The move to Agile – The impact on Business Analysts - October 20th, 2010, by FergalTweet
The current move towards agile appears inexorable. IT executives are finally paying attention to the benefits that agile brings. However, doing agile well is a non-trivial matter especially for business analysts used to SDLC / waterfall processes. Indeed many projects are more suited to waterfall than agile, notably those in highly regulated sectors.
A couple of weeks ago, I was in NY and chatting with some Business Analysts from two entirely different financial institutions. In both cases, it appears that these folks are, somewhat up against a wall trying to understand what ‘agile’ means for them. They are not being given much of an option in terms of controlled adoption, rather, executive level mandates appear to be handed down to ‘go agile’.
In the trenches, the story goes like this:
- Analyst Lead: We have been doing pretty rigorous process with large BRDs and Func specs, mostly in a waterfall SDLC style.We are pretty controlled and hand over those specs to the technology team to implement.
- Tech Lead: Well, in agile we have sprints (assuming SCRUM terminology here!), there’s no need for up front docs. We just release every 2 weeks and validate the system iteratively. We have a backlog of demand and prioritize at start of each sprint. We assume change…
- Analyst Lead: Ah OK. So, how do we articulate to the business expected delivery timeframe and cost?
- Tech Lead: Don’t worry, we will talk directly to the business and the customer can become a part of the process.