non-profit organization that specializes in providing humanitarian aid and development assistance. Since their founding in 1979, they have donated nearly $2 billion (US dollars) in emergency and developmental aid to over 16 million people in over 40 countries. Other groups may donate more, but Mercy Corps is highly efficient in how they operate. They are consistently rated as one of Charity Navigator's “Four Star” charities of choice.

For these and many other reasons, Watermark Learning has donated a portion of its proceeds this fall to Mercy Corps. Each year we donate 5% of our net earnings to charitable organizations like Mercy Corps. If you'd like to read more about the awesome work that Mercy Corps. does, please visit their website.

Congratulations to Sandra Tschannen of Watermark Learning for receiving the 2009 PACT Hall of Fame Award

PACT is the Minnesota Professional Association for Computer Training. Sandy has been an active member with the association for almost 20 years, serving 6 years on Board of Directors and as a Past President. Everyone at Watermark Learning is proud of her accomplishments and dedication to the training field. Way to go Sandy!

September 2009

Watermark Learning Serves the Dislocated Worker Community

Losing your job unexpectedly can be very stressful, but we're here to lend a hand. Watermark Learning is dedicated to serving dislocated workers with quality education programs. Read More

August 2009

Requirements Management Book Available Now

Our new Requirements Management, Part 1: Requirements Planning has been officially released. To purchase this guide, click on the title!

July 2009

Valuable Industry Articles Now Available

Watermark Learning is now featuring valuable industry articles covering a wide variety of topics affecting business analysts and project management professionals. Titles include: Eliciting Requirements, Industry Trends, Influencing Skills, Project Success, and so much more! To download full-length articles, all you need to do is register as a Watermark Learning Member. It's easy, fast, and free! Go to Industry Articles

June 2009

Watermark Learning is Now WIA Program Certified

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) reformed federal employment, training, adult education, and vocational rehabilitation programs by creating an integrated “one-stop” system of workforce investment and education services for adults, dislocated workers, and youth. The Workforce Investment Act provides the framework for a unique national workforce preparation and employment system designed to meet both the needs of the nation's businesses and the needs of job seekers and those who want to further their careers. View our page on the iSEEK website. (Internet Explorer 8.0 Note: Click ‘Compatibility View’ to view page optimally).

Watermark's CBAP® Application article picked up by Modern Analyst.com

Watermark Learning's CBAP® Certification: 7 Steps for Managing the Application Process is featured on Modern Analyst.
Read the Article

April 2009

IIBA® Announces Release of BABOK® Guide 2.0

The IIBA® recently announced that the 2.0 version of its Business Analysis Body of Knowledge ( BABOK®) is available as of March 31, 209. It is truly a milestone in the practice of business analysis and a significant step from the previous 1.6 version. Watermark Learning principals Elizabeth Larson, CBAP®, PMP® and Richard Larson, CBAP®, PMP® both contributed to this release as a Knowledge Area lead contributor and head of the BABOK® review committee, respectively.

IIBA® members will be able to review free PDF versions of the new BABOK® and non-members can purchase it for only $29.95. Visit the IIBA® website for more details. The CBAP® exam will be updated this summer to test candidates based on the new version.

TIP: Anyone currently studying for the exam should apply now and take the exam before August 1, 2009. The exam is being re-written to address the new version, and any studying you have done may not apply to the new release.

2009 PMI® Northeast Wisconsin Professional Development Day

While at this event, come visit Watermark Learning at our booth. April 23 Presentation - Why Strategic Projects Fail: How to Avoid Becoming a Statistic by Watermark Learning Senior Instructor, Stevie Peterson, PMP®
Learn More

March 2009

IIBA® Sponsorships

Watermark Learning is proud to announce that it is a Premier Sponsor of two IIBA® Chapters: Minneapolis St. Paul Chapter of IIBA® and Chicagoland Chapter of IIBA®.

January 2009

CBAP® Certification Study Guide

Watermark Learning is pleased to announce its acclaimed CBAP® Certification Study Guide is now available for purchase through Amazon.com. For more information on CBAP® Certification Prep, including training, see our CBAP® section.

