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The Role of the Agile Business Analyst

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The business analyst (BA) role seems conspicuously absent from most agile methods. Does agile make the BA role obsolete? Certainly not! But how does a BA exploit the short cycle times and …

The business analyst (BA) role seems conspicuously absent from most agile methods. Does agile make the BA role obsolete? Certainly not! But how does a BA exploit the short cycle times and collaborative nature of agile methods? Drawing from the principles of lean product development flow, Steve Adolph introduces five principles for the agile BA—Open the Channels, Chart the Flow, Generate Flow, Lean Out the Flow, and Bridge the Flow. As a communicator, the BA must Open the Channels and Chart the Flow to align all stakeholders. BAs can leverage traditional tools such as use cases to Generate Flow and feed user stories to fast moving agile teams. However, large backlogs of stories are wasteful, so lean principles are applied to Lean Out the Flow. Finally BAs may need to Bridge the Flow between more traditional elements of the organization and its agile teams. Whether you are a BA new to agile or struggling to find the right fit in your team, join this highly interactive session to “get your flow” going.

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  • 1. The  Flow  of  the   Agile  Business   Analyst   Steve  Adolph   Photo by K. W. Sanders Steve  Adolph   steve@wsaconsulting.com 1
  • 2. § 3 2
  • 3. WIIFM  (What’s  In  It  For  Me)   On  a  post-­‐it  note,  complete  the  following  sentence:         “This  was  a  really  great  workshop  because….”           Where  are    the  BAs?   3
  • 4. In  the  agile     world,  do  I  s@ll     have  a  useful     job?       Where  in  an  agile   process  is  the  BA?     What  does  the  BA  do  in   an  agile  process?   Photo by Caroline Schiff Photography Scrum Framework Daily Scrum Sprint 2-4 Weeks Product Backlog Sprint Backlog Product Increment 4
  • 5. Scrum  Roles   Scrum Master Product Owner ? Photo by Gavin White Photo by Greg Peverill-Cont Delivery Team Photo by Reinhold Behringer Where is the BA? Even Here? Out Here? Here? Scrum Master Product Owner Here? Team Product Backlog Sprint Backlog Product Increment 5
  • 6. Analysis   Design   Waterfall – Agile Hybrid “Water Scrumming” Where is the BA? Implement   Test   Where is the BA? Scaled  Agile  Framework™  Big   Picture   6
  • 7. So, Just Where are the BAs? What  is  a  BA?   In  your  groups  discuss  the  BA  role:     What  does  a  BA  do?    What  should  they  do?     What  contribution  do  they  make?     Summarize  your  conversation  and  be  prepared  to   present  your  summary.         7
  • 8. The  Shocking   Truth  About   Requirements   Or    Why  We  Need  to  be   Agile  Business  Analysts   They  Change!   Photo by “Mad Physicist” 8
  • 9. Embrace  Change!   Uncertainty  in  the  Project  Goal   What our SRS spec’d Uncertainty in Stakeholder Satisfaction Space Initial State Actual Path and precision of artifacts Scope Creep or Learning? Courtesy Philippe Kruchten Source: W. Royce, IBM The  Fog   9
  • 10. ng rni a Le The  distribu@on  of  features   used  in  a  typical  applica@on   How  can  we  get   more  of  this….   …and  less  of  this?   10
  • 11. SRS Analysis   Design   Implement   Test   Requirements  and  the  Cone  of   Uncertainty   11
  • 12. Flow   Lean  for  Design   Problems  with     Queues   12
  • 13. Batch Size “We fail to recognize the critical relationship between batch size and cycle time, and the critical relationship between batch size and feedback speed” – Donald Reinersten The  Problem  with  Stage  Gates   and  Phases:  Inhibi@ng  Flow   Analysis   Design   The work product being transferred from one phase to another is 100% of the work product of the previous phase. This is maximum theoretical batch size and will result in maximum theoretical cycle time … Implement   Test   Don Reinertsen, The Principles of Product Development Flow 13
  • 14.   How  to  Reduce  Waste  and       Create  a  Flow  of  Value               Enhance  your   opportunity  for   learning  by   leaving    things   un@l  the  last   RESPONSIBLE     moment   Photo by Nick Wheeler How  to  Walk  Down  the   Road  in  the  Fog   Release 1 ITERATION 1 Task  1   4  hours   Vision   Release 2 ITERATION 2 ITERATION 3 Task  2   6  hours   Release 3 ITERATION 4 Task  3   2  hours   Task  4   8  hours   Task  5   2  hours   Photo by Matthias Werner 14
