2018 ba-con speakers and presentations

We are happy to introduce you to our 2018 conference session speakers! Check back soon for a full schedule of session times, rooms and information.

Sneha Fotedar From Loose Groups to Effective Teams

Ken Randall - Visualize, Specify, Collaborate!

Kermit Morse - How Trust Impacts Software Development

Thomas Haver - What is Example Mapping and How to Use It

Melissa Keesing - Being a BA on a Scrum Team

Paul Meeker - Finding your MVD (Minimum Viable Documentation)

Richard Reichard - Innovation - The Other Disciplin

Matthew Barcomb - Making Sure You’re Giving Your Customers What They Need

Taranjeet (TJ) Kaur - Security - The New Imperative

Brenda Eldridge and Ryan Skoglund - Requirements and the Great Design Debate

Christy Fenzl and Bart Weaver - The BA as a Catalyst for Continuous Deliver

Laura Fernandes - Formulating the Experiment: Pilots, Prototypes, and Proofs of Concept

From Loose Groups to Effective Teams

We all must work collaboratively in teams to deliver quality products.  The ability to contribute effectively in a team is among the most valuable skills to develop in a workplace. Many organizational problems are the direct result of people failing to communicate adequately.  Faulty communication leads to confusion and can derail the best laid plans.

This topic aims to differentiate a group of individuals from a working team. The audience will learn about several elements of interpersonal skills such as communication, team trust, conflict resolution, motivation, and leadership – all of which help to convert a loose group into an effective team. This talk will also delve into simple models of communication, self-awareness, and motivation used by an individual or team to be effective in a global work environment.

Theme: Miscellaneous     Level: Introductory

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Sneha Fotedar

Sneha Fotedar is currently working for Enterprise Automation at Huntington National Bank. She received her Master’s degree in Computer Science from University of Cincinnati after receiving her Bachelor’s from the University of Pune.  She has a prior work experience as a mainframe developer with Tata Consultancy Services. After many years working abroad, she decided to pursue a Master’s degree in the U.S. to experience a cross-cultural work environment. Her current duties at Huntington include web automation, as well as integration, system, functional and acceptance testing. Her technical focus is working with object-oriented languages and preparing training sessions to uplift her colleagues.

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Visualize, Specify, Collaborate!

A three-part talk on the processes, skills and toolsets practiced by professional Business Analysts in leading organizations today. Ken Randall presents a survey of techniques and the application of these techniques in the AxureRP Toolset. The presentation focuses on the challenges Business Analysts face in representing requirements to their many customers, methods to improve communications and collaboration with stakeholders and approaches to representing solution requirements. The talk includes real-world examples of “ah-ha” moments, success and even some painful lessons-learned that no doubt will encourage and challenge you to do your own continuous improvement with your teams. 

Theme: Agile     Level: Intermediate

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Ken Randall 

Ken Randall has over 25 years of experience developing enterprise business processes and technologies. Throughout his career, Ken has been called on multiple times to resolve crisis and turnaround situations, as well as lead strategic initiatives. His expertise has evolved from client/server-based solutions to n-tier collaborative web applications and he has worked with many of the major technologies deployed today. Ken is currently a Vice President at Wells Fargo, consulting and coaching teams on Business Process and Workflow Strategy and Solutions. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he was Vice President of Business Development at Flying Bridge Technologies Inc. 

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How Trust Impacts Software Development

Whether you are operating in a Waterfall or Agile environment, trust impacts product development.   This session will examine how trust enables or hinders our efforts.  We will also look at the costs associated with not having trust and answer the question, how do you build trust with our stakeholders.

Theme: Miscellaneous     Level: Introductory

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Kermit Morse

Kermit Morse is an experienced IT Business Analyst, Project Lead, and Certified Scrum Master. He spent over 25 years creating software in both the waterfall and agile worlds.

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What is Example Mapping and How to Use It

Example Mapping is a collaboration technique used by teams to help refine requirements. Every team should have a set of "ready" criteria that includes some kind of workshop between development team members to establish a shared understanding. In a time-boxed Example Mapping session, rules will summarize examples or constraints about a user story, and questions about outcomes or dependencies are documented for future refinement. The end result are requirements written as user behavior with a shared understanding among all roles on an Agile team. The audience will participate in a live Example Mapping session and learn how to implement the workshop within their own team.

