Part One: Are you trying to be Agile, but finding that establishing quality requirements is challenging?
Agile development offers a streamlined way to help you keep up with today’s fast-moving businesses. Through iterative work cycles and incremental delivery of functionality, you can provide faster returns on investments while preserving your flexibility in adapting to changing business needs.
The goal of every Agile project is to begin with a clear business vision and a set of features needed to help achieve it. By understanding the relative priority of those features, your team can focus on those that are the most important and deliver the most value.
The individual who speaks for the business, and who provides the vision, the features, and the priorities, is often known as the Product Owner. Their information – their “requirements” – are the key to the success of your team’s work.
We all know that requirements can change, due to changing business conditions, priorities and needs. However, we’ve all experienced situations where unclear or poorly communicated requirements have led to rework that focuses on fixing these shortcomings rather than adding measurable value.
Product Owners often struggle to provide quality requirements. The reasons vary: they may lack the necessary communication skills; they may not be familiar with tools that can help; or they may just be too busy with other equally critical business demands.
Enter the Business Analyst
A Business Analyst offers you a bridge between the Product Owner and your development team. They work with the Product Owner to capture requirements clearly and consistently, with enough detail that your development team can act on them, while maintaining your team’s link to the overall business vision. In turn, your team is able to reduce “churn” and rework, delivering desired results faster and more efficiently.
In addition, the Business Analyst and the Product Owner often work in parallel with your developers, spelling out the requirements for the next iteration of work while your team is focused on delivering the current features and functionality. This parallel process can accelerate your team’s overall velocity and increase your throughput.
Click Here to Read Part Two, where we’ll discuss how the Business Analyst does what they do, and the role they play within the NeoTreks development process!