Agile Methods

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If you are a Scrum Master of an agile team, your prime purpose is to help the software development team remove obstacles that are impeding progress. The best practice approach in succeeding at this is to assume the role of a neutral facilitator. That is, the Scrum Master guides the team through a process for solving situations themselves rather than the Scrum Master proposing a solution. This article provides two workshop scenario exercises (an internal team conflict and a team conflict with the product owner) that help the Scrum Master practice the neutral facilitator role.
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During a recent project where we were adopting aspects of Agile into a very waterfall environment I found myself repeatedly verbalising the concept of ‘definition of done’ to project owners and sponsors. This explanation was met with satisfied faces from people who loved the concept. This lead me to think how this seemed to be a revolutionary concept where it is something that I live by and strive to do everyday.
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Creating a product with a great user experience requires more than just user stories. While capturing the product functionality is important, the user journeys, the visual design, and the nonfunctional properties have to be described too. Stories should be complemented with other techniques including scenarios, storyboards, and design sketches.
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The 3 Amigos (sometimes referred to as a “Specification Workshop”) is a meeting where the Business Analyst presents requirements and test scenarios (collectively called a “feature”) for review by a member of the development team and a member of the quality assurance team.
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User stories are probably the most popular agile technique to capture product functionality: Working with user stories is easy. But writing good stories can be hard. The following ten tips help you create good stories.
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In the past few years, software development has been shifting more and more from traditional to agile practices. This change impacts how business analysts perform their role. Here are three key aspects of the business analysis work that are different in an agile environment
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Tracking project status means comparing where you really are at a particular time against the expectation of what “complete” means for this development cycle.  Monitor the status of just those functional requirements that were committed for the current release, because that’s the set that’s supposed to be 100 percent done before you declare success and ship the release.

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Do “Agile”projects need written requirements? Let us answer this question in this short article. As you may know, more and more software development teams have been adopting “Agile”processes over the past decade or so. As you may also know, Agile development processes such as Scrum and XP emphasize “working software” over requirements documentation.  Does this mean detailed, written requirements should be avoided in Agile projects?

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While the benefits of an effective Business Process Management solution are clear, a truly successful, on-time implementation can prove elusive. As a Business Analyst, you may be held responsible for project timelines. So when the schedule starts slipping, your credibility can slip away with it. This article discusses how agile technology and processes can slash implementation times from months or years to a few weeks or evendays, reducing time to value and ensuring successful, on-time, on-budget implementations.

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In an ideal world, a single, full-time, expert user would indeed be sitting within view—“on sight”—of developers, ready at a moment’s notice to speak definitively for the entire user community. In reality, this is unlikely in most situations.

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As the Agile movement continues to gain momentum and managing projects using Agile methods becomes more and more prolific, project professionals must become more savvy in their use of Agile methods. While the techniques and processes associated with Agile are different than those associated with Waterfall, many innovative project teams are incorporating non-Agile techniques into the Agile environment, with great success.

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In this rapidly changing situation, there are great opportunities for business analyst professionals who can propose resourceful modernization solutions at a fraction of the initial development cost.

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Has “Agile” killed “Use Cases”? Let us answer this question in this short article. As you may know, “Use Cases” have been a great way to document the detailed “Functional Requirements” of a system.
 

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The product owner is an ideal. I have experienced this myself as product owner and business analyst in a scrum team. How many organizations have a job title that can cover the role completely? If not, is your organization ready to change in order to fit the scrum method? The organization I work in is not but it is still possible for the scrum team to have an efficient product owner. In our team, it was decided to adapt the role to fit our organization by establishing a product owner team in which I as business analyst am a member.

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A great approach under the right circumstances, agile is not a universal solution for successfully completing a software project. Some projects are simply not compatible with most agile practices. For such projects, NANW has been driving results in terms of project and rework costs, integration time, and improved quality as reported by customers.

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