TBAC 004 | BA Interviews, Season 1 : Katie Metcalfe – Health Care Business Analyst

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo6

The Business Analyst Coach Podcast Artwork

In this episode of the BA Coach Podcast, I had the pleasure of interviewing a very enthusiastic business analyst from Toronto, Katie Metcalfe.  She is a fellow member of the IIBA Toronto Chapter, and I don’t remember her missing any of the chapter events so far; which goes to say that she is always looking forward to learning new things. Her experience of becoming BA is quite unique, just like the industry she works in.

I had a great time creating this interview with Katie, and I was amazed at the number of ideas she had for a few of the items that we discussed. I intend to do more podcasts with her in future; keep an eye on the feed for something interesting from us in the future.

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Why she likes being a BA?

Continuous learning, working with people and computers, solving problems, and enjoy writing!

Here is a sneak peek of the episode:

  • Transition from being offered an executive assistant type role to being a business analyst
  • Discussion on business process improvement projects – her favorite kind of projects to work on
  • Her attitude towards the “learning and doing” challenge that Business Analysts face
  • How she overcomes the challenge of business process change that can freak out some business users
  • The importance of having a right tone when dealing with business users
  • How she overcame the challenges involved with working in a team with diverse cultural background
  • Her advice for junior BAs wanting to transition into a senior role
  • Specific tips on how to use annual performance appraisals
  • Two big tips of productivity that will change the way you work!
  • How to make your stakeholders read the requirements document

Insightful quotes from this episode:

“Try and accomplish work on your stakeholders time, and not on yours!”

“I like how a diagram makes a complex business process simple, for a business user”

“when people come with a big problem, sometimes the solution could be very simple, like adding just another column…”

“I like that moment when a big problem could be solved by a simple solution”

“I always try to anticipate behaviors before I encounter them”

“I really think that a state of thinking comes before a state of being”

“Productivity is something that just doesn’t happen, its something that you have to make happen”

“We(the BAs) are starting to get asked, be resourced on more things, .. they just want our perspective”

“I feel really cool, and fortunate to be a BA, its such an interesting role, and has a lot of future potential and its really a great time to be a BA”

“I feel like I am a VAP(Value-Adding-Person) at the company”

Items mentioned in the show:

Katie Metcalfe in brief:

Katie is a BA with 10 years experience in the health care sector.  Her favourite type of BA work is business process improvement.  She enjoys seeing the transformation in business process change and describing the value it can bring to an organization.  She also enjoys helping organizations see their “”blind spots”" and finding ways to improve process challenges.

Enjoy the show!

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I am a passionate and practicing business analyst, author, and blogger from Toronto, Canada. I host this blog, and podcast to help business analysts throughout the world, do analysis better, by providing educational, relevant, and inspiring content. Musically driven by Eagles, Lucky Ali, and Linkin Park. Huge fan of Colts, Leafs, and Indian cricket team. To be in the loop for latest member-only resources, and news from The BA Coach be sure to sign-up for our free eNewsletter. View more BA passion painted with digital ink by Yamo!    

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Velarde, CBAP June 27, 2011 at 4:17 am


I found it remarkable that you use your own signs to map business processes and that you keep it simple (5 signs right?) to your stakeholders. I think a good BA should be able to think outside the box and shouldn’t be afraid of thinking creatively. At the same time you sound methodical as well, as you have been able to introduce your organization to your templates by being consistent. Plenty of good tips, everybody! I thoroughly enjoyed this interview.


Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo June 27, 2011 at 4:41 am

Larry, Thanks for the wonderful comment. I am glad you enjoyed this episode. There are many more to come… so get ready to learn and explore what Business Analysts from around the world are doing! :)


Katie Metcalfe June 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Hey thanks for the comment Larry! I’m glad you enjoyed the interview, I really enjoyed doing it!


Laura Brandenburg October 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Loved the “VAP” notion. This really speaks to how as BAs we need to find our position of value and increase it consistently. What a great touchstone for ongoing career development. Thanks, Katie!


Ammar Shahid March 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Thanks a lot Katie! I really appreciate you taking out time to share such valuable information with the world. I have just recently started working as a BA in the HealthCare Domain in Texas with a company called THR (Texas Health Resources). Can you please share with me your priorities as a BA in a day to day work on a project and how do you set those priorities?


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