2021 and beyond!

My 2020 started in 2019. After a series of life changes and losses, I started to rethink where I was in my life and if that matched where I wanted to go. 2020 gave me the space to work on those goals. By the end of last year, I had made significant advances in that new direction. So that got me thinking about where The Virtual BA Coach is going in 2021 and beyond.

What matters?

What values matter most in the core work I do?

Equality, equity and uplifting humanity. Employees over the last year brought their full selves to work (literally). Their homes, families and daily lives have been on full display. This peek into my colleagues’ lives reiterated the unique contributions, and sometimes their adversities, that make each unique. As a result, people on teams were bonding like crazy but companies continued to treat employees and contract staff as fungible “resources” or “bodies” that simply were “butts in seats.” These thoughtless corporate words have echoed for far too long in our industry and have resulted in toxic work environments that devalue the efforts of their employees.

Everyone deserves to have a place at the table. Each voice makes us stronger and better. This needs to be reflected in every level of technology teams. I need to do better and I want to help teams and companies do better too.

Exploring new ideas and looking at long-held ideas with a new perspective. As a Product Professional I’ve heard the phrase “that’s how it’s always been” more times than I can count. It wasn’t a good answer then and it isn’t an acceptable response now. So it’s time to really challenge the things that don’t make good sense (or good business).

Mindfulness. 2020 was hard on every level. Working from home has overtaken many people’s lives. Social and political strife added to feelings of loneliness and sadness. Mental health is now and will forever be a critical component of the workplace. How to practice mindfulness needs to be taught and encouraged in companies.

Giving back. I’ve done a lot over my career. I didn’t have formal training and I made a lot of mistakes. I really want to help folks who are in similar situations. At this stage of my career, giving back just feels right.

These are the things that matter to me which led to . . .

What’s next?

My little consulting venture has been “traveling light.” After thinking about what really matters, I’ve decided to take The Virtual BA Coach on the road (well, figuratively anyway)!

I’m writing a book! I’ve signed a contract with Bookboon, the world’s most used corporate learning solution, to write a book on virtual body language. This was a topic I spoke a little bit about in my Oct 2020 conference talk (BBC 2020). It’ll be released in an online format in September 2021.

More consulting and coaching services. Seems that teams have specific areas where they need help. I’m adding targeted services in those areas (COTS project requirements ramp-up, low code platform business analysis, better business analysis team coaching).

More online courses for product professionals! I launched a Udemy course on Demand Management in 2020. In 2021, I’m launching a few more courses on “pet topics” where I made a lot of mistakes and have a lot of lessons to share!

More speaking. More writing.

2021 is going to be busy!

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