Eric D. Schabell: Impressions from Building Business Capabilities (BBC) 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Impressions from Building Business Capabilities (BBC) 2015

This last week I spent on the ground at Building Business Capabilities (BBC) 2015, a conference for business analysts and organized by business analysts.

This was a bit of a different type of conference than the ones I tend to speak at, those being more technical in nature and this one being more about the aspects that business analyst have to deal with on a daily basis. This is what made it so fascinating for me, to hear their stories and understand what we as Red Hat meant to them when trying to solve their problems or fill in a solution.

Generation based research shows
example reactions to leadership
actions, by Dr. Mary.
The conference was the entire week with Monday and Tuesday filled with pre-conference tutorials which are more hands on sessions. There were tutorials on decision management, process design principles, business architects practices and many more. I chose to skip this part of the conference and arrived for the main event from Wednesday through Friday.

The keynote was very well done by the famous Dr. Mary Donohue who talked about how to lead when nobody is listening. This was a take on the ways we operate as humans, what the cognitive aspects are backing her theories and a great example of how our audiences are reacting to our leadership actions based on generation research. Very entertaining and well delivered, probably on of the best keynotes I have seen with regards to conference applicability, content and delivery.

After that I spend the next few days enjoying the conversations as you bump into some very interesting people that work more on the business side of our technology. There were over 1500 attendees I was told and a vast array of industries were represented. Got the chance to talk to business analysts from branches such as retail, insurance, finance, railways, infrastructure and airlines.

Over 1500 attendees, business analysts everywhere!
There were also many interesting vendors in the fields of business rules, business dictionaries, consulting, decision management and business process management that we chatted with. I have a few new tools and vendors I plan to look deeper into in the coming weeks.

Signavio with whom we have been working with over the last few months was on-site with a booth so we got to spend some time with their US sales team and product manager. A lunch and learn session by Tom Debevoise covered Signavio's vision on decision management and Decision Management Notation (DMN) was notable with an invitation to join the evening impromptu OMG standards meeting to discuss DMN.

A session by Jerry Vaughn and Jeanine Bradley called Defining & Selling Strategic Change Programs at Railinc covered what it took to align, convince, gather and sell the $5.5 million dollar project to align an array of business logic and applications to industry standard processes within the rail industry. Fascinating and well delivered with concise overviews of the planning, the approach and the hurdles they had to take to pull together a very convincing story for funding major improvements across a complex business landscape.

This was so interesting that I took the time in the following break to catch up with the speakers team and some of the actual business team that has been involved with this project, great insights as to how JBoss technology is used in a small part of a bigger business innovation solution.

This is but a small taste of what we experienced, there were too many to go into detail on each and every one. The sessions and speakers can be found online and the slides have been made available there too. All in all, this was a conference I would recommend to anyone interested in meeting with and mingling in the world of business solutions to chat with the practitioners and tooling vendors in this space.
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I hope to be back next year!