Deena Chadwick
The CommonSensical BA

Professional Keynote Speaker, Author, & Coach

When choosing a speaker for your conference, company, group, or association, you want someone who has good speaking skills, a deep knowledge of the subject matter, but more than that, someone who has the ability to engage your audience.  The most important part of any presentation or course is the ability to use the skills you are learning. Deena uses engaging activities that help you retain what you have learned. She focuses on content that you can apply immediately. Her goal is to help you succeed, achieve more, and bring the excitement back to your team. 

Interested in Booking Deena Chadwick? Looking for Fees or Availability?

Apply The CommonSensical Approach

Don't Get Drowned In Your Data Lake

Communication & Collaboration

How To Approach Scope Creep

Deena is available to speak on any topic related to Business Analysis, Project Management, & Agile Development. She is happy to work with you to customize her presentation for your audience and timeframe.

Learning Objectives / Key Benefits

In this presentation you will learn what detectives and FBI agents are taught:

• How to Take Advantage of Natural Human Instincts
• Which Techniques, Approaches, and Tools to Use
• Identify When Someone Is Resisting


Requirements elicitation is not simply gathering requirements. Requirements are not just lying around waiting for you to pick them up and write them out. Many times the users or clients themselves are not sure of what they want. All too often the most obvious requirements are wrong or incomplete. Requirements elicitation is all about learning & understanding the need by seeking, uncovering, acquiring, and elaborating. 

This presentation focuses on the 2nd BABoK Knowledge area: Elicitation and Collaboration. Specifically sections 4.1 to 4.3 Preparing, Conducting, and Confirmation Elicitation.

Learning Objectives / Key Benefits

• Discover how to turn indirect messaging into effective communication
• Overcome the Complications added by Social Distancing and Remote Work
• Develop professional ways to add “Remotions” to your emails, text, and messaging apps


BAs, PMs, and POs require direct human interactions to be successful. Today’s messaging applications allow us to message someone quickly, but does it really speed up communication? Remote friendly apps really can improve communication, but all too often they have added to the confusion. In this session, you will learn tips and tricks on how to effectively use these apps to your advantage and turn indirect interactions into direct and effective communication. 

Learning Objectives / Key Benefits

• Understand the difference between a Data Lake, Data Farm, Data Mine,  Data Warehouse, and more
• Learn How to Turn Data into Business Intelligence
• Learn Best Practices & Common Mistakes


Data is a hot topic right now because data-driven decision making is the key to success.  Data Lakes, Data Farms, Data Mines, Data Warehouses can be confusing. This workshop will help demystify Data Analysis and Science.

Learn what tasks and roles involved in managing and analyzing data. Learn the most common mistakes that organizations are making and how to avoid them. Learn the terminology, processes, and best practices for turning business intelligence into business strategy and business solutions. Data-driven Decision Making is not easy. This workshop will re-introduce you to Data Analytics and its role in business decisions. You’ll learn why data is important and how it has evolved. You’ll be introduced to “Big Data” and how it is used. You’ll also be introduced to frameworks and techniques for conducting Data Analysis and what tools are commonly used. You will have a chance to put your knowledge to work through hands-on simulations and exercises.

Learning Objectives / Key Benefits

• Understand Fact-Based Decision Making
• Learn 5 Best Prioritization Techniques
• Learn How To Avoid Common Mistakes


Do you second guess your decision or avoid making it because you fear making the wrong choice?  This session will help you be more confident and learn how to make decisions faster with no regrets. 

Did you know that there are six barriers to decision making? No wonder we fall into analysis paralysis. This session will go into each barrier and how to overcome it using the six factors that make decision making easy. 

Fact-based decision making is also known as evidence-based decision making. As product owners, project managers, and business analysts we are required to make many decisions. We can rely on hard data or facts, soft data, assumptions, similar experiences, and even gut feelings or hunches. Clearly, not all of these are equal. Fact-based decision making can help you learn how to recognize facts over feelings and how to spot and avoid bias. 

You will also learn the top 5 prioritization techniques that you can use to help others make better and faster decisions. Decision making and prioritization can help you better manage your backlog or project scope. It can help you organize your workload. It can even help you manage and avoid scope creep.

