Today is a Great Day to be a BA

Jared Gorai, Chair, Volunteer Chapter Network

We’re deep in the throes of winter, but I can sense a change is coming and I don’t believe that it has anything to do with the season of the year. In January’s newsletter, I mentioned that this is a year of growth for IIBA® and one of the things that makes this so exciting is that with growth comes an increase in the influence and visibility of business analysis professionals. 
On that note, I get the pleasure of announcing a new Chapter in our Chapter Network. Congratulations to the Palmetto South Carolina Chapter who are now an officially chartered Chapter. Welcome to the fold!
The Volunteer Chapter Network is like a project office in your organization. We define projects that will enable IIBA Chapters to experience better business outcomes and then we execute those projects.  I’m really excited about some of the things we’re working on and I want to share them with you.
The first project that we’re working on is membership retention. In order to grow we need to attract new Members but we also need to keep our existing Members. Why is it that Members aren’t renewing their membership and what do we as an organization need to do to ensure that more Members renew? It’s an old marketing adage that it’s easier to keep a customer than to attract a new one and that philosophy holds true here too.
One of the concepts we hear a lot about in the Chapter Network is “Chapters helping Chapters”. We want to help that concept along even more by introducing a Chapter Leadership Mentoring Program. In this way, we can pair up experienced leaders to help mentor less experienced ones and share the wealth of knowledge our Chapters have. 
The elephant in our room is integrated membership payment. The simple concept is that a Member would purchase their international membership and Chapter membership at the same time. IIBA would manage all memberships and would allocate the appropriate funds to the Chapter. Simple concept with complicated and complex considerations. IIBA has been looking at this for years and has never been able to get it working yet. This will require help from Chapters to ensure we get this right.
We also have a project underway to start recognizing the contributions of individual practitioners within IIBA. We are a volunteer driven organization and volunteers last year contributed more than 100,000 hours of effort. We feel that this effort should be recognized and we’ve got a project underway to start doing just that.
The latest project to be considered is global Chapter communications. While the scope of this hasn’t been vetted just yet, I’m expecting this task force to look at tools that Chapters can use to share and collaborate with our Members. This would include conference calling and screen sharing. 
The VCN is busy working on these projects and we’re hopeful that they will enable all Chapters to experience better business outcomes. You can check out the call for volunteers on the IIBA website to see how you can help make these initiatives into a reality.