Agile development practices have a number of significant benefits for software development projects but can pose new versions of old problems for business analysts. Are the benefits worth it?
The fundamentals of business analysis best practice remain unchanged: elicitation, analysis, specification, validation coupled with requirements management practices. These are all necessary steps to understanding and articulating business requirements.
The challenge lies in adjusting and tailoring traditional business analysis practices and deliverables to a more dynamic and flexible 'environment' and the use of just enough documentation to meet stakeholder requirements whilst balancing the needs of a larger project or organisation.
Agile requirements for large projects
We have developed a set of practices that apply Agile principles to software requirements that is applicable for larger projects or organisations that delivers:
- Scalability - we have applied these practices in projects with development teams of 5 to 50+ and Business Analysis teams of 3 to 10+
- Adaptability - the approach can be applied in the delivery of light through to heavy requirements documentation to suit any size of project or organisation.
- Flexibility - this approach can be implemented in projects of virtually any methodology whether traditional waterfall, fully agile or any variant in between.
- Compliance - fully complies with organisational and project governance needs and traditional or Agile milestones.
Through the use of supporting tools tailored to this approach we can also ensure:
- Full traceability of requirements.
- Simple communication of requirements with both business and technical stakeholders.
- Light through to heavy implementation of Requirements Management best practices.
- Full compliance with documentation standards and deliverables.
Here's some of the benefits that we have helped our clients gain:
- Rapidly scope the system and identify areas of business and technical risk early in the project.
- A structured but lightweight approach to requirements elicitation.
- A simple approach to understanding and documenting the 5 key areas of detailed requirements.
- The application of simple Object Orientation principles to provide intuitive documentation of requirements.
- Rapid and simple prioritisation techniques that provide full insight into business and technical priorities.
- Greater stakeholder involvement right from the start - stakeholders 'sign on' not 'sign off' and are actively engaged throughout the project.
- Simple but effective change management processes.