Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 5

419 Hudson Road Sudbury, MA.

USA 01776
Phone: +1.978.261.5552 Fax: +1.978.261.5553 www.ebgconsulting.com

AgileBusinessAnalysisinFlow:
TheWorkoftheAgileAnalyst(Part1)
byEllenGottesdiener
EBGConsulting,Inc.:www.ebgconsulting.com

(ThisarticlefirstappearedinModernAnalyst,May2009)

Lifeisaboutnotknowing,havingtochange,takingthemomentandmakingthebestofit
withoutknowingwhatsgoingtohappennext.Deliciousambiguity.
GildaRadner,actressandcomedienne(19461989)
Agileishere,anditscomingsoontoanorganizationnearyouifitsnotalreadythere.Asa
businessanalyst,areyoureadytomakethetransitiontothisvaluecentereddevelopment
approach?Howwillyourrolechange?Whatwillyoudodifferently?Whatwillyouactually
doaspartofanagileteam?Whatagileanalysispracticesmightyouadaptifyoureworking
onatraditional(waterfallstyle)project?
Inshort,howcanyoumakeyourselfmorevaluabletoyouragileteamandorganization
usingyourbusinessanalysisskillsandabilities?
Itsaboutthework,nottherole
Keepinmindmybias:itsnotaboutthejobroleortitleyouhave,itsaboutthework.Sowhen
Iusethetermagilebusinessanalyst,Imeananyonewhoisdoingtheworkofrequirements
(business)analysisonanagileteam.
Someagileteamsmaynothaveateammemberwhoisthedesignatedbusinessanalyst,or
theymayhaveabusinessanalystwhoseonlyroleisbusinessanalysisandrequirements
relatedwork.Avarietyofpeoplewhohavetheskillsmaydotheworkofanalysis,andit
maybesharedamongteammembers.Thatiscommoninsmallprojectsorwhentheteam
membershaverichbusinessdomainexpertisealongwithclose,trustingrelationshipswith
theirbusinesscustomers.
Soifyouare(orwillbe)doingtheworkofagileanalysis,keepreadingtofindouthowyour
lifewillchange.
Withagile,valuecomesfromthecustomer
Onagileprojects,thecustomerhastheresponsibilityandtheburdentodecidewhichitems
thedeliveryteamwillbuildandwhen,andtodefineeachitemsdonenesscriteria(whenit
Agile Business Analysis in Flow (Part I)
Copyright EBG Consulting, Inc. 2009

Page 1 of 5
www.ebgconsulting.com

isacceptableforrelease).Inessence,thecustomerisresponsibleforproductprofitability.By
understandingtheproductsmarketorbusinessneedandadvocatingforthevoiceofthe
(end)customer,thecustomerembodiesthecoremantraofagileteams:delivervalue.
Fortheprojecttosucceed,thecustomermustconductamixofstrategicandtacticalactivities.
Strategicactivitiesincludeanalyzingthemarketandbusinesscase,definingtheproduct
visionandroadmap,developingrequirements,adjustingtheproductbacklog,and
determiningdeliveryplans.Thecustomeralsoconductstacticalactivitiessuchasspecifying
theitemstobedeliveredineachiteration,determiningwheneachitemiscomplete,
analyzingdependenciesbetweenitems,andhelpingtheteamanalyzerequirementsstories.
Tofulfillbothstrategicandtacticalactivitiesonanagileproject,thebusinesscustomerneeds
productdevelopmentexperience,alongwithdeepdomainandproductknowledge.
Understandingtheunderlyingtechnologyalsohelpswhenmakingtechnobusiness
decisionsthroughoutproductdevelopment.
Withalltheseresponsibilities,insomeorganizations,thebusinesscustomerneedshelpwith
daytodaytacticaldecisionmaking.Thatswhereyou,asanagilebusinessanalyst,comein.
Onsomeagileteams,aBAwhohasdeepdomainknowledge(andperhapshasservedina
businessrole)servesasthetacticalcustomer(or,inaScrumproject,theproductowner)or
splitsthoseresponsibilitieswiththebusinesscustomer.Byservingasthetactical,iteration
levelcustomer,youfreetheseniorbusinesscustomertobetheteamsstrategiccustomer.You
leverageyouranalysisskillstohelpyourteamdelivervalue,oneiterationatatime.You
ensureeachdeliveryalignstotheoverallstrategyandgoals.
Whatwillchangewhenyoureonanagileteam?
Processes,products,andrelationshipschangeonanagileteam.Howyouplanthework,
delivertheproduct,representrequirements,shareknowledge,interactwithyourteamand
customer,managechangingrequirements,anddocumentrequirementswillbequite
differentfromtraditional,waterfallstyleprojects.
Inshort,youwillbepartofateamofhighlycollaborativecolleagueswithafuriousfocuson
deliveringvalue,negotiatingvaluedeliveryinshortcycles,andhelpingyourbusiness
partnersunderstandwhattheyreallyneednotonlyupfrontbutalsoastheproductunfolds
insmall,usablechunks.
Businessanalystsmustrelinquishcontroloftherequirements,thecustomerrelationship,and
theusualrequirementsdocumentation.Why?Itsbecauseonyouragileteam,youdeliver
working,valuablesoftwareeveryfewweeks.Andyou(andyourteamandcustomer)dont
knowexactlywhattheendproductwillbenotuntilyoustarttobuildit,deliverit,andget
feedbackonit.Thatswhenyoulearnwhattheneedreallyis.
Agile Business Analysis in Flow (Part I)
Copyright EBG Consulting, Inc. 2009

