Recently, I was asked by the IIBA to present a talk at one of their chapter meetings. I am reprinting here my response to that invitation in the hope that it will begin a conversation with fellow EEPs and BAs about an area of great concern to the profession.
…. Regarding the IIBA talk, there is another issue that I am considering. It's part of a longer discussion, and I hesitate to draw you into it, but as it affects my response to your invitation I feel it requires some explanation. Basically, I have been very unhappy with the direction the organization has been taking and have been seriously reconsidering my - and my company's - relationship to it in lieu of recent developments. When I first joined the organization, back in its founding days, I, like many other volunteers who gave their time freely, without charge, to review the BABOK, saw the organization as a means for improving the profession by pooling together the resources of its practitioners so that best practices could be disseminated widely amongst the community. I fear the organization has steered off-track, and have great reservations regarding what it is becoming - or already has become. The recent EEP contract changes have only served to confirm my worst fears: students taking any training that 'uses' more than 3 sections of the BABOK will be required to purchase the entire BABOK - even if they already have a copy. In fact, it has been clarified to me that they will be required to purchase the book each time they take such a course - raising the spectre of trainees forced to purchase multiple copies of the BABOK due to courses they have taken with multiple vendors. It's a heavy-handed approach (and potential book-keeping nightmare) that will only serve to restrict the propagation of BABOK practices - where the IIBA should be seeking to do the reverse: open up the BABOK so it is as widely used as possible. For a comparison of approaches, see the OMG, which offers its UML standards and guidelines as a free download to all who want it (member or non-member) and which is very generous in providing permission to quote its text in printed publications. This is what an organization does whose first and foremost goals is to propagate best practices.
The IIBA faces an identity crisis: is it to be a revenue-generating machine, dedicated foremost to its own financial success, or a service to the BA profession?
These are some of my thoughts and concerns. If you'd like to continue this conversation, I'd be pleased to discuss it further.
Howard Podeswa - Noble Inc.