How to sell Agile Business Analyst
A business analyst can offer a number of benefits to an organization. By assessing key processes, projects, and departments across a business, they can advise managers and decision-makers on where improvements can be made. At the same time, they can also ensure that team members on the ground are well-informed on essential data before making decisions, enabling them to do so with a greater level of perspective.
The increasingly widespread use of Agile, including frameworks like AgilePM, has had a huge impact on how businesses operate. Many business analysts are inexperienced working in Agile environments, just as many Agile businesses are unsure about exactly what kind of benefits a business analyst can offer them.
Luckily, much of what business analysts do can already be considered ‘Agile’. This includes their focus on flexibility and evolution. At the same time, most Agile project management frameworks lack the control and perspective of more traditional methodologies, and this is where a business analyst can really make a big difference.
Agile Business Analyst (AgileBA) is an Agile business analysis framework created by APMG International. It provides a number of tools and processes related to the role of a business analyst within Agile environments. It can offer several benefits, not just in terms of project management, but also in relation to various departments and even stakeholders.
Of course, the AgileBA framework has only been released relatively recently. Many business analysts and Agile practitioners are unaware of exactly what kind of benefits it can offer for businesses and stakeholders, which can leave decision-makers unsure about investing in AgileBA training.
That’s where Good e-Learning comes in! Here are the most important advantages to keep in mind when selling AgileBA to your organization.
Greater Clarity when Adopting Agile Practices
It’s no secret that adopting Agile practices for the first time can come with certain growing pains. This is particularly prevalent in companies that have either exclusively used traditional methodologies in the past, or are not used to following established methodologies in general.
This is also true for business analysts. As an organization adopts new practices, BAs need to develop an understanding of how to perform their role within a changing environment. If your organization already utilizes business analysis, can you count on your existing tools, best practices, and insight to generate the same amount of value in an Agile context?
This is where AgileBA comes in handy. It examines both the roles of business analysts and the value of Agile environments. This provides BAs and Agile team members with the context, tools, and language required to collaborate effectively. At the same time, it also enables BAs to discuss Agile projects with stakeholders, allowing them to fully utilize their expertise in order to create value.
By having an Agile business analyst on your team when first adopting Agile, you can ensure that the transition runs much more smoothly. Your team will be prepared to get the most not only from Agile itself, but also practicing BAs.
The Expertise to Enhance your Business
An inherent advantage of working with business analysts is that they have the expertise required to analyze, assess, and improve operations across a business. Rather than simply focusing on project management, a BA can suggest improvements in numerous teams and departments. This can include ensuring that IT and technical processes are fully aligned with organizational requirements.
BAs can also work to lower risks while optimizing value and clarity, such as when implementing practices like Agile management. By tracking schedules, budgets, reports, and so on, they can also remove a great deal of confusion when it comes to suggesting and implementing changes.
Wherever they look, business analysts consider business goals and needs, and how they can be met with the utmost reliability and efficiency.
Business Focus Within Agile Projects
Frameworks like AgilePM generally focus on the needs of clients and end-users. This can often require adapting project goals and features in response to changing environments and demands. In contrast, more traditional approaches will often avoid deviation as much as possible, instead focusing on strictly adhering to plans outlined at the start of the project in question.
While this adaptive approach can lead to enhanced results, it also has the potential to cause problems. Altering iterative goals, project features, and so on can soon spiral out of control when a team does not have the appropriate checks and balances in place. Deadlines can be missed, resources can be wasted, and clients can be left frustrated with a lack of solid results.
An AgileBA practitioner can ensure that Agile projects incorporate the perspectives of stakeholders and clients. They will keep team members focused on objectives, constraints, and requirements, especially when changes are suggested. At the same time, they can also communicate the role and importance of Agile to more traditional project managers.
A large part of this involves the clear metrics utilized by AgileBA experts, as well as the all-important ‘Business Case’. This gives them a holistic viewpoint not only of a project but also the business it takes place in.
AgileBA also offers several tools and practices that can help to keep projects focused. ‘Timeboxing’, for example, establishes set time periods for planned activities to take place in, while ‘MoSCoW Prioritization’ emphasizes the importance of delivering specific requirements.
In short, by adopting AgileBA, you can ensure that projects are fully aligned with the needs and priorities of your business, rather than just end-users and clients. This will keep your projects contained, while still permitting enough adaptability to ensure excellent end results.
Relevant for Agile Staff
Agile managers and team members have always fulfilled certain responsibilities of business analysts. This is especially true in terms of encouraging evolution and adaptation for the sake of value. Because of this, you will find that even team members who lack backgrounds in business analysis can benefit from studying AgileBA.
With the awareness, context, and holistic perspective offered by AgileBA, Agile team members can greatly enhance their work. For example, AgilePM, the world’s most popular Agile framework, encourages autonomy for team members. With AgileBA training, these practitioners can operate without management oversight while still taking a wider business perspective into account. They can also reference the AgileBA framework when necessary, such as when they need to justify potential changes in a project to stakeholders.
On an individual level, AgileBA training can also create valuable career opportunities for students. It is an excellent addition to other Agile and business analysis certifications. It can also incentivize AgileBA students, allowing your business to earn more value from your training investment in terms of time spent studying, test scores, and overall pass rates.
Widely Applicable Choice
Agile business analysis as a general concept is not exclusive to the AgileBA syllabus, just as ‘Agile project management’ is not exclusive to AgilePM. However, one of the biggest advantages of Agile is its wide applicability across various businesses, industries, locations, and so on, and this is certainly true for AgileBA.
Indeed, the advice offered by the AgileBA framework is general enough to be used by any Agile organization. It can also fill knowledge gaps created by other Agile practices, such as SCRUM, which have no references to the role of a business analyst.
One of the biggest selling points of the AgileBA framework is, undoubtedly, its pedigree. AgileBA is based on the ‘AgileBA Handbook’, a creation of the Agile Business Consortium. In other words, the framework grew from over 25 years’ worth of practical expertise from real-world Agile practitioners. The framework itself was developed by APMG International, the organization that previously created AgilePM and has certified over 100,000 project managers.
An important element of investing in training has always been the value of the knowledge you are studying. With AgileBA, you can be sure that your employee learners will gain the skills required to make a positive impact in your organization.