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New Post 3/17/2009 8:17 AM
Unresolved
User is offline George
6 posts
10th Level Poster


Loss of Resource 

I've been a BA for a few years and have recently started working in an 'Agile' environment.  Due to the current financial situation our company have let all the contractors go and this is impacting all project teams as we are all losing valuable resource needed to correctly work in an Agile manner.

Has anyone else experienced this lately?  Does anyone have any advice on how to counteract these measures and still remain Agile?  

 
New Post 3/18/2009 12:57 AM
User is offline Adrian M.
729 posts
3rd Level Poster




Re: Loss of Resource 

 George wrote

I've been a BA for a few years and have recently started working in an 'Agile' environment.  Due to the current financial situation our company have let all the contractors go and this is impacting all project teams as we are all losing valuable resource needed to correctly work in an Agile manner.

Has anyone else experienced this lately?  Does anyone have any advice on how to counteract these measures and still remain Agile?

Hi George,

Unfortunatelly, the situation that you are describing is very common these days and not specific to just an Agile environment.  As a matter of fact, Agile folks would argue that an Agile team could very well get by without a business analyst since the developer can talk directly to the business.  Also, many Agile folks associate the Business Analyst with creating documentation and in lean time - documentation is one of the first things to go.

From the workload perspective, do the best you can!  Focus on high-value activities and cut out non-essentials.

From a job security perspective, focus on providing value to the business.  As long as you provide a service which impacts the bottom line you will be one of the last to go.

- Adrian


Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
 
New Post 3/18/2009 4:40 AM
User is offline George
6 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Loss of Resource 

Thanks Adrian,

It's mainly our QA/testing resource that's gone so while our Analysis & Dev schedules are ok, the release to Live has been hit hard.  It's a difficult (and frustrating) situation as I believe in the Agile way and BA's have made themselves essential to the team, the 'glue' if you will.

I appreciate your comments and thanks for the reply.

George

 
New Post 4/3/2009 4:17 AM
User is offline Vasu
4 posts
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Re: Loss of Resource 
Hi George,

It is quite taxing and strenuous on the project team, when some of the members are 'let go' midway through the project, especially, wheren the members that are being let go have been an integral part of the team....So, I can understand your frustrations and anxiety, as our best intentions as Business Analysts is to ensure the success of the project....

From my experience, what I have observed is that "good" project managers/ Product Owners/ Scrum Masters usually take this 'risk' into account and try to implement a structured way to mitigate this risk. For instance, if you are aware of the impending ramp down of the team, you could have a "Knowledge transfer and transition" document in place...g. You could put together a simple sharepoint site ( or in this case of Test team, you could leverage the existing tool ( TestDirector for eg) and have them write up detailed test cases/test stubs which can be taken up by anyone, including the Business Analyst.

In case there are no replacements for existing resources, you could reduce the number of storypoints that can be delivered for the sprint, with the available capacity.... The whole spirit of agile/scrum is around fluctuating demands ( either from customer or from the project team), so this could very well be accomodated.

Hope this helps...

Best,

Vasu
 
New Post 4/3/2009 5:10 AM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
www.betterprojects.net
4th Level Poster




Re: Loss of Resource 

I agree. Basically the team has shrunk, so you can do less work per iteration.

Two practical things to think about are adopting some of the XP code quality practices and addresing UAT activities at the end of each iteration.  This spreads the testing work across time more evenly.  (Of course you may be foing this already.)

Bottom line: If a team of 10 loses 1 person, it slows down by 10%.

We are back to the "time-cost-scope: pick any two" question.

 
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