business analysis


Assessing the Business Value of Agile User Stories

Allan Kelly says that ideally, companies should put a dollar amount on each planned business decision. But pinning down financial value can be hard, and besides, there are many other factors to consider, such as sustainability and customer service. He looks at various ways to assess the business value of user stories.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
Product Owner, Product Manager, or Project Owner?

If you really want to get the benefit of Scrum, you have to make the mind shift to product ownership, not project management or project ownership. The product owner role is often thought of as being a requirements specifier, when in fact a good product owner is a value maximizer, and a great product owner is a product maximizer.

Charles Suscheck's picture Charles Suscheck
Stories, Epics, and Tasks: Organizing Agile Requirements

Some teams only work with stories, but it can be difficult for a team new to agile to write stories that are easy to understand and provide value every time. An alternative is to add epics and tasks. Understanding the differences between each level and knowing what size story to use for each situation will improve the accuracy of your sprint planning.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
How Business Teams Can Embrace Agile Techniques

As agile principles and practices receive greater organizational exposure, business teams are embracing certain aspects of agility that were traditionally reserved for technology teams. This article details the experiences of a group of people with business roles who have adopted some agile methods and how their teams have benefitted.

Eric  King's picture Eric King

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


The "Show Me the Money" Approach to Software Development: An Interview with Michael Harris

In this interview, Michael Harris, the president and CEO of David Consulting Group, explains his five-step Value Visualization Framework. He discusses how he came up with the idea, how it can help your team right now, and its similarities to the agile methodology.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
STAREAST 2015 Interview with Rob Sabourin on Exploring Usability Testing for Mobile and Web Technologies

In this interview, Rob Sabourin talks about his STAREAST presentations. These cover how to elicit effective usability requirements with storyboarding and task analysis, and how to blend the requirements, design, and test cycles into a tight feedback loop.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
Take a Test Drive: Acceptance Test-Driven Development: An Interview with Jared Richardson

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

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.

Conference Presentations

The Business Analyst’s Critical Role in Agile Projects

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

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

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 [Better Software Conference East 2012]

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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