The Power of the Agile Business Analyst

The Power of the Agile Business Analyst: 30 surprising ways a business analyst can add value to your Agile development team

JAMIE LYNN COOKE
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: IT Governance Publishing
Pages: 193
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5hh7r9
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  • Book Info
    The Power of the Agile Business Analyst
    Book Description:

    The Power of the Agile Business Analyst: 30 surprising ways a business analyst can add value to your Agile development team challenges whether Agile projects are truly positioned to deliver the highest-value business solutions without offering business users the equivalent level of support, validation, and collaboration that is provided for the Agile development team. To address this challenge, The Power of the Agile Business Analyst proposes including an Agile business analyst on the development team to provide business users with the support they need, as well as a valuable resource to assist the Agile developers in their analysis, design, testing, and implementation work throughout the project.

    eISBN: 978-1-84928-505-6
    Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. DEDICATION
    (pp. 5-5)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. 6-6)
    Brian Johnson

    Agile has been misquoted, misused, and downright abused by commercial interests. And now we hear that Agile has negated the need for documentation; that Agile speeds up development by months or even years; and, if only we all used it, then world peace would reign.

    The challenge (or one of the major challenges…) of Agile is to make sure that it is properly understood, that wild claims about ‘no more documentation’ or ‘development cycles reduced to days rather than months’ - or any of the myriad countless and baseless claims made about Agile being some form of magic - are...

  4. PREFACE
    (pp. 7-10)
  5. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    (pp. 11-12)
  6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. 13-14)
  7. Table of Contents
    (pp. 15-16)
  8. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 17-21)

    Not all Agile development teams – or all business users – are equal.

    In an ideal world, the business users who work with the Agile development team would be intimately familiar with the requirements of every business area impacted by the delivered solution (and the relative priority of each requested capability); they would be objective enough to see the solution beyond their current work practices; and they would fully understand the policy, regulatory, and technical constraints of every feature in the solution. In this perfect scenario, the business users would also becontinually availableto work with the development team...

  9. CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS AGILE?
    (pp. 22-25)

    ‘Agile’ is a collective term for methodologies (and practices) that have emerged over the past two decades to increase the relevance, quality, flexibility, and business value of software solutions. Theseadaptive managementapproaches are specifically intended to address the problems that have historically plagued software development and service delivery activities in the IT industry, including budget overruns, missed deadlines, low-quality outputs, and dissatisfied users.

    Although there is a broad range of Agile methodologies in the IT industry – from software development and project delivery approaches to strategies for software maintenance – all Agile methodologies share the same basic objectives:

    To...

  10. CHAPTER 2: THE POWER AND THE PERILS OF AGILE
    (pp. 26-35)

    The ability for Agile approaches to deliver real results is both its greatest strength and its greatest exposure. Organizations often get so excited about the effectiveness of Agile approaches that they become complacent to its perils.

    For organizations that have been burned by historical failures in their IT projects, the ability to receiveworking softwareon aregular basiscan be refreshing, almost enchanting. Management and staff tend to see Agile as the 'cure-all' for what has historically plagued the software industry. They are often so excited by the tangible outputs of their Agile software projects that they do not...

  11. CHAPTER 3: WHY YOUR TEAM NEEDS AN AGILE BUSINESS ANALYST
    (pp. 36-59)

    The Information Technology (IT) industry does not have a standard definition for 'business analyst' that applies to all software projects. The role of the business analyst has historically ranged from writing business cases, to detailing system specifications, to testing and documenting the developed solution, and doing everything in between. With so much variation in the definition of the role of the business analyst, it is not at all surprising that people can misinterpret – and underestimate – the value that a business analyst can bring to an Agile project.

    This section identifies why the perception of business analysts needs to...