  • 15. Release 2 Next Release Release 3 Progressive  Story  Elaboration   And  Multi  Level  Planning   Release 1 Current Release Current and next Sprint Reducing  Waste:   Reverse  the  Cone  of   Uncertainty   Wishful Thinking What we want someday What we need soon What we need now “Cone  of  Learning”   15
  • 16. Agile Business Analysis: The BA as a Creator of Value Create a steady flow of valuable “ready” stories Group Exercise: Among your colleagues discuss how you generate requirements in your organization. Consider the following: Are you more flow (small batch) or large batch? - Is it an official process or unofficial? - What is a valuable requirement? Summarize your discussion and be prepared to present it to the rest of the workshop. 16
  • 17. The  “BIG”   Story   Photo by Brian Bennett A  User  Story   As a traveler, I want to be able to cancel a reservation in one move, so that all the details can handled. Acceptance Criteria: §  Cancel res for hotel, car, plane §  Charge 10% fee §  Confirmation email 17
  • 18. User  Stories  are  Valuable   I’d pa y I’d pay mo ney mone y to h ave th a t. t. tha w kno to ey n mo ay dp I’ to s ee tha t. …Or what if you are building this? 18
  • 19. UML  Model  of  a  Backlog  Item   Backlog  Item   Realized by Epic   0,1 Story   1..* Ref Dean Leffingwell Epic Really Big Epic Epic Epic Epic Epic 19
  • 20. Story  Splitting   Story  Hierarchy   20
  • 21. A  Value  Based   Work  Break  Down     Story 1 Story 2 GUI Business Logic Database Are  We  Done  Yet?   Story 1 Story 2 GUI Business Logic Database 21
  • 22. Are  We  Done  Yet?   Story 1 Story 2 GUI Business Logic Database The  Agile  BA   Five Principles Creating a Flow of Value 22
  • 23. Five  Principles  for  Crea@ng  a   Steady  Flow  of  Value   1.  Open  the  Channels   2.  Chart  the  Flow   3.  Generate  Flow   4.  Lean  out  the  Flow   5.  Bridge  the  Flow   Principle  #1   Open  the  Channels   Photo by Peter Vajda 23
  • 24. Don’t  be  this…   …be  this   24
  • 25. Principle  #2     Chart  the  Flow   Photo by Chris Seward Mul@  Level  Planning   Vision   Release 1 ITERATION 1 Task  1   4  hours   Release 2 ITERATION 2 ITERATION 3 Task  2   6  hours   Release 3 ITERATION 4 Task  3   2  hours   Task  4   8  hours   Task  5   2  hours   Photo by Matthias Werner 25
  • 26. Principle  #3   Generate  Flow   § Photo by Eric Begin Generating  Flow  Through   Story  Splitting   26
  • 27. By  Development  Phase?   By  Component?   27
  • 28. Three  Approaches  for  Generating   Flow l  Model  Driven   l  Acceptance  Criteria  Driven   l  Hi  fidelity-­‐  Low  Fidelity   28
  • 29. UML  Model  of  a  Backlog  Item   Model   optionally elaborated by Backlog  Item   Other Types . . . State Diagram Class Diagram Use  Case   Epic   Realized by 0,1 1..* Story   Ref Dean Leffingwell Models  aodels  are  you  using?   What  mnd  Model  Usage   Take 5 minutes to interview someone not seated in your group: 1.  What models do they use? 2.  What aspects of the problem domain do the models reveal? 3.  Do they find the models useful? 4.  What problems (if any) have they encountered with the models? Be prepared to present your findings Photo by Jason Coleman 29
  • 30. Model  Driven  User  Stories   As a traveler…. Upgrade Seat §  Actor: Traveler: Ticketed passenger §  Main Success Scenario §  1. Traveler enters her account code for the flight and requests a seat upgrade. §  2.The system verifies the traveler is eligible for upgrade. §  3. The system verifies there are seats available for upgrading. §  4. The system upgrades the Traveler seat assignment, and the appropriate upgrade certificates are removed from the Traveler’s account. As a traveler I Upgrade   want to upgrade my seat… Seat   Traveler §  5. The system issues an upgrade receipt to the Traveler. §  Alternatives §  1a: Traveler is a frequent flier §  1a.1 The system displays her current mileage and recent flight activity. §  As a traveler I want to see my current status 3a: Traveler does not have enough upgrade certificates §  §  3a.1 Traveler purchases additional upgrade certificates. Business Rules §  Upgrade Eligibility §  Platinum frequent flyers may request an upgrade 72 hours prior to departure. §  Gold frequent flyers may request an upgrade 24 hours prior to departure. §  Silver frequent flyers are not eligible for upgrades §  As a traveler I want to purchase upgrade certificates. Split  Along  Acceptance  Criteria   As a traveler, I want to be able to cancel a reservation in one move, so that all the details can handled. Acceptance Criteria: §  Cancel res for hotel, car, plane §  Charge 10% fee §  Confirmation email 30
  • 31. Cancel  res  for  hotel,  car,  plane   As a traveler, I want to be able to cancel my reservations for a hotel, car, and plane in one move so all details are handled. Acceptance Criteria: § plane reservation is canceled § Hotel reservation is canceled § Car reservation is canceled Plane  Reserva@on  is  Cancelled   As a traveler, I want to be able to cancel my plane reservation in one move so all details are handled. Acceptance Criteria: § Cancelation request is sent to airline § Confirmation received from airline reservation is canceled 31
  • 32. Low-­‐Fidelity/High  Fidelity   Photo by Vanessa Arn Photo by Alberto Cardona Bill  Wake’s  20  Ways  to  Split  a  Story:       1  through  9  the  “Big  Picture”    Consider  First   Defer  /  Later   Explanation   Research   Implement   What  have  others  done?   Spike     Implement   Explore  a  quick  solution   Manual   Automated   Often  have  to  retain  manual  solution  anyway   Buy   Build   Trade  cost  of  customizing….   Build     Buy   ….versus  cost  of  implementing  yourself   Single  User   Multi  –  User   Fewer  worries  about  scale,  user  accounts.   API  only   User  Interface   Test  may  function  without  UI   Character  or  Script   GUI   UI   Simple  interface  can  prove  out  ideas   Generic  UI   Naked  objects  approach  can  be  cheaper   Custom  UI   § - http://xp123.com/articles/twenty-ways-to-split-stories/ 32
  • 33. Bill  Wake’s  20  Ways  to  Split  a  Story:       10  through  16  the  “ilities”    Consider  First   Defer  /  Later   Explanation   Static   Dynamic   Do  once  and  ignore  updates   Ignore  Errors   Handle  Errors   Minimize  Error  codes  (don’t  ignore  exceptions)   Transient   Persistent   Focus  on  behaviour  over  persistence   Low  Fidelity   High  Fidelity   Quality  of  result  (e.g.  pixel  depth)   Unreliable   Reliable   “Perfect  uptime  is  very  expensive”  Wm  Pietri   Small  Scale   Large  Scale   Build  load  capacity  over  time   Less  “ilities”   More  “ilities”   Address  NFRs  later   § - http://xp123.com/articles/twenty-ways-to-split-stories/ Bill  Wake’s  20  Ways  to  Split  a  Story:       17  through  20  the  “Features”  (+  2  more)    Consider  First   Defer  /  Later   Explanation   Few   Many   Easier  to  do  fewer  features   Main  Flow   Alternative   Flows   Happy  paths  versus  all  possible  paths   0   1   Nothing  is  easier  than  something   1   Many   One  is  easier  than  many   One  level   All  levels   One  level  is  the  base  case  for  all  levels   Base  Case   General  Case   Base  case  must  be  done,  others  needn’t   § - http://xp123.com/articles/twenty-ways-to-split-stories/ 33
  • 34. When  to  Use?   Big Epic representing a significant feature that should be implemented in a few months? Smaller “story”, some functional uncertainty, and low technical risk? Smaller “story”, with some technical risk? Creating a Cadence for Generating Flow § Visioning § Road mapping § Release planning § Sprint Planning § Backlog Grooming Photo by Davide Simonell 34
  • 35. How are you generating flow? In your groups discuss the following topics 1.  What ceremonies do you have that generate flow? 2.  What are the impediments to generating a flow of sprintable stories? 3.  What changes do you have influence to make that can overcome these impediments and improve flow? Be prepared to share your conclusions. Principle  4     “Lean  out  the  Flow”   Craig Kohtz 35
  • 36. Product   Development  Flow   Queues   are  bad….   mmmkay?   36
  • 37. Problems  with     Queues   Longer  Cycle   Times   Increase  Risk   More  Variability   Queues   Create…   More  Overhead   Lower  Quality   From Product Development Flow by Donald Reinersten Less  Motivation   What  is  the  Problem  with  Stage   Gates  and  Phases?   Analysis   Design   ? Implement   Test   Don Reinertsen, The Principles of Product Development Flow 37
  • 38. @#$%!!!    We  don’t   have  to  worry  about   queues  and  variance,   we’re  agile!   We  just  throw  @#$   into  the  backlog!   We’re  Agile?   Where is the value? 38
  • 39. Wow!  I  love  what  I’m   hearing  about  this  agile   transformation  thing  you’re   doing…are  you  really   delivering  new  features   every  two  weeks?   Yes!  We  get  new   valuable  features  into   revenue  service  every   two  weeks.   Photo by World Bank Photo Collection Photo by Pennybinary I  love  you  guys!  Look  I’ve   been  thinking  about  a   new  feature  that  will  just   rock  the  market  place.   When  can  I  have  it?   Let’s  see,  you’ll  have  to   talk  to  the  product  owner,   but  right  now  we  have   over  300  items  in  our   backlog  and  we’re   delivering  about  5  items   each  sprint…..   Photo by World Bank Photo Collection Photo by Pennybinary 39
  • 40. “Lean  out  the  Flow”   Leaning out the flow is a principle and a set of practices for minimizing the inventory of requirements (Work in Progress), using small batches of requirements and minimizing queues to facilitate rapid feedback and learning. Craig Kohtz Decreasing    Queue  Length:   Shape of a well groomed Backlog 40
  • 41. Tools  for  Leaning  Out  the  Flow   § Groom  the  Backlog   § Collabora@on   § Cadence   Backlog Grooming l  Looking    forward  over  the   next  few  iterations  and   slicing  stories  to  fit  into  the   funnel       l  Confirming  which  existing   stories  are  to  be  included   l  Adding  new  stories  based   on  risks,  new  discoveries,   bugs  and  “overhang”   stories     Setting  the  theme/stories  for  the   upcoming  iteration   Slicing  large  stories   Assigning  stories  for  expansion   41
  • 42. Mul@-­‐Level  Planning   Grooming  and  Cadence   Release 1 ITERATION 1 ITERATION 2 Release 2 ITERATION 3 ITERATION 4 Vision   Release 3 ITERATION 5 ITERATION 6 Decreasing    Lq  Queue  Length:   Multi Level Planning and the Groomed Backlog Future Release Next Release Current Release 42
  • 43. Reducing  Queue  Length:     Backlog  Policy  and  Well  Groomed  Backlog(s)   Portfolio Backlog: Epics representing large initiatives Feature Backlog: Features for Next Release Team Backlog: Current Release 43
  • 44. Closer Collaboration Cadence Rhythm creates predictability and facilitates flow 44
  • 45. Toss  the  Trash   Photo by Ming Xia “Lean  out  the  Flow”:  Lessons   Learned   § Queues are bad: Limit Work in Progress § Don’t assume you don’t have large queues just because you’re “agile” § Collaborate!! § Progressive Elaboration - Leave it to the last responsible moment § Collaborate!! § Multi Level Planning § Collaborate!! § Groom with regular cadence 45
  • 46. Principle  #5     Bridge  the  Flow Photo by Ava Babil Governance  and  the  PMO  View   of  the  World   Initiation / Planning Visio Bus ine Cas ss e n Ass e SR S Arc hite Ris k ssm en Willt it be ready in time? Project Execution Will it work? Is it safe? and Control Is this project still a SO W good bet? T Pro jec Pla t n est Pla n ctur e Project Conclusion Tes Res t ults 46
  • 47. Working in your groups, discuss the following questions for Bridging the Flow: In terms of stage gates and documentation and rapid feedback cycles: 1.  Which stage gates and documents are relevant (e.g. actually used, or necessary)? 2.  Which are required by outside regulatory agency? 3.  Which could be eliminated altogether? 4.  Which could potentially be, optimized, or lightened? 5.  Which gate keepers can you engage as allies? Be prepared to report out your answers (and questions) The  Flow  of   the  Agile  BA   47
  • 48. Where  is  the   BA?   Scrum Master Product Owner ? Photo by Gavin White Photo by Greg Peverill-Cont Delivery Team Photo by Reinhold Behringer The  5  Principles  for  the  Flow  of  the   Agile  BA   l  Principle  1:  Open  the  Channels   l  Cadence   l  Boundary  Spanning   l  Personal  Networks   l  Informal  Backchannels   l  Principle  2:  Chart  the  Flow   l  Vision     l  Roadmap     48
  • 49. The  5  Principles  for  the  Flow  of  the   Agile  BA   l  Principle  3:  Generate  Flow   l  Model  Driven  Stories   l  Splitting  stories  along  acceptance  criteria   l  Lo-­‐fidelity/Hi  Fidelity  story  splits   l  Principle  4:  Lean  Out  the  Flow   l  Self  organization  –  decreasing  average  processing  time     l  Limit  Queue  Length   l  Multi-­‐level  planning  (Chart  the  Flow)   l  Monitor  backlog  size   The  5  Principles  for  the  Flow  of  the   Agile  BA   l  Principle  5:  Bridge  the  Flow   l  Optimize  Stage  Gates   l  Eliminate,  Lighten,  or  Optimize  Documentation   l  Cultivate  Allies   l  Don’t  let  required  work  products  slow  cycle  time:  Be   prepared  to  reverse  engineer  work  products         49
  • 50. Steve  Adolph   steve@wsaconsulting.com 50