Theme: Facilitation     Level: Introductory

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Thomas Haver

Thomas is presently serving as the Senior Application Architect for Huntington National Bank. He is responsible for the conversion from manual testing to Ruby/Cucumber automation for the entire enterprise. Originally accountable for the development and maintenance of automation frameworks for Digital Channels, he now leads the automation effort for 73 applications across Huntington that encompass testing, metrics & reporting, data, and environment. Thomas leads the training & technical support for both on-site employees as well as offshore contractors. He has developed test strategies and assisted in coordination between multiple lines to improve delivery effectiveness & resource flexibility.

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Being a BA in a Scrum Team

The Scrum guide says that Scrum recognizes no titles for Development Team members, regardless of the work being performed by the person. But wait! I’m a Business Analyst, not a developer.
This talk will discuss how a BA fits in and adds value to a Scrum team and what makes a BA a desirable Scrum team member. 

Theme: Agile     Level: Introductory

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Melissa Keesing

Melissa is an Agile Coach, Product Owner, and Scrum Master in Cardinal Solutions' Columbus office. A committed teacher of individual growth, she delves into the Agile mindset to help people realize their best, with focus on fostering strengths, developing confidence, and discovering courage. Melissa experiences success by openly inspiring others to add value with every single action and decision. 

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Finding your MVD (Minimum Viable Documentation)

It’s a challenge to know how much documentation is necessary for any given product. I’ve written pages and pages of documentation that have never been read by anyone, including me. I’ve also written close to zero documentation on projects, only to have someone ask to read the documentation! How can we add valuable documentation that isn’t a waste of everyone’s time? As a product manager over multiple products, I have experience finding the right amount of documentation necessary to get the job done for various projects with various stakeholders.
This talk will address:

  • Avoiding the extremes of documentation for documentation’s sake and “it’s agile so there’s no documentation”
  • Identifying your documentation persona (who will actually read what you document)
  • Alternatives to traditional documentation
  • People don’t like to read, let’s face it and adjust how we write
  • Documentation and the SDLC, how documentation evolves from inception to training
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle your documentation (example: write your user stories like a training manual)
  • When and where to share documentation

Attendees will come away with a new way to view documentation and some new tools/ processes for analyzing how much documentation they really need for a project.

Theme: Agile     Level: Introductory

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Paul Meeker

Paul Meeker is the Assistant Director, Product Development for the Academic Information Systems team at Franklin University. Paul started as a BA and now oversees Analysis, Project Management, Support, Training, and Quality Assurance. He also acts as Product Owner of multiple products developed by the University. Paul has helped grow and scale agile software development and test automation at Franklin. Franklin has built many software products, most notably BlueQuill — a custom learning management system that has been commercialized and sold internationally. Paul is a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) and is an IBM Certified Solution Designer in the Rational Unified Process v.7.0.

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Innovation - The Other Discipline

Like drawing or singing or cooking, people think of innovation as something you either have natural talent for or you don’t.   And most people think they don’t.   The truth of the matter is, however, that, by changing our behaviors in some small ways and practicing some specific disciplines, all of us can become more innovative.  And with innovation being such a critical element of the continuing success of our enterprises, it is incumbent upon us all to improve our innovation skills.   In this talk we will learn what the research says about how individuals can develop their innovation skills as well as what organization should be doing to foster innovation and capture innovative ideas.

Theme: Miscellaneous     Level: Introductory

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Richard Reichard




Richard Reichard is an Associate Professor of Informatics at Muskingum University.  For the last 12 years he has developed and delivered the innovative online masters program, MISST – Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology.   Prior to teaching, Richard worked for 16 years in telecommunications systems development and deployment at AT&T Bell Labs.  His interests include innovation, business strategy, information systems security and IT governance and management.

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Making Sure You’re Giving Your Customers What They Need

Did you know that late at night all of your products’ unused features come alive and laugh at you? True story. It’s like Night At The Museum meets Toy Story except your customers are paying for the tickets. Well, this session help you avoid all that.
Attendees will learn how to understand their value proposition to their customers by assessing their pains and meeting their needs. Further, we will explore how to design good experiments that can invalidate our assumptions and accelerate product learning. But most importantly attendees will learn how to measure success like a pirate!

Theme: Miscellaneous     Level: Intermediate

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Matthew Barcomb

Matthew Barcomb is an organization design consultant who takes an evidence-based, holistic approach to improvement and change. He uses his 20+ years of experience to partner with organizations; helping them deploy strategy, plan a portfolio, optimize product management, and evolve traditional HR functions into modern talent development practices.

Matthew enjoys challenging existing mental models, simplifying the seemingly complex, and working with others to uncover the "why" behind the “what”. He shares his experiences and ideas at www.intentionallyadaptive.com/thoughts/ or on Twitter as @mattbarcomb.

