Conclusion: Business Analysts and Agile
As more organizations experiment with Agile, in all its various forms, Business Analysts may find that their typical roles and responsibilities change. While there is undoubtedly still the same work to be done, it may take on different forms and involve different people. Anyone who has been on several Agile projects to teams will tell you that few, if any, Agile teams operate exactly the same way, use the same processes, or follow the same standards. Each group determines the best mix of processes, documents, interactions and activities to service their customer.
As a result, Business Analysts need to be open to different ideas and opportunities within an Agile environment. If you’re stripped of your title or self-contained office, do not take it personally. If another team member starts writing down requirements don’t feel as if you’re devalued. The goal of an Agile team is to leverage everyone’s knowledge, experience and talents to the benefit of the customer. Work with the other team members to find how you can best contribute. Typically this will involve many traditional Business Analyst tasks, but don’t be surprised if you end up doing something you never thought you would do.
Business Analysts play an important role in any team, Agile or otherwise. As the world continues to find ways to deliver value in shorter timeframes with less cost, Business Analyst can continue to leverage their communication, business knowledge and analytical skills to meet the needs of their organization.
Author: Jarett Hailes is a Business Consultant with Larimar Consulting Inc. He has worked with large and small organizations in both the private and public sectors as a Business Analyst and Project Manager, and is also a Scrum Certified Product Owner and ScrumMaster. Jarett brings experience and expertise from a variety of industries ranging from mathematical modeling, technology commercialization, finance, law enforcement and education. For more information, visit http://www.larimarconsulting.com.
Agile Experts’ Bios
EBG Consulting, Inc. principal consultant and founder Ellen Gottesdiener is an internationally recognized facilitator, trainer, coach, speaker, and expert on requirements development, product chartering, retrospectives, and collaborative workshops. As an agile coach and trainer, Ellen has a passion for agile requirements and works with large, complex products and helps elicit just enough requirements to achieve iteration and product goals. Author of two acclaimed books, Ellen delivers training, facilitation, and consulting services globally; speaks at industry conferences; writes articles and tweets; and is an IIBA (BABOK) expert reviewer and contributor. Her free eNewsletter Success with Requirements offers practical guidance and news, and EBG’s web site provides a variety of useful practitioner resources.. Contact Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit her blog posts at www.ebgconsulting.com, and read her tweets at twitter.com/ellengott.
Scott W. Ambler is the Practice Leader for Agile Development at IBM Corporation. He works in the IBM Methods group developing process materials and travels the world helping clients to understand and adopt software processes that are right for them. A prolific author, Scott has received awards for several books, including those focused on the Unified Process, agile software development, Unified Modeling Language, and development based on the CMM (Capability Maturity Model). A widely recognized expert on Agile Process, he is a regular speaker at international IT conferences and a senior contributing editor for Dr. Dobb’s Journal. Scott also writes the Agile Software Development at Scale blog on IBM DeveloperWorks.
Ken Schwaber has been in software development for over 30 years, from bottle washer to cook, from waiter to manager. Ken started his career as an operating systems programmer. Ken developed Scrum with Jeff Sutherland, was a signatory to the Agile Manifesto, and founded the Agile Alliance, Scrum Alliance, and Scrum.org. Ken lives with his wife Christina in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Dr. Alistair Cockburn is an internationally renowned IT strategist, expert on agile development, use cases, process design, project management, and object-oriented design. He was voted one of the “The All-Time Top 150 i-Technology Heroes” in 2007, for his pioneering work in understanding use cases and for co-creating the agile software development movement. He is the author of the Crystal agile methodologies, three Jolt-awarded books on software development, the co-author of the Agile Manifesto and the project management Declaration of Interdependence, inventor of Initial Response Technique massage, and a Certified Scrum Trainer. He is known for his lively presentations and interactive workshops. His blog, poems, articles, and talks are available online at http://alistair.cockburn.us.
Roman Pichler is a leading Scrum and agile product management expert. He is the author of Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love. Roman has a long track record in teaching and coaching product owners and in helping companies apply effective product management practices. Find out more at romanpichler.com.
Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Jonathan Kohl is the founder and principal software consultant of Kohl Concepts, Inc. A noted software testing thinker and strategist, Jonathan is a natural investigator on software projects. In addition to assisting teams with testing, Jonathan helps companies define and implement their ideas into products, coaches practitioners as they develop software on teams, and works with leaders helping them define and implement their strategic vision. Jonathan is also a popular author and speaker. His blog on software development and testing issues is one of the most well-read testing blogs in the industry. Jonathan doesn’t just write about and talk about developing software, he actively helps teams deliver the best products they can. Contact Jonathan at http://www.kohl.ca/.
Nancy Y. Nee, PMP, CBAP, CSM is Executive Director, Project Management & Business Analysis Programs at ESI International. Nancy has more than 15 years’ experience in the consulting industry, specializing in management consulting, project management, business analysis, IT, continuous process improvement and organizational change management for the private, public, and non-profit sectors. She is skilled in aligning and defining the strategic enterprise architecture, developing project governance and selection frameworks, analyzing business processes to apply knowledge to improve organizational efficiency, and implementing automated solutions. She has provided PM and BA training and consulting services globally on PM and BA principles and practices to numerous Fortune 500 companies. Nancy has been a speaker at conferences around the world, including PMI® Global Congress, ProjectWorld/World Congress for Business Analysts and numerous IIBA® and PMI® events