The Business Analyst’s role changes significantly as organizations rapidly replace their traditional system-development methodologies with more iterative or agile approaches. More and more companies are realizing the benefits of faster product deployment at a lower cost, with less rework due to missed requirements. Effective business analysis is key to developing those requirements and keeping projects on track. This indispensable course explores the contributions of good requirements development in an Agile environment and equips business analysts with the critical thinking, analytical skills, and necessary people skills they need to add value to every Agile project. This practical workshop provides participants with an understanding of the changing role of the business analyst, the tools and techniques best suited to Agile, and the timing for performing key tasks and events. Explanatory, demonstrations, and practice exercises will provide you with the experience needed to create user stories that meet business needs. Iterative development methods such as Agile require a paradigm shift from the traditional approaches used for business analysis. Agile moves the analysis away from gathering big up-front requirements and towards iterative and incremental techniques. The analyst becomes the “keeper of value” -- the value conscience for the team. To designate the difference in skills and focus, the Agile business analyst is referred to as the Business Value Analyst (BVA). The BVA must guide the team through iterative and rapid product development to maximize business value. To do so requires a mindset shift for the business analyst – the business value mindset.
- The Need for Value Management
- The Business Value Analyst role
- Value Management in Various Agile “Flavors”
- Critical thinking skills and behaviors
- Define value and scope
- Understand backlog management and release planning
- Practice agile techniques like defining personas and roadmaps
- Review requirements elicitation and discovery methods
- Understand story decomposition and lightweight modeling
- Assess the importance and priority of product features
Who Can Benefit
- Anyone wanting to improve their business analysis skills
- Anyone on their path to becoming a Value Manager
- Business Analysts
- Value Managers
- Product Owners
- Product Managers
- Business Subject Matter Experts
- Business Systems Analyst
- Requirements Engineer
- Process Analyst
- Anyone who performs business analysis activities
- Anyone wanting certification in ICAgile Business Value Analysis (ICP-BVA)
- Anyone wanting to become an ICAgile Certified Expert in Value Management
This is an intermediate/advanced level workshop. Participants should have completed basic Agile training - such as an ICAgile accredited Agile Fundamentals course, a Certified Scrum Master course, or an equivalent or have completed 6 to 12 months of working with Agile teams. If you are unsure if you meet this prerequisite, you should give us a call and ask.
Section 1: Welcome and Introductions
Summary: Opening and general logistics for the class. To get started we will get to know each other and understand the objectives of the course. We will model the creation of Working Agreements that contribute to building trust on a team.
- Course Objectives and Agenda
- ICAgile Certification Overview
- Working Agreements
Section 2: The Need for Value Management
Summary: Value management is a distinct discipline that applies at many levels, crosses many initiatives, and is embodied in many roles. In this section we will understand how the Agile Manifesto influences the way we undertake Value Management & Business Analysis on Agile projects. We will also refresh our knowledge of various Agile "flavors" and describe where BVA fits within them.
- What is Value Management?
- Levels of Value Management
- Relating to the Agile Manifesto
- Value Management in Various Agile “Flavors”
Section 3: Role, Scope, and Diversity
Summary: The scope of the BVA role in an Agile organization is to identify the most valuable business needs. This requires differentiating between the most valuable and the less valuable outcomes. The BVA must communicate so the team can deliver the right change and make the right decisions. Understand how to actively create and support an environment where open, honest interpersonal communication focused on the delivery of value occurs. Apply techniques that enable an understanding of both the big picture view and how the current work aligns with the big picture.
- Role, Not Job Title
- Adapting the Role to the Context
- Bridge not Ferry
- Keeper of Responsible Decisions
- Big Picture View
Section 4: Skills and Behaviors
Summary: Critical to the BVA role is being able to think critically, to challenge assumptions and the assumptions of the people providing information. In this section we will understand how to look “beyond the borders” in order to determine the effects of systems on decision making and value realization. The BVA needs to be prepared to be the value conscience of the team, to tackle the "elephant in the room" questions, challenge assumptions and identify critical success factors.
- Thinking Skills
- Flexibility of Thinking
- Show, Don’t Tell
Section 5: Seeking Value
Summary: Value has different meanings in different contexts. The BVA must understand how to define value and how it may change over time. The planned value must be understood and agreed before work commences. This includes identifying both tangible and intangible results. As scope changes over time; the BVA must actively manage and communicate these changes.
- Defining Value
- Determining Planned Value
- Defining Scope
- Identifying Measurable Outcomes
Section 6: Project Initiation
Summary: Experience the activities involved with the initiation of an Agile project. Agile follows an Adaptive, Just-in-Time planning model. In this section we will learn different approaches to developing visions and roadmaps. In addition, better understand your customers with roles and personas.
- Agile Planning
- Product Roadmap
- User Roles and Personas
Section 7: Backlog Management
Summary: The Agile vehicle for communicating requirements is the User Story. The BVA is central in the process of writing and elaborating User Stories. This section will cover User Stories and how to write and elaborate good User Stories. After User Stories are written, they need to be prioritized and estimated. As part of the Customer side team, the BVA has a major role in prioritization. As a member of the Development side team, the BVA will ensure that there is an appropriate level of details for the developers to begin work. Both of these come with low cost, low waste techniques that allow us to do this quickly and get on to the important work of implementing requirements.
- The Product Backlog
- User Stories
- Enabling Value Delivery
Section 8: Understand What is Doable
Summary: The BVA needs to understand what the team can do at a sustainable pace. Learn how to plan releases, assist with iteration planning, and lead Story Reviews.
- Release Planning
- Iteration Planning
- Story Maps
Section 9: Analyze to Determine Value
Summary: Backlog Refinement is where the BVA is really worth their weight in gold. User Stories represent very thin statements of Customer wants and needs but they do not contain the details until the development team is close to working on them. As that time approaches, the details are filled in. The BVA is the central figure in requirements elaboration.
- Agile Documentation
- Value Context
- Balanced Scorecard
Section 10: Exploring the Solution
Summary: When Requirements are ready to go – ready to go does not mean mountains of documentation. Much of the details are maintained as tacit knowledge with the BVA and the others who have been involved with the Conversation. Continued collaboration is essential to turning what we learned about the needs of the customer into working software.
- Setting the Scene
- Modeling and Elicitation Techniques
- Specification by Example
- Continuous Discovery of Value
- Managing Artifacts
- Inspect and Adapt
Section 11: Summary
Summary: Summarize key takeaways from the course and pull it all together.
- Review Key Takeaways
- Review ICAgile Learning Objectives and Video
- Survey Information