December 2008

Webinars To Offer Strategies For Project Success

Watermark Learning is now offering free webinars designed to elevate your career and reinvigorate your organization! Featuring Watermark Learning principals Elizabeth Larson, CBAP®, PMP®, and Richard Larson, CBAP®, PMP®, webinar topics cover relevant topics in project management, business analysis and skill development. For webinar topics, dates, and registration information, visit our Events page.

November 2008

Gather Requirements on Multicultural Projects

Learn tips and techniques for bridging cultural gaps on multicultural projects. If you work with virtual teams in geographically dispersed areas, you won't want to miss it! Check out Elizabeth Larson & Richard Larson’s contribution in the book “Managing Multicultural Teams” published by The Icfai University Press.

Need A Quick & Easy Way To Create A Project Plan?

Watermark Learning's "How To Create a Clear Project Plan in Six Easy Steps" may be just what you're looking for.  View the steps in chapter 7 of the University of Houston's book, IT Project Management Readings. Download here.

Business Analysis Fundamentals Course Launched By Watermark Learning

Whether you are new to business analysis, or are experienced and want a more formal approach, it’s essential to know and practice the “fundamentals.”  To help ensure business analysis professionals new and old alike are equipped to face the day to day challenges of the practice, Watermark Learning is proud to announce the launch of its latest courseBusiness Analysis Fundamentals.  Register today and prepare for BA success!

October 15, 2008

Watermark Learning Launches Developing Agile Requirements Workshop

Gathering and documenting user stories in an agile project is a critical skill in today's business environment.  Watermark Learning is proud to offer class attendees the opportunity to succeed in this area with the launch of its newest workshop, Developing Agile Requirements Through User Stories.  Attendees will learn and apply in hands-on activities, how to identify stakeholders, define the project’s vision, model user roles and personas, write user stories and tests, identify appropriate requirements gathering techniques, and use user stories to plan releases and iterations.  Register for this exciting workshop today.

September 2008

Watermark Learning To Offer Discount to Project Summit Business Analyst World Conferences in Boston & Chicago

Watermark Learning is proud to offer its corporate discount to attendees of Project Summit Business Analyst World Boston October 27th-30th and Project Summit Business Analyst World Chicago November 10th-13th!  In Boston, Principal Elizabeth Larson, PMP®, CBAP® will be presenting "I Don't Have Time to Manage Requirements - My Project Is Late Already!" and "Use Case Tips & Tricks" while Principal Richard Larson will be presenting "Use Case Tips & Tricks" in Chicago.  Enter discount code WATE when registering at either of the links above and stay up to date on announcements like these by registering for Watermark Learning's The ProjectBrief.

Prepare To Elevate Your Career Through CBAP™ Certification With Watermark Learning's Latest Study Guide!

Watermark Learning is pleased to announce the release of its exclusive new study guide, "CBAP® Certification Study Guide." Used in Watermark Learning's acclaimed “CBAP® Certification Preparation” class, this guide is now available for an introductory price of only $110.00, including shipping!  Once we start offering it on Amazon.com, the price will increase to $149.00. Request CBAP® Certification Study Guide now, and help ensure you are prepared to pass the challenging CBAP™ exam.

Business Analyst Times To Publish Three Part Series by Watermark Learning

"I Don’t Have Time to Manage Requirements; My Project is Late Already!" the latest article by Watermark Learning Principals Elizabeth Larson, CBAP®, PMP® and Richard Larson, CBAP®, PMP®, is now available as a three part series to subscribers of Business Analyst Times! Stay up to date on business analysis articles and announcements like these by registering for Watermark Learning's The ProjectBrief.

August 2008

Agile Requirements Course Now Available!

Watermark Learning is pleased to announce the offering of its newest course: Developing Agile Requirements with User Stories. Developed and delivered by certified ScrumMaster and PMP®, Marsha Hughes, this course provides the skills needed to gather and document effective user stories. User stories are crucial to the success of any agile project. Whether you are new to agile development, or want to advance your requirements skills, this course has something valuable to offer. To learn more about this course or to register, view the course outline or call 800-646-9362, x208.