James Robertson

Business Analysis Agility

The premise is simple – to deliver real value you must discover, and then solve, the right problem. You've heard that before. What's new is that this talk shows you how to do it.

The talk demonstrates how a business analyst can work in an agile way, and integrate with an agile team. The talk assumes that there is someone (or more than one) on the team with a business analysis role, but it can be done by any agile team member or product owner who is prepared to think about the real problem.

I am using the term "agile" for this, but prefer to think of a business analyst being both fast and nimble.

Outline of the talk

  • Overture: What problem are we solving here? The fundamental idea of discover and deliver.
  • Case Study: Bernie's books. Don't assume you know the solution (this is where many agile projects go astray). This case is used to demonstrate throughout the talk.
  • Customer segments: This is usually the only reliable information at the beginning of a project. The segments are identified and prioritised.
  • Value propositions: What is it that each segment values? And from that, we can derive the problem the customer wishes you to solve.
  • Am I solving the right problem? A close look at the problem. Am I solving the customer's real problem or the one that I as a developer or product owner want to solve? Generate options for solutions.
  • Safe-to-fail probes: Quick experiments to determine which of the proposals has the best chance of solving the real problem. Which proposed solution has the best outcome?
  • Investigate the solution space: Looking more closely at how the solution affects the business. We also partition the business solution to make subsequent activities easier, and more iterative.
  • Design the business solution: Designing is not about flashy interfaces and elegant graphics. Design here is moulding the business solution to be as informative and convenient as it can be. This touches on UX design.
  • Write the right stories: Many agile stories are just plain wrong. This gives some quick pointers to writing stories that will deliver the correct solution.
  • Story maps: How to organise stories for the most convenient prioritisation and implementation.

About James Robertson

As a principal and founder of The Atlantic Systems Guild, James Robertson is known for his work in implementing systems engineering principles that link business specialists with solution specialists. James is a consultant, lecturer, author, project leader whose area of concern is the requirements for software, and the contribution that good business analysis makes to successful projects.

His training as an architect has led to his work on good design principles and to his focus on how innovation can be integrated with business analysis.

James is co-author of 5 books including Mastering the Requirements Process and Requirements-Led Project Management. He is also co-creator of the Volere requirements techniques, and presenter of the 13 hour Live Lessons Video series on requirements and business analysis. His new book Business Analysis Agility will be published in 2018.

Detta föredrag hålls på engelska.