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BA and Beyond 20 - Nikolaas De Graeve and Ann Mistiaen - Do BAs play a role in making estimations?

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In recent years when reacting to a request for tender our approach has been to respond with a complete proposal as quickly as possible.

We have, however, encountered numerous problems with this approach e.g. too much preliminary analysis, estimations based on limited information, not enough time for involvement from developers, …

To address these shortcomings we conducted an internal review even going so far as to question our roles as analysts within the process. We are now convinced that we have a vastly improved approach.

During the talk we will present this new approach and the journey that led us there and also reveal the resulting changes in our roles as analysts.

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BA and Beyond 20 - Nikolaas De Graeve and Ann Mistiaen - Do BAs play a role in making estimations?

  1. 1. DO BUSINESS ANALYSTS PLAY A ROLE IN MAKING ESTIMATIONS?
  2. 2. ABOUT US • BA’s • Novado, IT-company (Bruges) • Software projects/products • Internal/external clients • Project budgets: € 70k - € 700k / yearnikolaas@novado.beann@novado.be
  3. 3. INTRO: REAL LIFE STORY 1
  4. 4. INTRO: REAL LIFE STORY 2
  5. 5. FLOW: SITUATION IN THE PAST • After request for tender: • Estimation: • Based on available info • on project parts: analysis, design, development, testing, project management
  6. 6. SITUATION IN THE PAST
  7. 7. TOO MUCH TIME IN PRE-ANALYSIS • more analysis = better estimations • But lots of time/money spent before official “go” • Incalculting this time in tender = too expensive • Without pre-analysis our project team was anxious to estimate
  8. 8. FLOW: OUR NEW APPROACH
  9. 9. FLOW: OUR NEW APPROACH
  10. 10. BRIEFING CUSTOMER • Preparation by customer • Timeboxed, depending on project size
  11. 11. BRIEFING CUSTOMER • Who: project-team + customer • What: Explanation by customer (why, …), discussion of high level topics. • Goal: by and large understanding what client has in mind. Ux designer Developer Developer BA PM PO Lead Developer
  12. 12. BRIEFING CUSTOMER • Who: project-team + customer • What: Explanation by customer (why, …), discussion of high level topics. • Goal: by and large understanding what client has in mind. Ux designer Developers Developer BA PM PO - Explaining common expectations to team & client - Asking questions - Creating common understanding Yes, we do! Do BAs play a role in making estimations?
  13. 13. OPTIONAL (PREPARATION OF EVALUATION MEETING) • Rich picture: to inventory scope of project & stakeholders • Preferable validated by customer
  14. 14. FLOW: OUR NEW APPROACH
  15. 15. EVALUATION MEETING • Evaluation meeting with the project team (without client). • This topics are discussed (high level) • next step: quotation for development / pre-analysis. • Timeboxed (1h)
  16. 16. EVALUATION MEETING
  17. 17. EVALUATION MEETING
  18. 18. EVALUATION MEETING • High level estimation of the new project, compared with other projects / products. - Preparation of meeting - Facilitation meeting - Reporting - Answer to every question? Yes, we do!Do BAs play a role in making estimations?
  19. 19. FLOW: OUR NEW APPROACH
  20. 20. ESTIMATIONS MEETING • High level estimations of the different parts of the project • Example: custom work vs. configuration
  21. 21. ESTIMATIONS MEETING • High level information flow
  22. 22. ESTIMATIONS MEETING • High level information flow - Defining functional blocks - Facilitating meeting - Making flow / user story map Yes, we do! Do BAs play a role in making estimations?
  23. 23. FLOW: OUR NEW APPROACH
  24. 24. PRE-PROJECT ANALYSIS • Too many unanswered questions • Time to challenge the business / ideas mature • No/ little market study • Techniques: workshops, interviews, …
  25. 25. FLOW: OUR NEW APPROACH
  26. 26. TENDER: USER STORY MAP (1) Estimations: lower and upper boundary. Method: • Devs/analysts all explain own calculated boundaries • Collectively agreement on final low and upper boundary. Developer 1: 1 – 3 work days Developer 2: 2 – 6 work days UX designer: 1 – 2 work days Analyst: 1 – 3 work days
  27. 27. TENDER: USER STORY MAP (2) Estimations: lower and upper boundary with description of the levers (triggers) which make an impact on the volume of work
  28. 28. TENDER EX.2 TRANSLATION TO EXCEL - Guiding through functionality - Involving project team - Supporting PM in further elaboration Yes, we do! Do BAs play a role in making estimations?
  29. 29. BENEFITS NEW APPROACH Old approach New approach benefits Limited persons/roles involved in making estimations (AM/PM/BA) Entire project-team involved Many assumptions that were challenged afterwards (and cost a lot of time / energy) Fewer assumptions Estimations without participation of the project-team Estimations with participation & commitment of the project-team More risks (assumptions, technical questions, open questions) Fewer risks Team has had a chance to think along Approach: not fixed Fixed approach This is not so much cost-saving (more people involved), but more time boxed and will pay off in the follow-up process (more efficiently)
  30. 30. RECAP: OUR ROLE Do BAs play a role in making estimations? YES, WE DO!
  31. 31. Guiding through functionality Supporting PM in further elaboration NEW FLOW: OUR BA-ROLE Explaining common expectations to team & client Involving project team Asking questions Creating common understanding Making flows, user story maps Defining functional blocks Reporting Facilitating meetings Preparation of meetings
  32. 32. THANK YOU & WE’LL BE BACK… We continue to evaluate and adjust our processes and role! nikolaas@novado.beann@novado.be

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