Date: 4 Mar 2020
Where: Glasgow

Analysis in Action

This interactive, working session is an opportunity to take a closer look at a range of methodologies and techniques in action. We are hoping that this session will encourage attendees to discuss real-life examples, tools used and their usefulness. It will be a mix of case study and discussion, with active audience participation expected!


  1. Systems Thinking - Gary Cockburn
  2. Rich Pictures - Alex Sharpe

Learning outcomes:

The aim of these sessions is to build on our practical knowledge by learning from each other through real scenarios. They can include:

  • Showcase of new analysis tools or tools borrowed from other disciplines that could aid Business Analysts
  • Showcase of known tools used in a new way, producing better outcomes
  • Peer review – open discussion/workshop to review and improve our deliverables
  • It’s a chance to learn, share your knowledge and network. 

Light refreshments and snacks will be provided. 


Systems Thinking: understanding the ‘System’

‘System Thinkers’ believe that service and business design is inextricably linked – it is a system.

They also believe that events within the system can be improved by working in partnership with customers and business users, ultimately linking up events into a continuous process.

Gary will discuss Systems Thinking at Analysis in Action, sharing insights into some core themes such as - motivation, leadership behaviours, customer demand and system constraints - all pivotal factors when analysing the ‘system’.

In this presentation, Gary will also share practical lessons for implementing the method and some case study examples.  

The purpose is to highlight the method in action and illustrate how the audience can get started immediately…and take some belief that they too can improve their systems with Systems Thinking. 


The Rich Picture session will cover:

•           An Introduction to Rich Pictures

•           Understanding how Rich Pictures can be used within an organisation

•           Overview of common  Rich Picture guidelines

•           A group activity to put Rich Pictures into practice


Gary Cockburn is the Director of Lightforce Consulting Ltd.

For the last 9 years, Gary has worked as an independent contractor specialising in all aspects of business change and digital transformation.  

Gary is a qualified Agile DSDM practitioner, Lean Six Sigma specialist and qualified expert in Systems Thinking, also known as the Vanguard Method.

It was working in partnership with Vanguard Scotland where Gary developed a deep appreciation for the tools and techniques of the method, going on to study with Vanguard and the Chartered Management Institute to gain qualifications in Management and Leadership.  

Gary uses Systems Thinking tools and techniques on a daily basis by taking a whole system view approach to continuous improvement and project delivery.

With some IIBA friends and colleagues, Gary is co-founding BALife – the first Business Analysis Conference in Scotland.  He also presented at the recent IRM Business Analysis Conference Europe and co-authored an eBook - Why is it difficult to bind technology to the business?

Gary blogs regularly from and is currently working on contract as a Principal Business Analyst with Registers of Scotland.

Alex Sharpe is a Business Analyst working for the Phoenix Group in Edinburgh. He has 4 years business analysis experience, starting as a graduate in 2016. He has worked on strategic programmes including GDPR and merger and acquisition projects in that time. Prior to this, he studied BSc Information Systems at Heriot-Watt University where he first learnt about Soft Systems Methodology and Rich Pictures. Alex is passionate about this field of study, and advocates the use of Rich Pictures within his company; providing learning sessions to other BAs on the topic.



To join the discussion, please sign in.