  12. CHAPTER 4: WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF NOT HAVING AN AGILE BUSINESS ANALYST?
    (pp. 60-87)

    As described in the previous section, Agile approaches generally task the business users with gathering, documenting, and prioritizing the business requirements of the system; and the Agile development team with clarifying the intended system behavior, identifying possible alternative options in the solution, and estimating the amount of work required to deliver agreed features. The business requirements of the system are usually prepared and prioritized by the business usersprior tothe requirements review sessions with the Agile development team. It is expected that the business users have consulted with the necessary stakeholders, identified the core set of functionality the solution...

  13. CHAPTER 5: 30 WAYS FOR THE AGILE BUSINESS ANALYST TO ADD VALUE TO YOUR PROJECT
    (pp. 88-152)

    The previous chapters identified some of the critical (and often hidden) exposures in Agile approaches, both in the limited ongoing availability of the business users, and in the potential for the delivered solution to be skewed to meet the needs of only a subset of the intended user base. In particular, these chapters emphasized the need for the Agile world to strongly consider thepairingof business users to be as important in ensuring thebusiness integrityof the solution as it is in ensuring thetechnical integrity.

    Although the value the Agile business analyst can bring to solution delivery...

  14. CHAPTER 6: GETTING THE RIGHT AGILE BUSINESS ANALYST FOR YOUR TEAM
    (pp. 153-170)

    The previous chapter identified 30 core activities that an Agile business analyst can undertake to assist the project team in making the delivered solution as valuable as possible.

    The following chapters provide guidelines for progressing your pursuit of the highest business-value solution in your Agile work, starting with what you can do to ensure that you get the most capable and valuable Agile business analyst for the particular needs of your team (Chapter 6: Getting the Right Agile Business Analyst for your Team); followed by what activities the Agile business analyst can do to best support the current and future...

  15. CHAPTER 7: MOVING YOUR AGILE TEAM FORWARD
    (pp. 171-183)

    If the previous chapters have persuaded you to include an Agile business analyst on your project team, the next step to consider is how to best incorporate the Agile business analyst into your current and future project work. This decision should be based uponwhere you are in the project timelineandwhat specific challengesthe Agile development team is facing. Key factors to consider are:

    Project timing: is the project:

    at the beginning stages (requirements identification)?

    well underway (ongoing iterative development, review, and release)?

    at the closing stages (live release of the full solution, user training, post-implementation support)?

    Business...

  16. CHAPTER 8: MORE INFORMATION ON AGILE
    (pp. 184-187)

    The following are general, methodology-specific, and practice-specific Agile sources you can refer to for further information:

    Agile alliance:www.Agilealliance.com

    Agile: An Executive Guide – Real Results from IT Budgets, Jamie Lynn Cooke, IT Governance Publishing (2011):www.itgovernanceusa.com/shop/p-351-Agile-an-executive-guide.aspx#.uc7geqwlfg0

    Agile Journal:www.agilejournal.com

    AgileKiwi – Practical Agile software development:www.agilekiwi.com

    Agile Manifesto:www.agilemanifesto.org

    www.agilesoftwaredevelopment.com

    Alistair Cockburn:http://alistair.cockburn.us/

    Fundamentals of Agile Project Management: An Overview (Technical Manager’s Survival Guides), Gonçalves M, Heda R, Asme Press (2010):www.amazon.com/fundamentals-Agile-project-management-technical/dp/0791802965/ref=sr_1_117?s=books&ie= utf8&qid=1297939406&sr=1-117

    Everything You Want to Know About Agile, Jamie Lynn Cooke, IT Governance Publishing (2012):www.itgovernanceusa.com/shop/p-549-everything-you-want-to-know-about-Agile.aspx#.uc7ggqwlfg0

    The New Methodology:www.thoughtworks.com/articles/new-methodology

    A Practical Guide to Seven Agile Methodologies,...

  17. AUTHOR'S NOTE ON AGILE BUSINESS ANALYSIS RESOURCES
    (pp. 188-189)
  18. ITG RESOURCES
    (pp. 190-193)