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7. Techniques

7.15 Reviews

Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide

Reviews are used to demonstrate and inspect an increment of the solution with stakeholders in order to elicit feedback to determine if the solution being developed aligns with the need.

Reviews are discussed at length in the BABOK® Guide: 10.37 Reviews. The Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide builds on the information in the BABOK® Guide and describes how Reviews are applied in an agile context.

Reviews showcase or demonstrate a working solution in order to solicit feedback. This can be done formally or informally with stakeholders. Reviews are led by the team who completed the work. They focus only on completed work. Reviews are most successful when they tie the work to the vision, objectives, and goals for the organization and initiative.

Eliciting feedback early and often is a core element of agile business analysis because it increases the chance for a solution to satisfy the need when delivered to customers. Reviews bring key stakeholders together for a face-to-face conversation about completed work. It empowers the team through direct feedback solicitation.

This is an opportunity for the product owner or customer representative to solicit stakeholder feedback. They synthesize feedback to determine the next features to prioritize and which feedback to incorporate into the backlog. Product owners provide feedback to the team throughout the iteration with each item delivered.

.1 Solution Being Delivered

Reviews demonstrate an increment of the completed solution that is being delivered. This provides something tangible to which the stakeholders can react and provide feedback.

.2 Stakeholders

Reviews include:

  • Key Stakeholders: this includes stakeholders best able to give feedback on whether the completed increment delivers a solution which satisfies the need.

  • Team: all team members working on the initiative are present to facilitate discussion and elicit feedback.

  • Product Owner/Customer Representative/Product Manager: the decision maker who leads the initiative and is responsible for ensuring Reviews solicit feedback on the solution from stakeholders.

.1 Strengths

  • Elicits feedback in an informal manner from stakeholders.

  • Lightweight facilitation and conducted on a regular cycle.

  • Serves as a check point for the team to validate whether they are on track to deliver the solution when needed.

  • Face-to-face communication is preferred.

  • Engage stakeholders as early as possible.

  • Continue regular engagement with stakeholders during the Delivery Horizon.

.2 Limitations

  • If Reviews include a wide range of stakeholders, feedback can be too varied for the team to analyze and act upon effectively.

  • If hierarchy is highly valued within an organization, higher ranked stakeholders' feedback could be considered more important than other feedback, regardless of their interaction and understanding of the product or service goals.