Thursday, 31 October 2013

"What is Agile -10 Key principles" - Article on All About Agile

The All About Agile site provides an interesting article about key principles in Agile Methodologies.
Here's a brief summary of the article.

From my use of various agile methods, I have written about 10 key principles of agile.  These are characteristics that are common to all agile methods, and the things that I think make agile fundamentally different to a more traditional waterfall approach to software development. 

They are:
1. Active user involvement is imperative 
2. The team must be empowered to make decisions 
3. Requirements evolve but the timescale is fixed 
4. Capture requirements at a high level; lightweight & visual 
5. Develop small, incremental releases and iterate 
6. Focus on frequent delivery of products 
7. Complete each feature before moving on to the next 
8. Apply the 80/20 rule 
9. Testing is integrated throughout the project lifecycle – test early and often 
10. A collaborative & cooperative approach between all stakeholders is essential


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Agile User Stories - Always "INVEST"

In Agile Methodologies, user stories are a way of implementing a set of principles that enrich the methodology application in projects, and ultimately, enrich the way we work.

Those principles are sumarized in the acronym INVEST, that help to define the story quality and even concluding it is poor/deficient, and therefore should be redesigned.

In order to qualify as a quality story, it should be INVEST, that is to say:
- Independent (from all other stories)
- Negotiable (it is not a fixed and unflexible set of criteria)
- Valuable (it must add value to the functionality to implement)
- Estimable (in a realistic approach)
- Small (it must fit in an iteration, and preferably not fill it completely! :) - see more on tips on splitting stories)
- Testable (ensuring with no doubt that it is implemented without bugs)

See more:

And have fun! :)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Business Analysis Articles & White Papers

There is a lot of information throughout the internet about Business Analysis, Business Analysts, BPM, BI, and so on.

Below are some links where one can consult a variety of articles and white papers on these matters. In some case, you can submit your own white papers, if you wish to.

Here it is::

Enjoy! :)

BABoK - Business Analysis Book of Knowledge

"The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) is an independent non-profit professional association serving the growing field of business analysis." (

In line with other 'BOKs', IIBA launched the the Business Analysis Book of Knowledge, a kind of guide about Business Analysis as it is done all over the world.

As an extension to Agile Methodologies, IIBA launched recently the Agile Extension to the BABOK Guide, developed in collaboration with Agile Alliance.

You can find both in here:
BABOK Guide:
Agile Extension to the BABOK Guide:

Unfortunately, thorugh the IIBA site, the BOK is not free of charge. You can read the Preface and Glossary for free, but that's just about it.

You can read a copy of BABOK Guide Version 2.0  for free:
The same goes for Agile Extension, also available for free:

Therefore, take a look and enjoy! :)

The role of the Agile Business Analyst

In Agile, the role of the BA has some adaptations when compared to traditional approach, in order to respond to client demands in an Agile approach.

Cottmeyer & Henson at VersionOne defend that the BA be the bridge between the product owner and the technical team. In the authors' published white paper, the role of the BA assumes this actor has a good knowledge of the system, and outlines functional requirements from the product owner, translating it to technical language useful for developers. These skills demand that the BA has a good understanding of software architecture concepts, in order to bring good specifications to the development team, so that the business needs are met.

In the Agile way, this process is done by identifying small amounts of functionalities, in an incremental approach (the agile approach), so that small product-ready developments are presented to the clients.

In order to specify robust specifications, the BA accepts input from all the team members, in opposition to receiving it only from the product owner in the traditional approach. This contributes to create a "strong sense of confidence", has the authors defend.

This change on the mindset of the BA can be challenging, coming from traditional project management approaches, but as Cottmeyer & Henson defend, it's an excelent way of creating "opportunities to learn more about how to write feature driven requirements".

Introduction to (my) Business Analysis Notepad!

In this blog you will read about some practices on Business Analysis has they are done throughout the world, since we all learn from each other.
Links are included to the original sources of information.

The Business Analysis Notepad Blog intends to be precisely that: a notepad with notes on everything found regarding the 'science'(?) of this metier!

Hope you enjoy it!