TheBACoach Milestones

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Top 10 of 2013 – The Best of 2013

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo

When I started TheBACoach podcast in June of 2011, my only hope was to get 10 regular monthly listeners. To my utter surprise, I didn’t expect a colossal vacuum to exist in this space. Fast forward two and half years, we are averaging about 3,000 monthly downloads of the podcast.

We also reached a major milestone this year when we crossed 100,000 downloads … with an average length of 40 minutes that’s =

4,000,000 minutes of listening time!

The feeling is awesome when I get emails and tweets from total strangers that it has helped them to become better analysts. This is probably one of the best gifts I could give back to the BA community and I am completely humbled by the response. No harm in building good karma I guess.

In this post, I wanted to share what was popular in 2013 that you’ve read, shared and marked as useful information. I will be sharing top 5 blog posts and podcasts that were most read and listened to respectively in 2013.

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2013

The top 5 posts of 2013 are:

5 ->; How to Create a Go-To Set of BA Templates  

4 ->; Seven Audiobooks Every BA Must Listen to and How to Get One for FREE

3 ->; Five Ways to Make BABOK an Irresistible Read

2 ->; The 11th Powerful Lesson from Life of Pi

and the most popular article of 2013 is:

1 ->;10 Powerful Business Analyst Lessons from Life of Pi (Ranked #1 on


Top 5 Podcasts of 2013

5 ->; BABOK V3 and More – BOK Talk Kevin Brennan

This episode contained useful info about the BABOK V3 and when it is coming and such. Also, being a continuation of introduction to the BABOK episode (at number 3, below), this episode helped answer a few most commonly asked questions about BABOK.

4 ->; From Getting things done to Ready for Anything, AuthorCast with David Allen

It was a dream come true to interview David Allen. Interviewing him was a great experience. Having applied and revered his work, it was insightful to hear the story behind the book that inspired the most effective productivity system (GTD®) in the world.

3 ->; Using Project Patterns and More, BA Interviews with Jonathan Babcock

Jonathan always brings out unique perspectives to help the practitioners. His blog has helped numerous BAs around the globe. In this episode he shared some valuable tips on using project patterns, with practical tips on how to track and use them.

2- >; Conducting Effective Requirements Workshop, AuthorCast with Ellen Gottesdiener

Ellen was once again at her best behind the mic, bringing forward useful and practical advice to help BAs conduct effect requirements workshops. Her extensive experience in facilitation, and coaching added to the educational value of this podcast.

And the most listened to podcast of 2013 is … for the second time in a row!

1 – >; 10ish Things I wish I knew Before I became a BA, AuthorCast with Howard Podeswa

This is gotta be one of the best podcast episodes a BA can listen to. I have listened to this 3 to 4 times myself. As they say “Hindsight is always 20/20″, this episode can provide some very powerful lessons for every practicing and aspiring business analyst. If you haven’t yet, go right ahead and do so (like, right now. :)

Which among these and others were your favorite episodes in 2013?

Please use the comment space below to provide your input, feedback and comments.

Aug-18-2013 Update:

Due to a recent notice from IIBA related to copyrights of the word ‘BABOK®’, we are changing the name of this game to be ‘BA Hangman’ instead of ‘BABOK Hangman’.


Early this year, we announced the 5 disruptive business analysis innovations that you need to lookout for in 2013. One of them was creation of the learning Games. We created history by launching a game in our online CBAP-CCBA prep courses. The course participants could play and learn the different business analysis terms. The response was very positive and encouraging.

Who wouldn’t love to play (and learn), instead of just learn?

So, what’s happening today?

Well, today we are creating history by launching the world’s first public BA game.

We are opening up the BA Hangman to be available to everyone. Thanks to the increasing revenues from “The Ultimate BABOK Kit“, we were able to support the development of the web version of the game. Hence, this game will be supported and sponsored by ‘The Ultimate BABOK Kit‘.

The BA Hangman Game

Without further ado, here is the world’s first Business Analysis  game.


<<Undergoing design changes to reflect name change, please revisit again>>

Game Structure – What is at Stake?

The hangman game is your typical hangman game, but loaded with word puzzles from the words related to business analysis. The puzzles include words / terminology that is a:

  • Business analysis task(s) names
  • Input (s) of a task.
  • Output(s) of a task.
  • Elements of a task.
  • Stakeholders involved (generic / variations)
  • Techniques.
  • BA glossary.
  • Requirements attributes.
  • General BA terms.

There is also an area just below the on-screen keyboard, to indicate a category – just to get you thinking (only in “Easy” and “Medium” levels).

Game Levels – What is the Challenge?

We did ensure that this doesn’t happen. So, we consulted a gaming expert to help us design the levels of difficulty. There is some level of challenge for every level of business analyst.

If you are a newbie, your best bet would be to start with “Easy” level and if you are an experienced BA , you can start with “Medium” or “Hard” – the ‘bring in on’ level.

And hey, for the bragging rights, there is also a “Level” indicator that will stroke your ego as you solve the puzzles.

