Agile and Business Analysis

Practical guidance for IT professionals

By (author) Lynda Girvan, Debra Paul

Publication date: 27 Feb 2017

Agile is an iterative approach to software development that has rapidly gained popularity in the IT industry as the preferred alternative to traditional project management. For business analysts, adopting an Agile approach can revolutionize working practices. It enables clearer vision and success measure definitions, better stakeholder engagement and a greater understanding of customer needs, amongst other benefits. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to Agile methodologies and explains these in the context of business analysis. It is ideal for business analysts wanting to learn and understand Agile practices, working in an Agile environment, or undertaking Agile certifications.
Debra Paul is the Managing Director of Assist Knowledge Development. She has worked in business analysis and business change for over 30 years and is the editor and co-author of the best-selling BCS publication, 'Business Analysis'. Lynda Girvan is a Principal Consultant and Trainer for Assist Knowledge Development. She has over 25 years experience in business analysis, agile development, agile coaching and transformational change programmes.

Dimensions: 244x170mm

Print ISBN-13: 9781780173221

Ebook ISBN-13: 9781780173245

294 pages

Imprint: BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

  1.  Business Analysis in Agile Environments
  2.  Agile Philosophy and Principles
  3. Analysing the Enterprise
  4. Adopting an Agile Mindset
  5.  Understanding Agile Methods and Frameworks
  6. Modelling the Business Context
  7. Working with Stakeholders and Roles
  8.  Decomposing Goals
  9. Prioritising the Work 
  10. Deciding the Requirement Approach 
  11. Modelling Users and Personas 
  12. Modelling Stories and Scenarios 
  13. Organising Tasks and Requirements 
  14. Estimating Agile Projects 
  15. Planning and Managing Iterations 
  16. Considerations When Adopting Agile 
'This book is invaluable to anyone undertaking agile analysis, illustrating that by using new techniques to supplement and extend the BA toolkit, and adopting a “just enough, just in time” philosophy, a truly agile delivery approach can be supported.'

Dr Terri Lydiard

'The complex world of Agile made relevant for BAs. Combines well-explained theory with wide-ranging practical application and offers an essential handbook for anyone involved in the Agile project world. A valuable addition to the BA toolkit.'

Sandra Leek
Senior Lead Business Analyst and IIBA Business Analyst of the Year 2014

'I have never understood those in the Agile community that have insisted that there is no need for an analyst role in the context of Agile projects. The project team needs access to first-hand business knowledge, combined with empowered and timely decision making but if the business representatives don’t have the experience or skills to translate their contribution to the project team, then the project will suffer. With this book, Lynda and Debra bridge this gap and help not only the business but also the Agile community, to understand why the gap exists, what can be done to address it, which existing roles can help, and how existing Agile roles and practices contribute to the solution. I highly recommend it.'

Julian Holmes
Principal Consultant

'Business organisations must innovate to thrive. Continual analysis of alternatives, competition, and solutions based on lean thinking and agile development, has offered effective answers. The glue between innovation and operational performance is often a partnership between the business, the product owner and the Scrum team developers. The developers, often led by the business analyst, also have a deep knowledge of how the system or product can be used and made more valuable. The Scrum developers often have insights that the Product Owner may not have seen. With the growing automation of business functions through lean techniques, supply chain integration, and customer relationship systems, and AI prowling deep data, this relationship is critical and must be the best possible in the circumstances. The business functions are now automated products, frequently updated for competitive advantage. This book provides the guidance and insights that help you work within this context.'

Ken Schwaber

'This book should be a very welcome addition to the intellectual arsenal of any Business Analyst. The Authors have attempted the difficult task of combining good Business Analysis thinking with the sometimes dogmatic world of Agile, providing not only a comprehensive and clear discussion of the Agile Methodology in all its forms but also an encyclopaedic view of existing analysis techniques which can be deployed within it. The emphasis of the book is on how to think your way through an agile environment rather than slavishly follow a prescribed method and the content is provocative and informative in equal measure whilst advocating a hybrid model that uses the best techniques from both the Agile and pre-Agile worlds. It encourages the Business Analyst to deploy their skills at exactly the right place; which is at the exact centre of change. As such, this book will inform the continuing evolution of Agile Business Analysis and will provide a firm foundation for any Business Analyst trying to find their feet in the new Agile friendly world.'

David Beckham
Senior Business Analyst