CommonSensical Stakeholder Management

Learning Objectives / Key Benefits

  • Learn How to Identify Key People (Stakeholders / SMEs)
    • Key People Matrix vs. Stakeholder Matrix
    • CommonSensical RASCI
  • Learn How to Effectively Communicate With Key People
    • Identify Preferred Communication Styles
    • How To Deliver Bad News
    • Learn Which Tools and Application Encourage Collaboration
  • Learn How to Activate Key People Who Are Not Engaged
    • Determine If an Inactive Key Person Is Neutral, Disinterested, or Obstinate
    • Encourage Customer Collaboration 
    • How To Empower Someone With Little or No Authority


Do you struggle with stakeholder management? Some helicopter around the team while others seem to be MIA (missing in action). The secret to simple, lean, and agile stakeholder management is to use the latest relationship building techniques and the best collaborative tools and applications. Stakeholders & SMEs Are People Too! focuses on the 2nd BABoK Knowledge area: Elicitation and Collaboration. Specifically sections 4.4  Communicate Business Analysis Information and 4.5 Manage Stakeholder Collaboration.

CommonSensical Communication & Collaboration

Learning Objectives / Key Benefits

• Why Technical Documentation & Communication Are Still Vital To Any Project
• How To Turn Complicated Ideas Into Simple, Lean & Agile Communication
• How To Avoid Common Pit Falls & Mistakes


Commonsensical Documentation is a guide to simple, lean, and agile technical writing. This course is about blending the best practices of communication and technical writing with a little common sense. By combining these principles Technical Writers and Business Analysts can produce documentation and technical communication that will be valued and appreciated.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn How to Apply the Commonsensical Approach
    • Know the Basics – Know What You Need to Know
    • Get the Job Done – Do What You Need to Do
    • Stay out of Your Own Way – Not Let Anything Stop You
  • Walk Away with Tips, Tricks, and Methods for Simplifying and Streamlining Business Analysis
    • Use the Latest Tools of the Trade
    • How to Encourage Collaboration
  • Learn How to Apply Theory to Real Life Scenarios
    • Relationship Building Techniques That Work Irl
    • How to Create the Right Amount of Documentation
    • How to Influence When You Have No Authority


Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I doing this when it doesn’t make any sense?” Information systems and digital technologies are getting more and more complex. We deal with technologically advanced designs with complicated rules and crazy multi-interfaced systems with the capability of learning and teaching themselves. What our industry needs the most is a good dose of common sense. Learn how to simplify things in a way that allows you to truly be lean and agile.

CommonSensical Scope Management

Learning Objectives / Key Benefits

  • Tips & Tricks For Delivering Bad News
  • The 5 Ws of Scope Creep
  • Learn How Approach Scope Creep the way you approach risk


A CommonSensical guide to managing Scope Creep for Project Managers, Product Owners and Business Analysts. Scope creep is one of the most common problems faced by Project Managers, Product Owners and Business Analysts. Even in Agile and Iterative Development, there is no way to completely avoid Scope Creep. It stands to reason that the best way to deal with scope creep is to meet it head-on with logic and common sense at your side. This course will outline techniques or ways to approach scope creep in a CommonSensical way. You will leave this presentation with either new ideas or refreshers on the following:

• Communicating Scope Creep is like Delivering Bad News (Tips and Tricks on Delivering Bad News)
• The 5 Ws of Scope Creep (Who, What, When, Where, & Why)
• Approach Scope Creep the way you Approach Risk (How to Accept It, How to Avoid It & How to Mitigate It)

How to turn Vision & Strategy into Epics & Stories. Not the other way around!

Learning Objectives / Key Benefits

• Understand the differences between Strategy & Requirements
• Shift the way you approach requirements
• Learn How To Avoid Common Mistakes


Want to know the secrets of being a forward-thinking delivery agent? Today’s successful product owners, project managers, and business analysts use forward-thinking solutions to solve complex problems. The processes for creating vision and strategy had to evolve to catch up with the speed of technology.  They are also no longer used simply for business cases and executive board decision making. Visions and Strategy are being used for project and scope prioritization. Unfortunately, many of us are still using outdated techniques or just winging it. 

During this fast-paced workshop, you will experience a hands-on journey through forward-thinking processes. This session will introduce you to the latest process and techniques for visual design, ideation practices, design thinking, and even disruptive thinking. Led by an expert with deep experience leading teams who design and build solutions in real-world environments, you will collaborate to define real-world problems and solve them using design thinking techniques. You will learn problem definition, ideation, and how to determine if your solution is adaptive, innovative, or disruptive. You will learn how to anticipate user and stakeholder needs. You will walk away knowing best practices, tips and tricks from industry experts, and what mistakes to avoid. You will shift from ‘Surviving in the Now’ to ‘Defining The Future’ through Forward-Thinking.