TBAC 017 | BA Interviews, S1 – Margaret Marco – “Go Independent After Your CBAP”

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo4

The Business Analyst Coach Podcast Artwork

CBAP certification has helped a lot of business analysts to get recognized instantly and standout from the crowd. Margaret Marco is a classic example of this. In her own words:

“Having the CBAP finally gave me a graduation point… where I could say, aha! I have arrived!”

Margaret shares a number of very insightful tips, and nudges to help you take your BA skills up a notch.

Lots to learn in this episode folks, so hang tight… and here is Margaret Marco:

The BA Coach podcast - listen on smartphone


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Why she likes being a BA?

“I like fitting the pieces of the puzzle together.  Being a BA is like being a detective – one has to work to find out what is really going on, produce a vision that others can understand and agree to, and provide clear details so that it can actually be implemented.”

Here is a sneak peek of the episode:

  • Her transition from astro-physics to business analysis.
  • How BA work is akin to that of a detective, and what you should know.
  • Importance of listening skills.
  • Discussion around three things that get cut when money is short: QA, documentation, and reporting.
  • How she overcome the challenge of underestimation of BA effort.
  • The importance of RMP (Requirements Management Plan).
  • Discussion around business analysis planning and monitoring (BABOK 2.1).
  • How to handle the situation where a BA gets dismissed by stakeholders.
  • The importance of asking questions in the face of push back.
  • How to handle changing project priorities.
  • The importance of finding a good employer, and what criteria you should choose to select one.
  • How to find a good BA mentor.
  • Why multi-tasking is bad for you.
  • The importance of knowing the learning type of your stakeholders.
  • How CBAP helped Margaret go independent.

Insightful quotes from this episode:

 “When people think about projects they think about running the business without thinking about measuring how it is run.”

“Management frequently underestimates the requirements efforts.”

Doing RMP before you are in the throes of requirements can be very helpful.

Our job is to ask the seemingly stupid questions.

I might as well as the question and risk looking stupid… the one thing that has come with experience though is relaxing about that.

The more you battle, the more difficult you are to work with.

CBAP/CCBA will provide more even benchmarks. It will soon be the same for CBAPs; there is real opportunity now to distinguish yourself.

The worst multi-taskers are the ones who think they are good at it.

“In terms of productivity our job is a lot of hurry up and wait.”


Items mentioned in the show:

Margaret Marco in brief:

Margaret Marco is a Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP®) through the IIBA® and an independent consultant. She has more than fifteen years of experience in BA work, mostly focused on the financial and telecommunications industries. She has worked throughout North America and specializes in reporting, data modeling, and CRM.

If you have any comments or questions for this episode, please post them below.

Enjoy the show!

Featured Product -> The Ultimate BABOK® Kit

Unprecedented CBAP-CCBA Study Guide, BABOK eMindmap, eTables, BOK Cartoons, Audio and Video. The Ultimate All-in-One Study Aid is here.

Go to top

Article by

Yaaqub Mohamed (Yamo), is the founder of The BA Coach community and host for the #1 ranked business analysis podcast in iTunes. He believes in adding relentless value to the BA community and advancing the practice.  He host this blog, and podcast to help business analysts throughout the world, do analysis better, by providing educational, relevant, and inspiring content. He's the author of 'The Five Pillars of a Great Business Analyst', best selling 'The Ultimate CBAP-CCBA Study Guide' and the creator of the revolutionary 'Ultimate BABOK Kit'. 

5 Pillars of a great BA

With this E-book, you will learn about the five pillars of being a great Business Analyst!. Sign-up below for our eNewsletter and receive your FREE copy once the book is launched! Sign up, or learn more!

4 Responses to “TBAC 017 | BA Interviews, S1 – Margaret Marco – “Go Independent After Your CBAP””

  1. […] 7 ->  Go Independent after CBAP – BA Interviews with Margaret Marco […]

  2. Valeria says:

    Thanks for another great episode, Yamo!

    This one I found enlightening because of the reminder that perhaps Agile isn’t suited to every type of project, especially when there are regulatory issues to contend with.

    In addition, I found it useful to keep in mind that stakeholders may need a little pre-talk, so they will expect to be asked “stupid” questions and will understand that it’s part of the process.

    Please keep up the podcasts – I’m loving every single one!

    • Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo says:

      Thanks, Valeria. I am glad you are loving the episodes.

      You are right about agile. This is something that isn’t obvious at the surface and becomes apparent only when you dig deeper into the project implications.

      Happy Listening!

  3. […] journey and how it helped him improve his practice.  In one of the previous BA interviews, Margaret Marco insisted that BAs should go independent after getting their CBAP, Jarett takes this notion further […]

Leave a Reply

Previous post:

Next post: