IBM Innovate Conference: Transforming the Role of the Business Analyst
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IBM Innovate Conference: Transforming the Role of the Business Analyst

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IBM Innovate Conference: Transforming the Role of the Business Analyst IBM Innovate Conference: Transforming the Role of the Business Analyst Presentation Transcript

  • Transforming the Role of the Business Analyst Kurt Bittner CTO-Americas, Ivar Jacobson International kbittner@IvarJacobson.com RDM-2166A The premiere software and product delivery event. June 6–10 Orlando, Florida
  • The Traditional Role of the Business Analyst  Interfacing between the Business and Developers, Testers The Conduit for the Business’ wants and needs  Managing Requirements Managing change and scope  User Acceptance Testing Making sure the requirements were implemented correctly  Subject Matter Expert - a Proxy for the Business Usually in the context of an existing system 2
  • Requirements Failures Survey Results Users expect functionality they did not initially ask for 93% Requirements are incomplete 89% Requirements are unclear or ambiguous 85% Developers make assumption when they encounter ambiguities or 85% gaps Users demand functionality that they never use 78% Models are not consistently used or not used well 74% The project’s vision and scope are not clearly defined 74% Internal customers are unhappy due to project delays and missing the 67% mark Models are not consistent with written requirements 59% Requirements are contradictory or conflicting 52% Source: Dr. Dobb’s Requirements Development Journal, 2006
  • We Must Be Missing Something...  Many (most?) projects still fail  a prime cause of this is viewed to be "requirements"  Clearly, the business doesn't really know what it wants  so merely listening and recording is not an effective strategy  In an “Agile” context, what is the role of the Business Analyst?  A “Product Owner”? Does this simply put a new name on the old role?  The Business Analyst needs to work differently  and ultimately the role needs to change 4
  • What’s Needed? A Shift in Perspective: From To  Gathering requirements  Discovering Needs  Championing the Right Solution  Delivering what the Business wants  Delivering what the Business needs  Creating documents  Facilitating communication and ensuring a common understanding  Getting “sign-off”  Forging consensus 5
  • Work in the Inception Phase Explore Possible Solutions Understand Needs Evaluate Confirm Proposed Business Solutions Viability of Selected Scope & Plan Solution Scope & Iteration Plan Phase 6
  • Work in the Inception Phase Explore Possible Solutions Understand Needs Evaluate Confirm Proposed Business Solutions Viability of Selected Scope & Plan Solution Scope & Iteration Plan Phase 7
  • Understanding Needs  Knowledge and Changes in your Way of Techniques to Master Working First-hand knowledge of the First-hand observation of Business business processes and Facilitation skills to uncover problems needs and desired outcomes Probing into root causes; not  Investigative skills being satisfied with identification  Interviewing skills of wants  Elicitation skills Pushing past “requirements” and solution statements The ability to understand and find root causes for business Focusing on desired outcomes, problems not features  Including gathering data to Active listening and active support costs & benefits questioning 8
  • Explore Possible Solutions  Knowledge and Changes in your Way of Techniques to Master Working The ability to synthesize and Working with an extended cross- generalize needs to better functional team to explore possible understand how they can be alternatives met Working with the team to create The ability to identify creative demonstrations of solution solutions to problems alternatives The ability to communicate Consider more than one alternative solutions and tie to benefits Be creative! Have fun! The ability to show how the solution will meet needs and produce desire outcomes 9
  • Evaluate Possible Solutions Knowledge and Changes in your Way of Working Techniques to Master Planning, organizing and leading Being able to “sell” Stakeholders interactive solution review sessions on the proposed solution(s) Don’t circulate documents, e-mails or Show them how the solution presentations meets their needs Make the sessions interactive … even if it is not what they Decrease or eliminate reliance on “sign- originally asked for off” Soliciting and accepting feedback … but document agreements and Guiding discussions confirm understandings in writing Handling objections When a solution is accepted, make sure that everyone knows that: Managing and directing expectations Lots of details need to be ironed out, but… Real money is being spent going forward 10
  • Work in the Elaboration & Construction Phases Develop Increment Refine Solution Specification Evaluate Confirm Results Technical Viability of Solution Scope & Plan Scope & Iteration Plan Phase 11
  • Work in the Elaboration & Construction Phases Develop Increment Refine Solution Specification Evaluate Confirm Results Technical Viability of Solution Scope & Plan Scope & Iteration Plan Phase 12
  • Refine Solution Specification Knowledge and Techniques Changes in your Way of to Master Working Knowledge of a variety of different Working iteratively requirements techniques Being able to refine specifications An understanding of the level of without getting lost in detail detail appropriate for the situation Being able to decide how much detail The ability to work interactively with is needed business representatives to probe Understanding when and how to into specific requirements apply various requirements … without getting lost in techniques unnecessary detail … without resorting to “feature creep” 13
  • Requirements Approaches to Master 14
  • Evaluate Results Knowledge and Techniques Changes in your Way of to Master Working Being able to “sell” Stakeholders on Planning, organizing and leading the proposed solution(s) interactive solution review sessions Show them how the solution Don’t circulate documents, e-mails meets their needs or presentations … even if it is not what they Make the sessions interactive originally asked for Decrease or eliminate reliance on Soliciting and accepting feedback “sign-off” Guiding discussions … but document agreements and Handling objections confirm understandings in writing Managing and directing expectations 15
  • Potential Barriers to Changes  Business Push-back  They may like dictating solutions. Even though the results usually fall short, they can always blame IT  IT Push-back  Developers may like being able to blame someone else for bad requirements  IT staffers may not really want to work on a cross-functional team  Lack of Skilled Business Analysts  … or people who want to work in a new way. They may prefer to hide behind requirements documents and formal sign-offs  Governance milestones that require the old way of working  Nothing kills innovation more than a bureaucracy that prohibits change  Lack of good Role Models and Coaches  The journey is hard enough without support and guidance  Lack of organizational support  Change takes time, and organizations often won’t take time to do it right, even though continuing to work in the same way is not producing the desired results 16
  • How to Move Ahead  The first step is recognizing that you have a problem  Doing the same thing and expecting different results is a sign of insanity  Get agreement among all the stakeholders that there is a problem, and a sense of urgency on solving it  Get commitment, if only for a pilot, to work in a new way  Choose leaders, influencers as participants  Show an example of how a new way of working can produce better results  Socialize success  Use road shows and internal web conferences to spread the word about the new model  Attract the leaders, the rest will follow  Get people who are respected on board and working in the new way  Coach and mentor to support the change 17
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