Date: 11 May 2017
Where: Fareham

Is Your Community Of Practice Really A Community? 

Within the BA profession, we often use the phrase Community of Practice, but do you really have a community, or do you just have a meeting?  Michelle Shakesheff and Sharon Rowland will share Zurich's approach to building a truly vibrant and effective community.  Some of Zurich's BAs will share their own stories, to help illustrate how a true community benefits the BAs and the organisation, as well as the profile of the Business Analysis profession.  

Liz Carter

Sharon Rowland is a Business Analyst Team Lead at Zurich Insurance plc managing a team of 6 Business Analysts who have a broad range of skills and experience, from Graduate to Senior Business Analyst. She draws upon her 17 years’ experience as a Business and System Analyst and her deep and broad knowledge of the Insurance Industry.  She has experience in all aspects of the project life cycle working in both Agile and Waterfall methodologies. She’s confident in challenging and supporting stakeholders and becomes a trusted advisor whilst building long lasting working relationships. Sharon has a passion for improving the capability and recognition of her team of business analysts. 


Helen Connor


Michelle Shakesheff is the Business Analyst Manager at Zurich, leading a team of over 40 BAs.  She has over ten years’ experience of running BA shared services in the financial services and automotive industries.

Michelle is also a longstanding member of the Business Analyst Manager Forum, and is on several BCS Business Analysis panels, providing input to the future of business analysis training and certification in the UK and worldwide.  In March 2017 she was made a Silver Partner of the BCS; the first time an individual has gained Partner status.  Michelle is also a mentor with the IIBA UK Mentoring Scheme.



Building 'Brand Me' - Making Effective Career Choices 

Business Analysis provides opportunity for a wide ranging and diverse career, which might cover anything from defining requirements for IT systems to shaping future strategy for companies. As BAs we are expert at defining the business needs and goals for projects or organisations but when did you last consider your own career plan and direction? 

Are you clear on where you want to be in 3-5 years’ time?

If you were offered your ideal job tomorrow, what would it look like?

During this interactive session Corrine Thomas will share with you some tools to help you:

  • Understand your personal drivers 
  • Put together a vision for your career
  • Create your personal career brand so you can build presence and have impact in your chosen profession


Corrine Thomas has over 25 years’ experience of working in analyst roles across a range of industry sectors including Local Government, Healthcare, Telecommunications and Financial services. During that time she has worked on projects such as the introduction of the poll tax and large billing projects in the telecoms industry. In recent years she has focused on creating BA practices within large Change teams and her most recent role was Head of Business Analysis at Virgin Media. She now works as an independent consultant, trainer and career coach focusing on career and transition support for both adults and teenagers.

When not working Corrine loves to be outdoors either on her bike or trekking and has recently been lucky enough to visit the Himalayas where she has trekked in both the Annapurna region of Nepal and in Bhutan.


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