Agile Methods

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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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One of the most significant characteristics of an Agile engagement is that technical and business professionals work collaboratively to grow the system. The team agrees upon the goals for the project, as well as the order in which the requirements will be addressed on each of the sprints... At least one team member should have the role of “data advocate”; a person who wears the data hat...

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I’ve written in the past about why hybrid approaches that incorporate traditional and agile methods of software development are been applied by organizations seeking to improve the results of their software projects. Here I’ll describe the 3 types of hybrid projects I have identified while working with different organizations in consulting assignments, and what impact each type has in the work of a business analyst.

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The Agile Extension to the BABOK® describes “business analysis areas of knowledge, their associated activities and tasks, and the skills necessary to be effective in their execution within the framework of agile software development”.  Below are 3 misconceptions that, in my opinion, the current draft of the Agile Extension is helping perpetuate.
 

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