As a marketing coordinator, I had no idea what a business analyst was before coming to Watermark…and I’m still learning. Now, with IIBA’s new level 1 certificate (ECBA), I decided to take the plunge and learn more about this role, in order to educate myself and be able to speak BA with our customers.
The journey has just started but I will be documenting the process and providing a real-life perspective, in hopes to help others interested in ECBA certification, too. Let my journey, including the good, the bad, and the ugly, help you in pursuing an ECBA as well.
January 20, 2017: It’s official! I’m registered for the ECBA Certification Prep course (gulp). All I can think is, “I hope I can follow along. I hope it makes sense. What have I done?”
February 2, 2017: Course materials have arrived, including a binder of course slides (it’s huge – this is level 1, right?!) and a packet of additional course materials, credential reporting information, and information on our instructor and Watermark Learning. At least I already have the information on Watermark down, being that I work here! I’m already ahead of the game…right?
February 21, 2017: First day of class and I’ll admit, I’m a little nervous. My only background is in marketing and retail, so I hope this information clicks. There is a lot of information but so far, so good. And the great thing about this virtual class is the recordings are available for review for 90 days after the class is over, so if I miss part of a class or want to review, I can go back. Things I should/need to do: read sections of the BABOK before or after what was covered that day and create flashcards for terms/mnemonics covered.
February 22, 2017: Second day of class. The review before class helps to go over the main points. Today, there were lots of terms and Underlying Competencies to learn and know. I really need to start making flashcards.
February 23, 2017: Third day of class. “How can there be another week of class left?!” Now, in all fairness, the class is very engaging and each day is only 3.5 hours long for the virtual format, but there is so much to know! And the exam is only 50 questions. Previous days’ topics and terms continually show up so it helps drill points home, but I’m still waiting for that “a-ha” moment.
February 28, 2017: Fourth day, second week. Four days have gone by and I still haven’t made flashcards or read any of the BABOK. However, no one else in class has yet, either, so I feel ok. Life happens. I feel like once class is over, I can devote some of that time to going over section by section.
March 1, 2017: Fifth day of class and we spent the whole day on the Requirements Analysis & Design Definition Knowledge Area (KA), as this KA has the largest percentage of questions on the exam. [For more on the ECBA exam blueprint, click here.] Since this is such an important KA, it was nice to have the full day to cover everything. All of the KAs make sense…it’s just pulling everything together that will take more time.
March 2, 2017: Last day of class – I made it! We covered the last two (smaller, easier) KAs and spent a good portion on review and sample questions. The class has been a great jump start into learning the information. Now it’s up to me to keep studying and reviewing. (No pressure!) Best part of the day was applying to the ECBA exam and seeing “Requirements met.” [You can’t add your class to the “Professional development” section of the application until it is officially over.] Now, when I’m ready, I just have to pay the application fee and actually send the application in for approval!
April 25, 2017: Wow, how is it almost May already?! Time flies when you’re…uh…busy. I’m sure most of you can relate to how easy it is to get sidetracked from preparing for a certification. Life gets hectic and all of a sudden two months have gone by! LIke a diet, I keep telling myself, “This will be the week I start reading the BABOK and making flashcards. I’ll do one chapter a week, or every other week.” Alas, here I type, feeling guilty about my (lack of) progress. Anyone have any tips?
To be continued…