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Business Analysis Programme at DVLA - twelve months on

It’s been just over a year since our students started the programme and, despite the disruption of the pandemic, our Business Analysis (BA) development team have done an amazing job. They’ve successfully reached the midway point of their two-year programme, and are progressing steadily towards achieving the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis.

Working from home

The entire BA team was ready for the new environment and transitioned seamlessly to working from home. Digital tools have allowed everyone to stay connected, with the experienced members of the team doing a fantastic job of mentoring and coaching our new Business Analysts (BAs). The BAs have continued to learn, explore and develop while making the most of technology and developing an inclusive community that promotes sharing ideas, learning and keeping in touch.

Opportunities and experience

A primary ingredient in our development programme are real-world experiences that allow students to practice and experiment with new tools and techniques. Our new analysts have wasted no time in becoming fully active members of the team. They can be found supporting BAs on key business initiatives, running workshops, process mapping, and working with engineering squads. They have also started to take the lead on small projects.

James Gray, BA student, had this to say about the programme,

I have just completed an assignment working on the apply for a duplicate log book (V5C) service. It was amazing to be part of a delivery team delivering at pace in an agile environment. The collaboration between business representatives and the engineering squad made them a pleasure to work with. For me personally, it was rewarding to work on the end-to-end delivery, being involved from the start and refining requirements to help deliver the service into production using agile methods.

The students’ enthusiasm for assignments is a positive challenge to the team supporting the programme, making sure opportunities are tailored to individual learning experiences, and providing insight into different aspects of daily BA life.

Courses and exams

The development programme has a set learning path in line with the diploma, where courses and exams were delivered in a classroom environment. Since the pandemic, all courses have been completed digitally using video conferencing tools, with online monitoring of exams becoming a new experience for most. The BAs embraced the new approach and worked through some initial bumps to successfully pass the exams and achieve their certifications.

Learning to code

Earlier this year, our new BAs were introduced to code through face to face classroom training at DVLA, self-led tutorials, a mini-project and some excellent support from our own Centre of Digital Excellence (CoDE) MSc students. They learned HTML, CSS, and Javascript and developed a web application which contributes towards a learning objective for their development portfolio. This provided them with a full end-to-end example of taking an idea into production. While many found the task challenging, the feedback was positive. And it provided the students with an appreciation of the role of engineers and the important relationship of BAs in daily interactions with delivery teams.

What next?

Over the coming weeks, the students will complete module 3 of the development programme which finishes with an end-of-module assessment and submission of their development portfolio before kicking off module 4. They will continue to study for their BCS diploma, and the BA team are proactively looking for new experiences to supplement the learning journey.

We are now sharing knowledge with other organisations and government departments who have expressed an interest in the programme who have shared their interest in the programme.

If you have an interest in becoming a Business Analyst at DVLA, keep an eye on the Civil Service Jobs website where all our opportunities will be advertised.

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