standard The “Best Kept Secret” Benefit of IIBA Membership

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
  • UML
  • 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!

IIBAOnlineLibrary

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.

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About the Author

Jonathan Babcock is a management and IT consultant with expertise in business analysis, process optimization and solution delivery methodology. Practical Analyst is his outlet for sharing what he's learned, and for interacting with solution delivery professionals across the globe.

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9 Comments

  1. I knew the library was there, but had forgotten. I know I can make good use of it. Thanks for the reminder.
    Best, Kat.

  2. The online library is a nice thing to have but it is frustrating to use.

    I don’t like reading books at my PC. I tried using my ipad to read these but gave up. The ipad works well when starting a book, but you lose your page every time you ‘put the book down’. (That is, when you pause with the intention of coming back after a few hours).

    Books24x7 requires re-authentication which means:
    1. Going to the IIBA site
    2. Logging in (possibly, the new design may have fixed this).
    3. Finding the link to Books24x7
    4. Selecting the book you were reading
    5. Guessing where you were up to
    After all this you can resume reading.

    As part of writing this comment I have learnt that I need to ignore the link to the book and use the small “Accessed” link to get to the page I was on. I don’t know if the link existed last time I tried using the library (600 days ago), but it certainly helps and I’ll have another attempt at using the library.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Brian. I have gotten so used to reading on my PC that I almost prefer it anymore. You’re right about the quirk of having to log in separately to books24x7, but for the value of what’s there, that hasn’t really bothered me.

      Glad you found the “accessed” feature. I’ve found you can also bookmark your spot within a book so you can pick up where you left off after logging off.

      Anyway, I get what you’re saying about having to get used to the interface. I had a few initial growing pains myself. I guess I’ve used the library enough now, that I’ve just gotten used to some of that and don’t even notice.

  3. I would have to agree with you Jonathan. This is the first thing out of my mouth when trying to convince someone to join up. There is a wealth of information that is available and the membership fee that provides access to it is paid for usually within the first or second read. These books are expensive!

    Doug

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