Business Analysis is a profession of its own:
Clear, concise, unambiguous and understandable deliverables consistent with user needs cannot be improvised. Whether with requirements or backlog items, true business analysis expertise is essential.
Technical and functional knowledge about information systems alone is not enough to reliably manage projects.
Well-rounded expertise is necessary as it allows for:
- Industrialization of design phases
- Project scoping up until completion
- Adaptability of our Scrum Master and Product Owner consultants to any project environment, whether V-model or Agile
- Compliance with CMMi best practices
More than half of our consultants work in an Agile environment (Scrum, XP, Kanban, etc.). This experience is the reason we are regularly consulted to optimize Agile practices and avoid the recurring pitfalls of implementation:
- High rework rate: Many Agile projects face high rework rates. This is because a significant part of the work achieved during a Sprint is undone or considerably modified during the next iteration, unlike with a classic V–cycle project. Needless to say, the delay is not highly damaging but persists, resulting in extra system costs and missed deadlines.
- A gradual drop in performance over time: Another common problem is reduced team performance over time. First, velocity declines and fewer complexity points or story points are achieved. When this occurs, the analysis effort required must increase to reach the end of the sprint. This is because there is no consolidated documentation on the system in its current state (user stories and the backlog only mention differences or increments between each iteration; the effects of new versions are more loosely controlled).
- Poor visibility: We also observed several Agile projects without any visibility of the final target, both in terms of delay and cost. For example, in the case of an agile project managed over a year and a half–long period, the chief executive had no visibility whatsoever and requested an audit. The inspection showed that only 10% of the final system had been built after nearly 5,000 man-days.
For each of these major issues, we have identified causes, namely counter-productive practices in the Agile environment. This allows us to offer significant value by securing project futures.