Thursday, July 22, 2010

IIBA and BABOK

I spoke to the Orlando IIBA chapter this week about Agile for Business Analysts.  What is a business analyst you might ask?  The definition is found in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge, V 2.0, available free [and legal] for viewing  on Google books. There is a 16 page summary of this document that can be downloaded


The BABOK on BA
Paraphrased from the BABOK, business analysis is the tasks, supported by techniques, that provide liaison among stakeholders for the purpose of understanding and recommending solutions [improvements] for structure, policies, and operations of an organization. 

So, it's not about projects per se, but it's been my experience that BA's can be essential and important members of a project team, particularly at the outset when the business case is being put together, and then interviewing for use cases and user stories, evaluating test cases, and also at roll-out time as ambassadors to the business [or to the customer community] for the changes coming from the project.

What I said:
A few notes from my talk: my slides concentrated on requirements management because that is a strong emphasis in the BABOK. 

There was a great Q&A session. The questions were mostly around risk: what risks are mitigated by agile and what risks are caused by agile practices? What is the balance between risks mitigated and risks caused, and how should BA's convey the risk conversation to project stakeholders.

A lot of questions about cost-schedule-scope-quality trades. Most specifically, how and what to communicate to stakeholders about how much an agile project is going to cost, how long it will take, and what scope will be delivered, as compared to a conventional command-and-control project methodology that may be more familiar.

There were also a number of questions around throughput accounting, and whether such a practice is useful. 

Overall, a pretty good session; I'm appreciative of the effort the Orlando chapter invested to have me come by.


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