Page 2 of 5
www.ebgconsulting.com

Businessanalystsmustrelinquishcontrolofthe
requirements,thecustomerrelationship,andthe
usualrequirementsdocumentation.Why?Its
becauseonyouragileteam,youdeliverworking,
valuablesoftwareeveryfewweeks.Andyou(and
yourteamandcustomer)dontknowexactlywhat
theendproductwillbenotuntilyoustarttobuild
it,deliverit,andgetfeedbackonit.Thatswhen
youlearnwhattheneedreallyis.
ThatswhyIliketoquoteGildaRadnersphrase
deliciousambiguity.Anagileprojectisallabout
suspendingcontrolforaslongaspossible.
Eventeamrolescanbeambiguous.Specificsmay
vary,butanagileteamcollaboratestodelivertoa
committedsetofrequirements.Eachteammember
iswilling,eveneager,todowhateverittakesto
makethathappen,nomatterwhattheofficialjob
responsibilitiesdictate.
Itslikelythatyouwillnotbetheonlyonetoelicit,
analyze,andspecifyrequirements.Theteamis
focusedondeliveringshippablesoftwareinshort
cycles(iterations),soyourtasksmaycrossoverto
otheractivitiesthatcallonyourskills,capacity,and
interest.Forexample,youarelikelytoidentifyif
notalsocreateandexecuteuseracceptancetests:
handsonvalidation.Yoursoftskillsand
understandingofrequirementsdependenciesmake
youagoodcandidatetofacilitateplanning
workshopstodefinetheproductroadmapand
releaseplans.

Whatisastory?
Inagiledevelopment,astoryisaworkitem
thatneedstobecompletedtodeliverthe
product.Storiesarecontainedandtrackedin
theproductbacklog(thecatalogofallthework)
andarethebasisforiterationplanningand
development.
Astoryusuallydescribesauserrequirement
somethingofvaluethatauserneedstodo.
However,someagilistsusethestorymetaphor
forothertechnicalorteamrelatedwork,such
asdeliveringnonfunctionalrequirements,
settingupservers,tuningthedatabase,
cleaningupbugs,buildingautomatedtests,or
findingandsettingupateamworkspace.
Auserstoryisaconcise,sharplydefineduser
requirementthatbrieflydescribessomething
valuabletheuserneedstoaccomplish.Itis
usuallywritteninthisformat:Asa,Iwantto
sothat.
Forexample,Asabookbuyer,Iwanttoread
reviewsaboutthebookIamviewingsothatI
candecidewhetherIwanttopurchaseitor,
Asacorporatelibrarian,Iwanttofind
quantitydiscountinformationsothatIcan
comparethepricetoanothersuppliers.
Astoryisaplaceholderinthebacklog
requiringfurtherelaborationwhenandifit
willbeconsumedwithinaniteration.For
example,touseastoryforiterationplanning
anddevelopment,itsconditionsofsatisfaction,
ordoneness,mustalsobeclearlyunderstood.

