Is the new IIBA alliance a trustworthy one?

IIBA Alliance - is it a trustworthy one?

The IIBA has formed a strategic alliance, (as described in my previous post).

IIBA Alliance partners

In that post, I looked at how each partner could enrich the IIBA offering. The partners are:

  • BCS The Chartered Institute for IT,
  • BRM Institute,
  • IREB, and
  • Sparx Systems Pty Ltd.

After submitting the above-mentioned post to some BA groups on LinkedIn, I got some great responses.

Ones that made me stop and think about the alliance.

Each member of the alliance has in-depth knowledge of specific areas that are covered at a higher, and broader, level by the IIBA. And this will add value.

However, one of the partners, Sparx, is actually a vendor. And this is where the concern is…

BA Comments

Here’s some of the comments that have been made…

I thinks it’s odd and perhaps a conflict of interest for a standards/certification organization to align itself with a particular vendor…no matter how good they are.

How likely will it be that IIBA will host webinars with other competing products now that they are in alliance with one vendor? Probably not very likely. So rather than expose members to a collection of tools, foster competition and recommend “best of breed” products, this alliance does exactly the opposite.

I saw the announcement and was vaguely uneasy about the implications, primarily my squeamishly about IIBA becoming commercialised – maybe i’m being too naive?

So, there is some concern that an alliance with a vendor might not be a good thing.

IIBA’s feedback

In the discussion Alain ArsenaultSenior Officer, Corporate and Business Development at IIBA, offered the following:

In 2014, IIBA leadership and Board of Directors revised the organization vision and defined a new direction for IIBA. A 3-years strategic plan was established to support this new model along with a new core purpose to “unite a community of professionals to create better business outcomes”.

The new vision focuses on collaboration, engagement and value creation while continuing to support and advance the practice, discipline and profession of Business Analysis.

The newly announced alliances support this new paradigm. Our goal is to broaden our engagements and enable the Business Analysis ecosystem to flourish and provide greater value and connectivity to our members, the broader BA community and business stakeholders.

Our engagements are not exclusive and we welcome and will continue to foster similar alliances of collaboration with other associations and organizations.

You’ll see that Alain mentions “value creation”, and providing “greater value”. And as mentioned, Sparx do offer a depth of resources and knowledge that is of great value to a BA.

But that last sentence is also a bit of a concern…”our engagements are not exclusive” and “we … will continue to foster similar alliances of collaboration with other associations and organizations.” IREB, BCS and BRMI are all “associations, or organizations”, but how does Sparx fit in there?

Personally, I feel that the IIBA does have our best interests at heart…But the concerns that I mentioned above are also bothering me.

IIBA Alliance - concrns
Image Source: Flickr by Amber

Unfortunately, I’m unable to predict, with any certainty, what is going to happen here…so I‘m just going to wait and see. (IIBA – we are all watching.)

What about you? What are your thoughts? Do you think that the IIBA’s alliance with vendors is one that we should be concerned about? Let me know in the comments below.

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