business analysis

Articles

Are You Ready for Go-Live? Eight Essential Questions

As real and daunting as scheduling pressures can be, they have to be balanced with the consequences of a potentially disastrous premature go-live. Don’t let all the reasons a system simply "must" be implemented by a target date overwhelm compelling evidence that it is not ready. Consider these eight questions honestly first.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
DOC West 2015 Keynote: Why DevOps Changes Everything

The first keynote of the Agile Development, Better Software & DevOps Conference West was Why DevOps Changes Everything, by Jeffery Payne. There are definitely tools and processes that can help streamline a DevOps shift, but Jeff said that fundamentally, building a culture where everybody can communicate and collaborate effectively is key.

Beth Romanik's picture Beth Romanik
Why Adopting Agile Won’t Magically Reduce Your IT Budget

Of course, all companies would like to reduce their budgets. But cutting back in the IT department can have unintended consequences. This article looks at two of the more well-adopted cost-cutting approaches, the software factory and distributed teams, and goes into how they can help and hurt your company.

Mario Lucero's picture Mario Lucero
Instead of MVPs, Maybe We Should Be Releasing SMURFS

The term minimum viable product, or MVP, has come to be misunderstood and misused in many organizations. It doesn’t mean you should be releasing half-baked, barely feasible software. Instead, you should be thinking of your product’s capabilities as a Specifically Marketable, Useful, Releasable Feature Set—or SMURFS!

Matthew Barcomb's picture Matthew Barcomb

Better Software Magazine Articles

Six Ways to Use Business Analyst Superpowers in Agile

There are those agilists who believe there is no place for a business analyst on their team. Joy Beatty and James Hulgan, both experienced agile consultants, refute this belief and explain how business  analysts can enhance the effectiveness of most any agile team.

Joy Beatty's picture Joy Beatty James Hulgan
Painful Lessons I Learned From Bootstrapping a Startup

If you are considering leaving the nest to self-fund your own endeavor, you may want to read about Mike Botsko's experience creating a cloud-based, bug-tracking app called Snowy Evening. What started out as a lot of fun quickly turned into a tough journey. Don't worry—it has a happy ending!

Mike Botsko's picture Mike Botsko
How Can You Get More Effective with DevOps?

By emphasizing better communication and collaboration between software development and IT, this article explores ways to establish trust by focusing on customer value. For example, Manoj Khanna suggests continuous integration and validation as techniques that helps build that trust.

Manoj Khanna's picture Manoj Khanna
Requirements Reuse: Fantasy or Feasible?

Software development teams think nothing about reusing code, but what about requirements? The benefits include faster delivery, lower development costs, consistency across and within applications, fewer defects, and reduced rework.

Karl E. Wiegers's picture Karl E. Wiegers Joy Beatty

Interviews

Take a Test Drive: Acceptance Test-Driven Development: An Interview with Jared Richardson
Podcast

In this interview, principal consultant and Agile Artisans founder, Jared Richardson, explains how misunderstanding requirements can cause major issues within an organization. He covers why team members need to communicate, how big projects are often mishandled, and the value of agile.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
How Agile Helped a Business Analyst Discover Her True Value: An Interview with Diane Zajac-Woodie
Video

Diane Zajac-Woodie sat down to discuss her upcoming presentation at Agile Development and Better Software Conference West 2014, why the business analyst role doesn't get the attention it deserves, how the BA role can make a difference on agile teams, and her alter ego as the Agile Squirrel.

For Maximum Awesome: An Interview with Joe Justice
Video

Joe Justice is a consultant at Scrum Inc. and inventor of the Extreme Manufacturing project management method. He also is the founder of Team WIKISPEED, an all-Scrum volunteer-based, "green” automotive prototyping company.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds
Why the BA Is Essential to Agile Development: An Interview with Steve Adolph
Video

Steve Adolph explains why the BA's role on an agile project cannot be overvalued, due to their immense communication and collaboration skills. Steve describes the best BAs as "boundary spanners" who know the importance of keeping everyone sitting together, and most importantly—talking.

Noel Wurst's picture Noel Wurst

Conference Presentations

The Business Analyst’s Critical Role in Agile Projects
Slideshow

Are you a business analyst, wondering how you fit into agile projects? Are you a ScrumMaster who wants to work with business analysts for a stronger project team? Are you a product owner who needs to supercharge your product backlog? Mark Layton introduces you to the critical role of the...

Mark Layton, Platinum Edge, Inc.
Quantifying the Value of Static Analysis
Slideshow

During the past ten years, static analysis tools have become a vital part of software development for many organizations. However, the question arises, “Can we quantify the benefits of static analysis?” William Oliver presents the results of a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory study...

William Oliver, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Right Question for the Right Requirements
Slideshow

How often have you gone down the road of developing software almost to completion only to discover new requirements that require significant design and coding changes at the last minute? Requirements analysis is not just writing down what customers say they want. It's about digging down and discovering what they need. Without real analysis, our requirements often end up as poorly defined lists, anemic mock-ups, and incomplete or inconsistent models. Jack Jones spotlights one simple technique to discover these needs: Ask "why?" When the customer states a requirement, ask "why?" to delve down a level to discover their real problem, need, or opportunity. You may find you need to repeat "why?" a number of times. Join Jack to explore the very real consequences of not comprehending customer needs early in the process, and practice better communications techniques to avoid unnecessary requirements and scope changes.

Jack Jones, KMI
Data Collection and Analysis for Better Requirements: Just the Facts, Ma'am
Slideshow

According to the Standish group, 64 percent of features in systems are rarely-or never-used. How does this happen? Today, the work of eliciting the customers' true needs, which remains elusive, can be enhanced using data-driven requirements techniques. Brandon Carlson introduces data collection approaches and analysis techniques you can employ on your projects right away. Find out how to instrument existing applications and develop new requirements based on operational profiles of the current system. Learn to use A/B testing-a technique for trying out and analyzing alternative implementations-on your current system to determine which new features will deliver the most business value. With these tools at hand, you can help users and business stakeholders decide the best approaches and best new features to meet their real needs. Now is the time to take the guesswork out of requirements and get "Just the facts, Ma'am."

Brandon Carlson, Lean TECHniques, Inc.

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