Please don’t forget to share the game by using the social sharing icons on the side. (<==)

Your Thoughts and Level Please

Please use the comment space below to share any of your thoughts, feedback or questions.

And, also the maximum level you were able to reach in the game. : )

When we were kids (I have two sisters) growing up in Bangalore – the garden city of India, our dad announced one fine morning: “We are getting a new TV today”. It was a Saturday and we couldn’t wait to return from school to find out what it was going to be like.

The marketing campaign of ONIDA (our soon to be TV) claimed it to be a TV that was “Owners pride and neighbors envy” – my dad seemed to be influenced by it.

The TVs back then were GIGANTIC and came wrapped in even bigger boxes. And ours was no exception; it came in a 5 ft tall & 2 ft wide box.

While most families just got rid of the TV box we decided to keep it and see if something creative could be done with it. I created an incision on one side of the box to resemble a TV screen with me hosting a talk show with my sister in our 10 Sq. ft studio.

I would sometimes go solo as a news anchor with local weather report or interview my sister on her favorite recipes or to ask her feelings about the English teacher that made her write a misspelt word a 1000 times.

Many years later, I had no idea that these skills would come in handy to create history in the world of business analysis. Since we launched the podcast and blog two years ago, we have produced 35 episodes with interviews of practitioners, authors and thought leaders from the community and helped advance hundreds of BA careers.

This is an important milestone for us and I would like share some very exciting news and professional development opportunities for you. If you missed the  last two years of advancement of business analysis, read on…

Season 1 Download

It continues to humble me when I receive emails and tweets about how the podcast helped them get a BA job or become better at their job.  I have received several emails over the past two years and the following two are just samples from them:

Hello Yamo, I want to thank you for your podcast and website. Today I was offered my first position as a BA, and I owe much of my success to you. I found your podcast when this position of Technology Business Analyst was presented me to a friend. To be honest I had never heard of the position but I found that through listening to multiple podcasts a day, many of the skills I have cultivated throughout my career directly translated to this position. I couldn’t be happier or more confident in my career path now and I expect I will continue to learn and advance in this position thanks to you and the amazing network you’ve created here. Thank you so much for what you do. ~ Sincerely, Billy

Hello Yamo,  Just want to drop by and let you know you’re doing an amazing job. Your passion really rubs off on me. ~ Justin

For the first time ever we are making the ENTIRE season 1 be available as one download. This means that you don’t have to individually download all the episodes of this season. We are planning to make this available as a digital product sometime in the future. For now, we are giving the podcasts package for free.

103 Tips, Tricks and Lessons in 1019 Minutes of Content Yours for Free

Please click on the link below to download the zip file containing all the season 1 episodes.

The Complete Season 1

Season 2 so Far

We have completed 10 episodes (as of writing this blog post), you can also download all the episodes of season 2 so far from the link below.

Season 2 so far download link

#1 Rated CBAP-CCBA Study Guide and Kit

Earlier this year we also launched our first stand-alone product to cater to the growing needs of the CBAP-CCBA prep aspirants. We took a while to prep for and launch this product to ensure that this was truly an innovative and unprecedented product in the marketplace.

We have created a “Wall of Kudos” for the direct customer feedback and reviews that we’ve received for the kit. The page below highlights this if you wish to see the overwhelming positive feedback.

Feedback and Kudos for The Ultimate BABOK Kit

BABOK Hangman is a Hit

Earlier this year, we announced the launch of ‘BABOK Hangman’ – the first word puzzle game based on BABOK. We had made this available to our students in our online e-learning environment. So far the students have loved the game and have played 100s of rounds of the game to guess the words from the BABOK.

Coming soon … BABOK Hangman for FREE on our website.

Keep a lookout for the free version of BABOK hangman that we will launch this summer. You will be able to access 500+ BABOK puzzles and go head-to-head with the BABOK puzzle engine.

Thanks again!

I would like to thank each of our listener, reader and follower for helping us advance the BA profession. Without your support and encouragement we wouldn’t be here.

If you wish to leave any comments and wishes or ask any questions, please use the comment space below.

Anniversary Special

To celebrate our anniversary, we will have a special sale for ‘The Ultimate BABOK Kit’. Starting from Jul-31 until Aug-10, the kit will be valued at 50% discount. Please click here for more details.

We are pleased to share the feedback and kudos we’ve received for ‘The Ultimate BABOK Kit‘ so far. This feedback is from the actual purchasers of the kit and in compliance with FTC regulation, no one received a complimentary copy of the kit to provide this feedback.

The Ultimate BABOK Kit is indeed a very good guide and coach for the CBAP aspirants. Use of multimedia tools and content makes the kit even more engaging. Thanks! ~ Ankit , Allahabad , India.

Well written and explained. Better than most books available on Amazon currently. ~ AMIT , LONDON , UNITED KINGDOM. Click to continue

Either by choice or chance, as business analysts we get involved in sustaining innovation – Innovation that helps companies improve the performance of existing products and services along the dimensions that the business values.

So, our proximity to innovation is intimate.

What is disruptive innovation? Click to continue

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