I’m blogging the conference Agile Approaches for Delivering Business Value
Agile Analysis: A Proposition Assessment Case Study
While the benefits of taking an Agile approach to the heart of the software development cycle are becoming increasingly recognised, this people-centric, communication-oriented, test-driven way of working is also powerful in helping teams and organisations early in the evolution of a idea or proposition.
In this case study we look at applying an Agile way of working to the analysis of a new business idea at its inception – this includes the creation and iteration of key deliverables (financial model, project roadmap, core processes and usage scenarios) to allow a go / no-go decision.
What is role of business analyst in an agile organisation?
Agile values of simplicity, openness, communication, courage…
Apply agile software approach to evaluating business propositions.
Project – a new business idea which the owner wants to get funding for…
New business idea – challenge to validate within limited time and funds. e.g. what could be done in a week?
Objective – Prepare a Pitch, based on a clearer definition of the proposition, e.g.: financial model, key processes and goals, capacity model, customer scenarios, development roadmap for the business.
Small team – two consultants plus client.
1 week – each day based on two Action-Reflection cycles – 2 hr workshop, consolidate, 2 hr workshop, consolidation.
Keep it self-documenting
Models: traditionally use lots words of words to drive out ambiguity – but words are slippery! Important to facilitate a feedback-driven iteration towards consensus of the stakeholders. Use lots of visual models.
- Started with finances – costs, revenues… A very quick ballpark analysis. Over the 5 days about 1.5 days on this.
- Processes, roles and goals – the core of what the business does. Imagine a “day in the life”.
- Capacity model – what resources needed to deliver the service?
- Service development roadmap – how does the business grow?
- Customer scenarios – what will it be like for a customer to use the service? Lots of Post-Its and pictures!
Put client in position to pitch to prospective investors and customers with supporting information, and brought to life with the scenarios.
The output had a positive reception!
Co-location of the team was vital – and if you aren’t, you can’t have a virtual beer together! (relationships vital).
Importance of dedicated time, dedicated effort / resources. “the heartbeat of feedback”