This summer, the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) partnered with the Agile Alliance to update its Agile Extension to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) Guide.
While Agile and analysis practices have advanced, the Agile Extension had not. Thus, a core team of seven contributors joined together to update this guide. The goal of the guide is to demonstrate the link between Agile and analysis.
Why Does Agile Matter for Analysis?
Agile is a mindset, not a framework or set of activities. It is about collaboration, putting the customer first, and learning from each other to deliver value.
Agile isn’t about delivering everything you want, and it’s not about delivering it faster. It’s about delivering the most important, highest value items in short cycles to engage customers early and shorten feedback loops.
Analysis is critical to this process to understand what are those high value, high return, high importance items. Analysis is also critical to decompose large items into small ones to enable those short delivery cycles.
So, analysis is Agile.
Seven Principles of Agile Business Analysis
The first Agile Extension introduced the Seven Principles of Agile Business Analysis, and the core team found these are still relevant today.
- See the Whole
- Think as a Customer
- Analyze to Determine What is Valuable
- Get Real Using Examples
- Understand What is Doable
- Stimulate Collaboration and Continuous Improvement
- Avoid Waste
The principles give us a common language to understand and describe agile business analysis.
The Agile Extension version 2 introduces the concept of a multi-level, rolling planning horizons. These horizons bring together the big picture with a narrow view. In Agile business analysis, we balance seeing the whole picture with diving into specific aspects to understand what is doable and avoid waste.
The Agile Extension defines three horizons: Strategy, Initiative, and Delivery. This framework has some fluidity, but the core team found these levels consistently across Agile business analysis practices. Most importantly, there is a critical feedback loop between these three horizons which ensures the success of an initiative.