BABOK: Keeping up with the current trends of Agile Requirements Definition and Management
Cherifa 270001GAPC Visits (9037)
BAs, product owners, Agile team...be at this session tomorrow (Tuesday: RDM track) and get to know more about the BAs agile practices. Unfortunately I will not be there but Kevin Brennan and Jared Pulham will take you through the journey of a BA in an agile world. Please provide your comments too after attending the session. Cherifa....
The International Institute for Business Analysis’s (IIBA) Body of Knowledge (BABOK) framework is today the foundational standard for business analysts (BA). It provides a clear description of the activities and techniques of the business analysis. IIBA did a great job in developing this framework and going into greater level of details when exploring the various methodologies and modeling techniques. However, throughout a short time period, software has evolved and various IT trends appeared to be affecting the role of the BA, among them the agile trend. IIBA felt the need to develop an agile extension of the BABOK
Fig1:IT Trends affecting Business Analysts
This extension is of value to business analysts new to agile development or experienced. It strives to define all of the additional knowledge that is pertinent within the profession and related to the agile approaches. With this extension, it shows that BABOK is a moving target and IIBA is devoting a lot of effort to address the IT trends that might affect the role of a BA.
BABOK Agile extension focused mostly on business analysis in Scrum, XP, and Kanban.Scrum is a value driven approach, however, it does not address explicitly the business analysis activities in details. Missing from this additional content, is the business analysis in Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD), a Rational/IBM approach.
When agile is called to cater for more complex situation (larger teams, greater criticality, compliance), to ensure agile teams build the right software, it is likely that an organization adopt a scalable approach such as DAD instead of Scrum. If an organization is already adopting BABOK standard and wondering if this is inconsistent with DAD practices, creating a map that shows the intended use of this standard and how they interact with each other is important.The following illustration shows DAD explicit lifecycle with business analysis knowledge areas superimposed.
Fig2: Business Analysis in DAD
I see this part as new content to be added to the Agile extension.
Even though it is important to follow the standards that would give us a significant variety of descriptive information on techniques to be used, what this picture does not show are the key tenets for an effective agile adoption and that can apply to any activity related to the knowledge areas. Those are essentials for a successful disciplined agile adoption and intend to help BAs more effectively define and manage requirements in an agile way. At the heart of any agile adoption lie those five principles:
Let’s not loose sight of the benefit of requirements automation when it comes to scale agile for complex contexts. It is important to mention that the BABOK agile extension does not prescribe a typical agile approach and tools to be used on a project. However, investment in the requirements automation will have an obvious long terms payoff because it makes it easy to manage agile requirements artifacts, understand relationships between those artifacts with traceability data and analyze the impact of changes quickly. When possible, use a tool such as IBM® Rational® Requirements Composer to keep track of your visual requirements models and linkages between artifacts.
Further discussion will be held during Innovate 2013 in a session presented by Kevin Brennan (VP professional development @IIBA) and myself on the BABOK Agile extension and how a tool such as Rational Requirements Composer (RRC) helps bridge the gap between the two. Getting the right product and aligning it with the BABOK Agile extension, means eliminating the many risks and challenges associated with requirements.
Awaiting for your comments on this blog discussion. Thanks