How Agile Helped a BA Discover Her Real Value
As companies introduce agile practices, the Business Analyst role is often left by the wayside. The title does not even exist in Scrum or other specific agile implementations, leaving many Business Analysts wondering where they fit in. But fear not! The skills of a good BA are even more valuable in an agile environment!
Join Diane Zajac-Woodie as she tells the tale of a new agile team, struggling with no formal training, a resistant corporate culture and unwilling team members. She shares how this team benefited from the communication, collaboration & facilitation skills of an experienced BA. She then highlights specific shifts that Business Analysts can make in order to help their own team’s transition. These include using story maps and writing executable requirements, just in time.
Embracing their new roles, BAs can also encourage team members to cross role boundaries. This leads to new skill acquisition and a more cohesive team, which ultimately leads to higher quality software.
Outline/Structure of the Talk
Many business analysts struggle with how they fit into this new agile world. But many traditional BA tasks translate into valuable activities on agile teams. The key is to understand that our value is not in the tasks that we do and to discover our real value. Only then can the BA role be much more than a requirements dictator. Throughout this journey, BAs, as well as their teams, can reap the benefits of stepping outside their role boundaries.
I spent 6+ years as a business analyst before I became an agile coach. This BA talk was very well received at Agile 2013 on the Experience Report track & I've given it several other times. Each time folks come up to me afterward & tell me that they have renewed hope in being a BA. It is my personal story w/ lots of anecdotes mixed in to make it very relatable.
Show that the role of the business analyst can survive and thrive in an agile environment. Explain that what a BA does will stay somewhat the same, but when and how things are accomplished will change.
Outline how some traditional BA tasks easily translate to valuable activities on a cross-functional, agile team. Demonstrate, through examples, how the communication, facilitation and problem solving skills of a business analyst are even more valuable in a highly collaborative environment.
Describe the continuing path to becoming a generalizing specialist. Illustrate that by being willing to step in wherever help is needed, regardless of title, the work keeps flowing and the team also keeps learning new skills.
Business Analysts, Product Owners, Project Managers,
schedule Submitted 3 years ago
People who liked this proposal, also liked:
Heidi Helfand - Dynamic Reteaming: The Art and Wisdom of Changing TeamsHeidi HelfandDirector of Engineering ExcellenceProcore Technologies
schedule 4 years agoSold Out!
Who says you need "stable" teams in order to build a successful software company? While the addition or removal of one person from a team means you have a "new team", there is a myth out there about "stable" teams. When your team compositions change it doesn't mean you're doing it wrong - it could be the secret to your success. Different companies have thrived through reteaming - the act of moving people around teams in different ways. In this talk I'll go over the what, why and how of reteaming and will share stories from different companies who are living this reality.
Kent McDonald - 'Tis Better to Be Effective Than EfficientKent McDonaldWriter and Product ManagerKBP.Media
schedule 3 years agoSold Out!
Better. Faster. Cheaper. Many IT organizations are constantly seeking the "best" practices that will deliver those characteristics, and the fact that they continue to search indicates they haven’t found them yet.
It could be they are looking in the wrong place. Most efforts around achieving better, faster, cheaper center around becoming ultra efficient.
Effectiveness may just be the better target.
Join Kent McDonald to explore the difference between efficiency and effectiveness and learn three simple, yet powerful, techniques that he has found can help teams be more effective. You’ll learn how to:
- Build a shared understanding of the problem you are trying to solve
- Establish clear guard rails for distributed decision making
- Measure progress based on outcome, not output
Along the way he’ll share stories about how he has used these techniques and help you figure out when these techniques may work in your situation.
You may be able to get faster and cheaper with efficiency, but in order to get better outcomes, you need to be effective. Come to this session to learn how.
Kent McDonald - Examining the Product Owner RoleKent McDonaldWriter and Product ManagerKBP.Media
schedule 3 years agoSold Out!
As with everything else related to agile, the nature of the Product Owner role, and whether it is needed or all, depends a great deal on context. As teams discover this, it leads to some common questions:
- What do Product Owners Really Do?
- Do we even need Product Owners?
Join Kent to examine the Product Owner role and attempt to answer the above questions. He’ll share his experiences and give you a chance to share your perspectives with each other. By the end of the session, you'll have more insight into the Product Owner role and how it applies (or not) to your situation. After all, the only consistent answer to the above questions is “it depends”.