I’ve been an IIBA member for several years now. I think the BABOK is great resource for business analysts, and I refer to it regularly. I think the agile extension to the BABOK is shaping up to be another really useful resource. As a manager of business analysts, I love the competency model.
I plan, one day – some day – to become CBAP certified. I occasionally attend and enjoy the free webinars that IIBA provides for its members.
None of those items – useful and beneficial as they may be – is my favorite “perk” of IIBA membership, though.
In my opinion, the best kept “secret” member benefit is access to the on line library of business analysis-related publications. Of course it’s not intended to be a secret at all, but for its value, I just don’t think it gets as much pub in BA circles as I would expect. I aim to change that just a little with this post. You see, to me the library is gold. If you took away all the other benefits, access to the library alone would make the fee for IIBA membership a great bargain.
Here are some of the facts regarding the online library from the IIBA website:
[I]f you tried to purchase these works individually, it would cost you around $15,000 US. A subscription to services that provide you access to all of these works online would cost you around $700 annually. As an IIBA member, you have access to this wide selection of books for FREE! Membership in IIBA is now more valuable than ever.
The online library includes works on a large number of different topics including:
- Agile methodologies and techniques
- Business process modeling and management
- Business rules
- Data modeling
- Enterprise analysis
- Elicitation techniques
- Structured analysis methods
- Underlying competencies (coaching, facilitation, decision analysis)
There are also books to support chapters and volunteers such as strategic planning for non-profits, basic financial management, event planning, running board meetings, virtual teams, and product management.
As a confessed business analysis junkie, I love to absorb all the information I can through social networking and blogs, but for concentration and development of detail on a topic, I love being able to delve into a good book.
My typical usage of the library is to scan multiple books by respected authors or on topics of particular interest to me. Of those I scan, I’ll pick a few that I think will be really interesting and delve into them in detail, taking notes and then applying and sharing key points of what I learn. The other “read later” books I am able to add to topical lists so I can refer to them at need, or when I have a few minutes to spare.
Anyway, I like to pass on great values to my fellow business analysts, and if you weren’t aware of this one already, I definitely wanted to remedy that.
If you’re already an IIBA member, but just haven’t checked out the library, here’s how navigate to it on the IIBA site: Click on “Professional Development”, then select “Online Library” from the dropdown (have a look at the picture below). That will take you to the page from which you can access the library. If you want to take a little shortcut, you can just click here!
Over the past year or so, I’ve referred to numerous books in the IIBA online library to assist with training my team members on the fundamentals, learning and improving my BA techniques, identifying potential tweaks and improvements to our team’s business analysis approach, and most recently I’ve been doing some research on establishing a community of practice and found an excellent book on that very topic in the online library.
Feel free to let me know if you have questions about the library, or about my perception of IIBA membership benefits. Also, I’d be interested in hearing your experiences and thoughts regarding the IIBA online library. Were you previously unaware of the library? Any of you others think this is as cool a deal as I do? Please feel welcome to comment below.