Noble Inc.

Training for the Business Analyst T (416) 532-2205    F (416) 516-3301    E info@nobleinc.ca

 

(BA123) BA123 (Release 3): Business Analysis in an Agile World (Click for PDF version)

Duration: 3 days (full content); 2-day delivery of select content also available upon consultation with client.
Description: Learn how to apply the agile Business Analysis toolkit to agile projects.

Abstract


This is a hands-on course on implementing the Business Analysis function on an agile project. Working through a case study, you’ll gain a practical understanding of where the Business Analysis function fits into agile and Scrum and the value Business Analysis brings to the team and the business. You’ll learn how to use your BA skills to shepherd an initiative from the strategic business level down to the ‘weeds’ of requirements trawling and analysis while keeping the team focused on business value. By the end of this course, you’ll have gained practical experience applying the BA function over the course of an agile project using an approach that integrates the best agile Business Analysis practices from Scrum, Lean Startup, Extreme Programming (XP), UML 2.0 and Kanban with some of the most effective agile analysis tools developed in the field.

Description


In this course, you will learn how to perform ‘just in time’, ‘just barely enough’ Business Analysis on an agile project in order to incrementally develop a comprehensive understanding of business goals and requirements. As you and your team work through a case study project, you’ll gain practical experience in how to leverage the BA function and toolkit to help teams overcome some of the most vexing issues that confront agile teams today, including: how to help business owners overcome ‘prioritization phobia’ by guiding them towards an MVP approach to development; how to track dependencies between requirements and development teams; how and when to unbundle epics into manageable User Stories; how to apply UML 2.0; and how to manage supplementary requirements such as non-functional requirements and constraints. You will also learn when and how to create persistent requirements documentation for communication with non-agile teams and for use after the project is over.

Why Attend this Course?


In the arguments over agile versus traditional approaches to software development, Business Analysis (BA) has sometimes been ignored - as the elimination of a formal BA position is sometimes confused with elimination of the practice of business analysis and a reduced emphasis on formal documentation is confused with the remaining need to perform the analysis behind it. As a result, the product backlog is loaded with items that are difficult to reconcile with over-arching business goals and difficult to estimate and prioritize. The truth is - agile projects, with their increased emphasis on communication between developers and the business side, depend more heavily than ever on individuals (whatever their job title) who know how to structure their conversations with stakeholders for maximum benefit, manage a complex set of requirements and able to pull the right lean analysis techniques out of their ‘back pockets’ when they need them. Companies are finding that agile analysis is not as simple as they had anticipated. But as teams have tried to implement agile approaches without people trained in agile Business Analysis, they have experienced the following challenges:
Difficulty keeping track of constant changes to requirements, additions, and continual reprioritization – especially when there is nobody trained in requirements processes and tools to manage the backlog
Challenges in mapping requirements to sprints so that the combined effect provides real value to the business with each iteration
Challenges scaling agile – an approach that emerged from small companies – to large, highly regulated companies and organizations
Challenges splitting ‘epics’ into User Stories that are small enough to fit into short iterations yet significant enough to add value
Challenges getting the Customer to prioritize. (‘Everything is high priority.’)
Challenges in keeping track of the relationships and dependencies between requirements when using a flat Product Backlog
Challenges creating persistent requirements documentation from agile artifacts
Confusion about how to manage ‘non-user’ requirements in agil

If you or your organization have been experiencing any of the above challenges, this course will provide you with tools to address them – through hands-on training that clarifies exactly which business analysis technique or tool to employ based on the scenario, and how to carry out the BA discipline so that business interests are addressed and highlighted throughout the agile life cycle.

ersistent requirements documentation for communication with non-agile teams and for use after the project is over.

Audience


BAs and BSAs of all levels working on, or interested in working on, agile projects
Product Owners (POs) originating from the business side (Product Managers, SMEs) who need to acquire skills in agile requirements management in order to work effectively as POs
Proxy Product Owners originating from the IT side (BSAs, etc.) who need to acquire agile analysis skills
Product Managers, Program Managers who will be working on or with agile teams
Managers of BAs (PMs, BA Leads, etc.)
High-level executives

Prerequisites


None

Class Format


Lecture combined with team workshops.

Objectives


Be able to carry out the Business Analysis function on an agile project using an analysis approach that integrates best practices from Scrum, Lean Startup, Extreme Programming (XP), Kanban and Use Case 2.0
Be able to guide the business in agile planning at various horizons: Strategic (long-term) planning; Mid-term (Quarterly/Release Planning); Short-term (next 2-3 weeks).
Be able to split epics into valuable User Stories by applying the Lawrence Patterns and INVEST guidelines
Be able to shepherd an initiative from Vision to IT requirements while keeping the value chain intact over an agile project
Be able to apply the following agile tools and concepts in an agile context:
  > Lean Startup, MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and MMP (Minimum Marketable Product)
  > User Personas and Scenarios
  > Features
  > Themes
  > Epics and User Stories
  > Iteration/Sprint Goals
  > Functional Spikes
  > Backlog Refinement (Grooming)
  > 3 Amigos Meetings
  > Product Canvas
  > Vision, Objectives and Metrics
  > GO Product Roadmap
  > User Role Modeling Workshop (with Silent Brainstorming)
  > Story Mapping
  > Story Splitting
  > Lawrence Patterns
  > Walking Skeleton
  > Use Case 2.0
  > The Planning Game
  > Planning Poker; Delphi Estimation
  > Rolling Lookahead (Preview) Meeting
  > Kanban Board
  > Cumulative Flow Diagram
  > Funnel Metrics
  > Burndown Chart; Burnup Chart
  > Retrospective Games

 

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