Agile Business Analysis: 12 Key Principles

Posted on April 13, 2022

Agile is a trendy topic at the moment. To keep up with a fast-changing world you need to be agile. But first, you need to understand agile. Below, we have put together a brief overview of the key principles of Agile Business Analysis.

1. See the Whole

This is about looking at the entire system. Analyse the need in the context of the big picture. The focus is on understanding the business context and why a change is necessary.

2. The Customer Perspective

Understanding the customer means you can better empathise with the customer. Analyse the problem by putting yourself in their shoes, this gives you a better chance to understand the problem and then reach effective solutions.

3. Analyse To Determine What Is Valuable

A business may have multiple needs, focus on understanding the values provided by the sub-needs to help you prioritise them better. A core competency of Agile Business Analysts is being able to continuously assess and prioritise work to be done. This will allow you to maximise the value being delivered at any point in time.

4. Get Real Using Examples

Agile emphasises the importance of using real life examples. This principle guides in building a shared understanding of the business need and how the solution will satisfy that need. Competent Agile Business Analysts will engage the stakeholders regularly by creating different models to elaborate on these models (for example personas, user actions, data, etc.)

5. Understand What Is Doable

It is crucial to understand how to deliver a solution within given constraints. Constraints can be derived from factors like technology, time, or resources.

For example, a new requirement on an ongoing application development may not be feasible by the current technology platform in use. Or due to low availability of certain key resources.

6. Stimulate Collaboration and Continuous Improvement

Collaboration is the foundation to a continuously changing agile environment – it keeps everyone aligned with the current context and relevant information. Implementation of this principle is visible when Agile Business Analysts create and contribute to an environment where all stakeholders contribute value on an ongoing basis.

7. Avoid Waste

This principle guides Agile Professionals to avoid waste wherever possible. All activities that fall into the below categories are considered waste:

  • those that have value but do not directly contribute to satisfying the need
  • those activities that do not add value at all.

This links back and reiterates the importance of the third principle: Analyse to determine what is valuable.

8. Deliver On Time

Being able to effectively balance the project goals against the project deadline is imperative! Delays can impact the desirable outcomes for a business with respect to market opportunities or legal deadlines. Therefore, delivering the projects on time is one of the key principles that agile professionals should keep in mind.

9. Accommodate Changing Requirements during the Development Process

Clients changing requirements during the development process of a project is more common than not. A core principle of agile is the ability to accommodate these changes.

10. Support and Motivate the Team

Providing support and motivating your team members is the main ingredient for facilitating efficient work and delivering better results.

11. Simplicity

Focus on matching your project tasks to the working capacity of the team members. Actively taking the steps to prevent an overload of work by focusing on more specific tasks will help you achieve good results.

12. Regular Reflection on Effectiveness

Any successful agile team will make it a work ethic to self-reflect upon their work processes. Actively taking the steps to continuously improve their skills and techniques will help in increasing the work productivity.

Final overview

Keeping the key principles of agile business analysis in mind can help you successfully achieve the goals and objectives of an agile project as these principles act as a guide for the teams to perform more efficiently and sustainably.

Metadata Training offers APMG-accredited qualifications in Agile Business Analysis which teaches a business analyst how to work in an agile environment, and will provide and in-depth introduction to agile concepts and way of working.

Download the Business Analysis Certifications Guide

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