Learn how to apply the agile Business Analysis toolkit to agile projects.
This is a hands-on course on implementing the Business Analysis function on an agile project. Working through a case study, you’ll gain a practical understanding of where the Business Analysis function fits into agile and Scrum and the value Business Analysis brings to the team and the business. You’ll learn how to use your BA skills to shepherd an initiative from the strategic business level down to the ‘weeds’ of requirements trawling and analysis while keeping the team focused on business value. By the end of this course, you’ll have gained practical experience applying the BA function over the course of an agile project using an approach that integrates the best agile Business Analysis practices from Scrum, Lean Startup, Extreme Programming (XP), UML 2.0 and Kanban with some of the most effective agile analysis tools developed in the field.
In this course, you will learn how to perform ‘just in time’, ‘just barely enough’ Business Analysis on an agile project in order to incrementally develop a comprehensive understanding of business goals and requirements. As you and your team work through a case study project, you’ll gain practical experience in how to leverage the BA function and toolkit to help teams overcome some of the most vexing issues that confront agile teams today, including: how to help business owners overcome ‘prioritization phobia’ by guiding them towards an MVP approach to development; how to track dependencies between requirements and development teams; how and when to unbundle epics into manageable User Stories; when to ‘bend’ agile principles; how to apply UML 2.0; how to coordinate development across multiple teams and how to manage supplementary requirements such as non-functional requirements and constraints. You will also learn when and how to create persistent requirements documentation for communication with non-agile teams and for use after the project is over.
In the arguments over agile versus traditional approaches to software development, Business Analysis (BA) has sometimes been ignored – as the elimination of a formal BA position is sometimes confused with elimination of the practice of business analysis, and a reduced emphasis on formal documentation is confused with the remaining need to perform the analysis behind it. As a result, the product backlog is loaded with items that are noted inconsistently, are difficult to reconcile with over-arching business goals and difficult to estimate and prioritize. The truth is – agile projects, with their increased emphasis on communication between developers and the business side, depend more heavily than ever on individuals (whatever their job title) who know how to structure their conversations with stakeholders for maximum benefit, individuals who are able to pull the right analysis techniques out of their ‘back pockets’ when they need them.
Many companies have concluded they need to find a way to adopt agile approaches because it guarantees at least minimum functionality in a short period of time, eliminates analysis paralysis, reduces technological risk, and minimizes wasted effort analyzing requirements that may never be implemented due to changing needs. But as teams have tried to implement agile approaches without people trained in agile Business Analysis, they have experienced the following challenges:
- Difficulty keeping track of constant changes to requirements, additions, and continual reprioritization – especially when there is nobody trained in requirements processes and tools to manage the list
- Challenges scaling agile – an approach that emerged from small companies – to large, highly regulated companies and organizations
- Challenges transitioning the business to an iterative lifecycle, whereby implementation of requirements proceeds in small increments
- Challenges applying agile – whose roots are in Product Development, where continual updates are made over a long period – to Projects, which have a beginning, an end – and scope, time and resource constraints
- Challenges fitting significant User Stories into short iterations – resulting in repeated calls for changes to the cadence (iteration length) for the project
- Challenges creating persistent requirements documentation from agile artifacts.
If you have been experiencing any of the above, or if your organization is relatively new to agile, this course will help you address these issues through training that clarifies exactly which business analysis technique or tool to employ based on the scenario, and how to carry out the BA function so that business interests are addressed and protected throughout the agile life cycle.
- BAs and BSAs of all levels working on, or interested in working on, agile projects
- Product Owners (POs) originating from the business side (Product Managers, SMEs) who need to acquire skills in agile requirements management in order to work effectively as POs
- Proxy Product Owners originating from the IT side (BSAs, etc.) who need to acquire agile analysis skills
- Product Managers, Program Managers who will be working on or with agile teams
- Managers of BAs (PMs, BA Leads, etc.)
- High-level executives