23 June 2011

Agile extension to the BABOK

The IIBA are planning an agile extension to the BABOK.  As community minded folk, a few of us Melbourne people got together over some beer and talked though what we think is important.  The summary is below (I'll publish a link to a Google doc with the longer version shortly.)

This is all opinion, generated over been among a handful of people who think they know the business.  You are welcome to contribute to the conversation in the comments below.

The mission of the Agile extension to the BABOK
  • Demonstrate what elements and/or practices in the IIBA are applicable in agile development
  • To get BA’s doing Agile right
  • To (understand how to) do what is required for your team
  • To support Business Analysts in their pursuit of excellence in their field
The motivation behind the Agile extension is
  • To help analysts understand whether IIBA certification and membership is valuable to me and my organisation
  • To ensure consistent approaches are taken (within the frameworks adopted, and within the variations discovered and adopted by teams)
  • To achieve the delivery of business value with a reduction in project delivery risk
  • To support BA’s in their pursuit of knowledge
  • To clarify how a BA contributes to delivering value in an agile context
What Analyst need to know about Agile fundamentals
  • Understand story initiation
  • Learn about facilitating stand-ups and planning sessions
  • Continual learning is at the heart of agile
The core of the Agile BA role is
  • Facilitate the delivery of business value
  • Facilitate “team ownership” of the delivery of business value
  • Enable other team members to perform their duties (through the provision of clear requirements and goals.)
  • Facilitate mutual understanding of the problem or opportunity to hand
Some Techniques that are important for an Agile BA include:
  • Facilitation skills
  • Inception activities
  • Release planning
  • Sprint/Iteration planning
  • Formulating acceptance criteria
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Problem analysis
You’re doing it wrong if:
  • Silos still exist and your iterations are mini-waterfalls
  • You become a bottleneck
  • You aren't a core part of the team
  • You are making crucial decisions on behalf of your stakeholders/customers
  • The team has different expectations
Lastly, we all felt that the extension should be written in a way that talks to what you should do to achieve excellence in this space, and what goals you are seeking to achieve by adopting agile practices rather that the draft content's typically reactive stance.

I'll publish a few of my independent thoughts in a separate post in a few days.


  1. One of the thing that's missing here is communication & collaboration. In agile the communication & collaboration holds a great deal. You are not doing perfect agile if the collaboration among team is not ther at all. when we are working in agile (in non formal fashion) we have to have a proper understanding among us. The message should be able to transfer from one to other & back, vice versa.

    Julen C. Mohanty

  2. in addition to the other comment, i also think the point - You’re doing it wrong if:
    "You are making crucial decisions on behalf of your stakeholders/customers" may not be valid everytime. For example my current project which also has implication of BPM tool (jBoss), my business users won't be able to define, articulate or even anticipate the processflow that will suit the BPM tool. There are lot of alternate & substitute flows that i need to define in process & automate them in BPM tool. Processflow define is a very crucial stage in a project but i am doing it and not my business users. Your thoughts plss...

    Julen C. Mohanty

  3. Hi Julen - great to hear from you.

    Like many things highlighted in the agile space - communication and collaboration is a "must have" for any project to succeed.

    And your point that communication needs to flow back and forward (iteratively) is also important.

    I'll dd this into our notes prior to sending across to Canada.