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Security - The New Imperative

With changing paradigm Cyber Security has become a key aspect of Application development. Enterprise Application Team deals with Security Vulnerabilities on a much more frequent basis now. Understanding that most of these issues can be addressed early on while scoping and designing an IT solution, Business Analysts can play a key role by enabling strategic approach for building secure product.
You will leave the session with detailed understanding of how to secure an application from start and to pose right set of questions to everyone else involved in building IT solutions.

Theme: Security     Level: Introductory 

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Taranjeet (TJ) Kaur

TJ currently serves as a Principal Architect at Huntington Bank. She is a lifelong student of computer science and hasv12 years of programming experience as a Full Stack Developer using wide range of technologies.

TJ is passionate about discussing, designing and building end to end solutions for banking enterprises.
She is an ardent speaker and enjoys to talk about new ideas and upcoming IT frameworks. Outside work, TJ loves to lift heavy weights and explore human sciences.

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Requirements and the Great Design Debate

There has always been a fine line as to what constitutes a requirements element vs. a design element when documenting Requirements.  Join in the age old debate on where requirements end and design begins.  Can the two elements co-exist in one place and should they?
Potential arguments up for discussion include:

  • Business Analysts vs. Business Designers
  • Are prototypes requirements of design
  • Can a “to-be” solution be documented without including some elements of design
  • There is no role for designers in Agile
  • A requirement should never specify aspects of physical design
  • Are Data modeling, process modeling and prototypes requirements or design
  • Agile blurs the lines of role by asking team members to be cross-functional
  • Is it fair to shut down discussion of design just because it’s happening in a requirements meeting?
  • Is it possible to keep design elements out of a very technical project?

Theme: Miscellaneous     Level: Introductory

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Brenda Eldridge and Ryan Skoglund

Brenda Eldridge is a 35+ year career IT Professional, certified in Quality Management, SCRUM, and Software Testing.  She is currently working as a Lead Requirements Analyst at Nationwide Insurance.  With experience in programming, analysis, testing, quality assurance, resource management, methodology development, and project management, she brings a breadth of experience to her role.  Additionally, she has experience training others on Six Sigma concepts and prepping for various professional certifications.

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The BA as a Catalyst for Continuous Delivery

With the speed of business and technology change, the ability to deliver solutions at a lower cost and higher velocity -- continuously, in fact -- is a key to survival. DevOps has been described as "the union of people, process, and products to enable continuous delivery of value to our end users," and Business Analysts are uniquely qualified to make a significant contribution to achieving the DevOps vision for the organizations and customers they serve. In this presentation, Business Analysts and their partners will learn the DevOps principles where they can personally help drive the achievement of continuous delivery within their organizations along with specific tools and techniques that are tested and immediately actionable.

Theme: DevOps     Level: Intermediate

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Christy Fenzl and Bart Weaver

Bart Weaver is an IT Senior Consultant responsible for requirements delivery in the Nationwide Enterprise Digital organization. With over 20 years of diverse IT experience in the retail, manufacturing, life sciences, and financial services industries, Bart has cobbled together a unique worldview of how IT can help an organization better compete in the global marketplace. Bart is a Management Information Systems graduate of The Ohio State University and is a certified SAFe Program Consultant and Certified Agile Leader (CAL1). When not relentlessly focused on improving organizational efficiency, he spends his time renovating an older home so both age gracefully.

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Formulating the Experiment: Pilots, Prototypes, and Proofs of Concept

Experimentation is a powerful tool of product development that can be used to elicit and validate requirements, evaluate solutions, and mitigate risk. While pilots, prototypes, and proofs of concept are ubiquitous in product development today, their objectives and outcomes are often misunderstood and ambiguously defined, muting their effectiveness.  Enhanced knowledge of experimentation techniques can be a vital resource in a business analyst’s toolkit, especially for those working with emerging technologies and innovations.
This session will cover:

  • Characteristics, objectives, and outcomes of each type of experiment
  • Critical questions for eliciting deliverable requirements and defining the experiment
  • Using experiments as requirements elicitation and solution evaluation techniques
  • Tips for maximizing the outcomes of the experiment

Theme: Facilitation     Level: Intermediate

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Laura Fernandes

Laura Fernandes, CBAP, has eleven years’ experience as a business/systems analyst, working with stakeholders in financial, retail, and logistics environments. She is currently the Systems Analysis Practice Lead for Alliance Data’s Account Center web development team.