KK: Business Analysis and Iterative Methodologies

Iterative System Development Approaches and Their Impact on Business Analysis Activities

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Author: Tom and Angela Hathaway
Video Duration: 5:02 minutes

This subject area is covered in an eBook and an eCourse

Video Overview

In this KnowledgeKnugget™ you will learn how traditional iterative software development approaches such as RUP affect business analysis activities.

Video Transcript Excerpt

The Role of the Business Analyst in an Iterative SDM

Iterative methodologies assume that change will happen and plan for it. A widespread Iterative methodology is IBM’s Rational Unified Process (or RUP). A major feature of the Iterative approach is the assumption that the ultimate solution will be created in a series of releases or iterations.

Your role as the business analyst (whom we will refer to as the business analyst regardless of your actual job title) in Iterative methodologies in each phase is similar to your role in the waterfall approaches.

The initial phase of any project is the “Inception” phase. During this phase, the business analyst will elicit and capture the vision statement and high-level business goals and objectives. You might create the business case for the project using problem analysis, cost benefit analysis, and business and stakeholder requirements definition techniques.

The project is then broken down into a series of iterations, each of which has a single key objective. Each iteration goes through potentially multiple “Elaboration”, “Construction”, and “Transition” phases to ultimately deliver a release that represents a “preliminary version” of the final product.

The phases often overlap during the Iteration. The next release would then build on the existing version and add further functionality or features in a cycle of continuous improvement. Typical business analysis activities such as “Business Modeling”, “Requirements Elicitation and Analysis”, “Requirements Decomposition”, etc. cross phase boundaries. For example, it is not uncommon for a business process model to be initiated during the Inception phase at a high level and then be decomposed incrementally during the Elaboration phases over a series of Iterations. Separating activities from phases is one of the hallmarks of the Iterative approach.

In the Elaboration phase, the business analyst defines solution requirements. One of the major techniques that has evolved to support object-oriented system development and by association Iterative methodologies is the Unified Modeling Language (UML).

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