Why Good Analysis Skills are Needed for Agile Success
Agile success doesn’t happen accidentally. It hinges on good analysis skills. The article What Is Agile? described ‘Agile’ as “a time boxed, iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver it all at once near the end.”1 Professionals who practice good analysis skills can help make an Agile project successful. For the purposes of this article, we will look at the analysis skills needed to promote the success of an Agile project that uses the Scrum approach.
One of the primary reasons good analysis skills are needed for Agile success is because such skills enable business analysis professionals to “discover what the business users need and want and determine what changes will have the most value to the business, so (they) can effectively use agile software development practices to deliver it with maximum efficiency,” stated Bridging the Gap.3 But what exactly are good analysis skills?
Examples of Good Analysis Skills
Leslie Munday, writer for the BA Times, is a Business Analyst who has been working on Agile projects for six years. 2 In her blog article A Business Analyst’s Experience with Agile, she mentioned some Agile skills that business analysis professionals should possess. The following skills, cited by Munday, are examples of good analysis skills that all business analysis professionals working in Agile should learn:
Supporting the Product Owner
This is a complex skill that is undergirded by several smaller skills. For example, business analysis professionals can best support the Scrum Product Owner by eliciting business needs, maintaining user stories in the product backlog, writing and maintaining project documentation, and modeling business processes and system requirements, architecture, and data.
Similar to supporting the Product Owner, supporting development is an overarching skill that many smaller skills contribute to. To support development, those who practice analysis must assist with testing, writing acceptance criteria and confirming test case results, attending Scrum ceremonies, including the daily standup, and providing any support for development that is requested. Analysis professionals may be expected to provide support to all activities in an Agile development process.
By gaining the right analysis skills, such as those that allow you to effectively support development as well as the Product Owner, you as a business analysis professional can help an Agile project succeed. While some of these skills can be learned on the job, others are best gained by studying the Scrum guide or taking online courses in Agile.
Why Earn an Agile Analysis Certification?
Professional certification in Agile analysis can be of great benefit to business analysis professionals. For example, IIBA’s Agile Analysis Certification helps those who practice Agile analysis prove their skills to employers, earn more money, and establish themselves as leaders in the Agile analysis community. This certification is designed for analysis professionals who currently work in Agile environments and have knowledge of Agile practices. By getting certified, Agile analysis professionals will stay updated on industry trends and best practices for Agile, and will also have their Agile skill set and expertise augmented. Check out the Agile Analysis Certification to learn more.
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1. Agile in a Nutshell. http://www.agilenutshell.com/.
2. The BA Times. https://www.batimes.com/articles/a-business-analysts-experience-with-agile.html.
3. Bridging the Gap. https://www.bridging-the-gap.com/agile-business-analyst/.