Our eMentoring / eCoaching Process
To ensure that our approach is right for you, we schedule a free, one-on-one consultation (via telephone or web meeting) for eMentoring to determine where you are today and where you would like to be. Based on your goals and your background, we work with you to identify an approach (eMentoring, eCoaching, or a blend) that will help you achieve your goals as effectively as possible. Once we have agreement on the approach, we set up a rough schedule of future sessions in which we use modern web collaboration tools to present techniques, tricks-of-the-trade (eMentoring), and/or review your deliverables (eCoaching) as appropriate. Since eCoaching paces itself with your need-to-know on your real project, we synchronize these sessions to your project schedule, which is subject to change (just like real life).
Each session is typically 1 – 2 hours in length. We also offer telephone support and can review deliverables off-line to better support you during contact time. Our approach ensures that you have access to the expert’s guidance when you need it in real life. The combination of eMentoring and eCoaching allows you to learn new business analysis skills in a non-threatening classroom-like setting and apply them under pressure with a business analysis expert beside you all the way.
The Difference Between eCoaching and eMentoring
The eCoaching and eMentoring methods of transferring skills are as old as learning itself. In fact, they presumably predate human speech, as observing someone else do something is often more important than reading every book ever written on that topic. Apprenticeship programs around the world still follow this time-honored tradition.
In the field of information technology, we all-too-often neglect the non-technical solution because we are so heavily invested in technology. The simple idea of using the communications technology at our fingertips to make this easiest of all learning processes available to a worldwide audience might just prove to be invaluable. This idea adds the “e-” to eMentoring and eCoaching, which enables us to offer mentoring and coaching onsite or online.
We recognize that different situations require different solutions and distinguish between coaching and mentoring approaches. To clarify how we differentiate between the two (there really is sufficient confusion about these terms in the industry to warrant a brief clarification):
- A Mentor teaches you selected business analysis techniques and methods to help you succeed in your profession. Mentoring sessions are one-on-one, informal training experiences that cover topics you choose (based on the advice and guidance of your Mentor). Mentoring sessions are typically ad-hoc, scheduled whenever you are ready to assimilate new skills.
- A Coach works with you by demonstrating appropriate business analysis techniques to create a specific deliverable for your current project and guides you while you work. Coaching sessions are one-on-one reviews of your work or explanations of what you could do next to complete a specific task. We schedule sessions in advance to ensure progress over time.
Benefits of eCoaching and eMentoring
- focus on applying a technique to your specific situation
- JIT (Just-in-Time) skill-building support
- you gain expertise while delivering a tangible result
- no set agenda but flexible to go where you need to go
- learning process can be chunked to fit your schedule
- constantly up-to-date knowledge from the experts
- state-of-the-art technology makes it available anywhere, anytime
Just-In-Time (JIT) Support for Business Analysis Activities
The primary purpose of business analysis is to develop business, stakeholder, solutions, and transition requirements that define a desired solution. Whether online or onsite, our coaching and mentoring will help you:
- Figure out what to ask, whom to ask, how to ask, and how to recognize a good answer
- Plan, prepare and execute information gathering sessions, from 1-on-1 interviews to Requirements Discovery User Story Workshops
- Analyze an existing situation to identify and define business problems
- Capture, depict and analyze what business data represents and how it is used
- Elicit, define, and verify requirements that the subject matter and technical experts can understand and use
- Develop, document, and execute an appropriate testing strategy and plan
Our business analysis coaches/mentors are available to help you evaluate your current situation, critique and give you positive feedback on what you have done, help you select the most probable success route, ensure compliance with industry and organizational standards and guidelines, and map your skill-building progress.
You have a personal learning style; that is how you assimilate new knowledge easiest and most effectively. Beyond being experts in business analysis, planning, and project management, our coaches are aware of learning style differences and adjust the skills transfer process to fit the needs of each person. Building skills has to fit your schedule, not ours.
Mentors and coaches are the ultimate skills transfer experts. Like any good teacher, they are successful when the person using their services no longer needs them. Our coaches and mentors use modern communications technology to offer personal skills transfer from the best in the field today to the best and brightest of the future across the country or around the world in real-time.