Asanagilebusinessanalyst,yourenolongershackledtolarge,complexrequirements
documentationandtemplates.Instead,youwillinfluenceyourbusinesspartnersandteams
torethinkwhatkindof(andhowmuch)documentationisneeded.Youmaydeliver
documentationinsmallchunks,alongwiththesmall,usefulchunksofrequirementsyour
teamdeliversineachiteration(oftenintheformofuserstories).Youmightpitchinto
developlightweightproduct,user,orsupportdocumentation.
Agile Business Analysis in Flow (Part I)
Copyright EBG Consulting, Inc. 2009

Page 3 of 5
www.ebgconsulting.com

Yourworkisbothtacticalandstrategic:youneedtograspthebigview(theproductvision,
roadmap,andreleaseplans)whilemaintainingafirmfootinginthenow(thecurrent
iteration).Thusyouneedthedisciplineandflexibilitytooperateinmultiplemodes(the
nowofthecurrentiterationandthelaterofupcomingiterations).
Yourworkwillbetransparent.Youwillgetbetteratestimatingandworkingwithyour
crossfunctionalteammatestoreliablypredicthowmuchsoftwareyourteamcandeliverin
eachiteration.Thevisibilityofiterationplanning,endofiterationdemonstrations,and
retrospectivespermitnohiding.Youwillfindgreatermasterybybeingopenlyaccountable
toyourcustomer,theteam,andyourself.
Untilnexttime
Inthesecondpartofthisarticle,welltakeacloselookatspecificbusinessanalystactivities
thatdifferinagileprojects.Wellframethesetasksinthecontextoftraditionalrequirements
engineering,whichinvolvessettingthestage;developing(eliciting,analyzing,specifyingand
validating)requirements;andmanagingrequirements(Gottesdiener,2005).Meanwhile,
pleasedirectyourquestionstomeatellen@ebgconsulting.com.
Theresneverbeenamoreexcitingtimetobeabusinessanalyst.Areyouopentothe
challenge?Canyouadaptyourskillstoyouragileteamssteadybeatofshort,valuedriven
cycles?Canyouinfluenceyourtraditionalteamtoalteryouranalysispractices?Staytuned.
Thanks!
TheauthorwouldliketothankPhilAbernathy,SusanBlock,MaryGorman,KamalSingh,
NormanStang,andStephanieWeissfortheirhelpfulreviewandfeedbackonadraftofthis
article.
RecommendedReadings:
http://www.ebgconsulting.com/agileModernAnalyst.pdf
CopyrightEBGConsulting,Inc.,2009
Author:EllenGottesdiener,PrincipalConsultant,EBGConsulting,helpsyougettheright
requirementssoyourprojectsstartsmartanddelivertherightproductattherighttime.
Ellenscompanyprovideshighvaluetraining,facilitation,andconsultingservicestoagile
andtraditionalteams.Anagilecoachandtrainerwithapassionaboutagilerequirements,
sheworkswithlarge,complexproductsandhelpsteamselicitjustenoughrequirementsto
achieveiterationandproductgoals.
EllensbookRequirementsbyCollaboration:WorkshopsforDefiningNeedsdescribeshowtouse
multiplemodelstoelicitrequirementsincollaborativeworkshops.Hermostrecentbook,The
Agile Business Analysis in Flow (Part I)
Copyright EBG Consulting, Inc. 2009

Page 4 of 5
www.ebgconsulting.com

SoftwareRequirementsMemoryJoggeristhegotoindustryguideforrequirementsgood
practices.Inadditiontoprovidingtrainingandconsultingservicesandcoachingagileteams,
Ellenspeaksatandadvisesforindustryconferences,writesarticles,andservesontheExpert
ReviewBoardoftheInternationalInstituteofBusinessAnalysis(IIBA)BusinessAnalysis
BodyofKnowledgeTM(BABOKTM).
YoucansubscribetoEBGConsultingsoffersafreemonthlyeNewsletterSuccesswith
Requirementsofferingpracticalguidanceandrequirementsrelatednews.Whenyousignup,
youllreceiveafreearticleonessentialsforscopingyourrequirements.YoucanfollowEllen
onTwitterorcontactherviaemail.

Agile Business Analysis in Flow (Part I)


Copyright EBG Consulting, Inc. 2009

Page 5 of 5
www.ebgconsulting.com