Getting and Writing IT Requirements in a Lean/Agile World

Apply Lean Principles to Optimize Your Requirements Discovery Process and Streamline Support for Agile IT Development Teams

Classroom Live ONSITE – Duration: 3 days (21 PDU/CDU)
Classroom Live ONLINE – Duration: 3-9 days (21 PDU/CDU)
Public Schedule

Some of this content is also available in our eCourses, Books, and FREE KnowledgeKnuggets™

Course Overview

Lean Business Analysis: Meeting the Agile, Lean, and Continuous Delivery Challenge

Getting the right requirements from the right people at the right level of detail at each stage of your IT development process is a critical success factor to any lean software development approach. Lean Requirements are only produced on an as-needed basis. An ideal lean business analysis process has each requirement defined to the level of detail appropriate for the immediately following activity and no more. That includes:

  • clearly defined business requirements when project go/no-go decisions are needed
  • individual stakeholder requirements sufficiently flushed out when developers need them to plan
  • solution level requirements (e.g., clearly defined function statements, examples and/or scenarios for test-driven development) that are clean and ready for consumption when developers start cutting code

Lean Requirements will reduce the cost and improve the outcome of your IT projects whether your organization adopts Agile (e.g. Scrum), Lean (e.g. Kanban), DevOps, Continuous Delivery, or traditional software development (e.g. Waterfall) philosophies.

A Lean Approach for Getting from Visions to Requirements to Test Scenarios

This exercise-rich, interactive workshop provides a proven set of core lean business analysis techniques, methods and tricks. The presented content will help agile teams, customer-side (aka business-side) teams, business analysts, product owners, test developers, and subject matter experts discover, capture, clarify, and confirm the kind of IT requirements that solution providers need to deliver the right information technology solutions for the business.

This instructor-led course can be delivered live at your site or online in a series of virtual sessions.

About Our Instructors

Tailored Business Analysis Training
We Tailor the Content to Fit Your Needs

At no cost to you, we can assemble an optimal set of training topics based on your group’s current and desired business analysis skill levels. We can also use our Business Analysis Skills Evaluation (BASE) tool to establish these levels. 

or call 702-625-0146

Target Audience

  • Product Owners
  • Business Analysts
  • Requirements Engineers
  • Business- and Customer-side Team Members
  • Agile Team Members
  • Subject Matter Experts (SME)
  • Project Leaders and Managers
  • Systems Analysts and Designers
  • AND “anyone wearing the business analysis hat”, meaning anyone responsible for defining a future IT solution

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this skill-building experience, you can:

  • Define how Lean, Agile, and Continuous Delivery Software Development Environments impact business analysis and requirements discovery, documentation, and deployment
  • Adapt 10 different Requirements Gathering (Elicitation) Techniques to optimally support collaborative teams (e.g. The 3 Amigos, Kickoff Meetings, Replenishment Meetings, User Story Workshops, etc.)
  • Leverage Business Problem Analysis to Identify Stakeholders and Discover Business Needs
  • Express Business Needs and Wants in SMART Features, Requirements, and User Stories at the appropriate level of detail for effective communication
  • Capture 17 Types of Non-Functional Requirements (NFR) With Scenarios for Testing to ensure that the delivered application meets the business community’s expectations
  • Maintain a constant workflow for developers by grooming, managing, and prioritizing Backlogs, Kanban Boards, and other requirement repositories
  • Drill-Down into Requirements, Features, User Stories, and Functions to reveal implied business needs and Identify Scenarios for Acceptance Testing
  • Develop business-facing acceptance tests that support automated testing, Acceptance-Test Driven Development (ATDD), and Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)
  • Use Gherkin to express scenarios in Given-When-Then structures using Examples, Outlines, and Engineered Test Data

Detailed Course Outline

1 Business Needs in a Lean and Agile World

  • The modern IT Landscape: Lean, Agile, Continuous Delivery, DevOps
  • Exercise: Applying Lean Principles to Requirements Discovery
  • Requirements Constructs in a Lean Environment
  • Completing Projects vs Developing Products: A Shift in Perspective
  • Exercise: Roles and Responsibilities in Your Environment
  • Introduction to Backlogs and other Product Requirements Repositories

2 Defining the Future of Your Organization (LEAN Elicitation Techniques)

  • Knowing When to Do What (Lifecycles)
  • Creating and Using a Product Vision (Next big thing)
  • Defining a Minimum Viable Product
  • Discovering Product Stakeholders
  • Lean Communication Techniques
  • Seed a Backlog Using Kick-off meetings, Discovery Workshops, and Sprint 0’s
  • Lean Problem Analysis Reveals Business Needs

3 Communicating Current and Future Business Needs Effectively

  • Addressing Ambiguity in Business Needs
  • Writing SMART Requirements
  • Creating a Feature List
  • Capturing Epics and User Stories
  • Defining Non-Functional Requirements (NFR’s)
  • Developing, Presenting, and Analyzing Visual Models (Process, Data, Object, Workflow, etc)

4 Refining (Grooming) and Managing Your Business Needs Repository (Backlogs, Kanban boards, Tasks, etc.)

  • What is Backlog Refinement (Grooming)?
  • Collaboration Achieves a Common Goal (three amigos conversation)
  • Prioritizing Business Needs (Backlog Items)
  • Estimating Effort for Implementing Business Needs
  • Using User Story Maps, Feature Maps, and Example Mapping
  • Replenishment and Retrospective Sessions to Manage Your Backlog

5 Right-Sizing Your User Stories and Requirements

  • Using Cynefin to Recognize and Leverage Complexity
  • Splitting Stories and Epics
  • Slicing Features
  • Defining Success (Acceptance) Criteria
  • Decision Tables Reduce Complexity
  • Lean Use Cases

6 Acceptance or Business-Facing Testing

  • Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) and Behavior Driven Development (BDD)
  • Defining Acceptance Tests for the Evolving Software
  • Writing Scenarios, Scenario Outlines and Examples in Given-When-then (Gherkin)
  • From User Stories to Scenarios
  • Using Decision Tables to Discover Scenarios
  • Finding Functional Scenarios by Decomposition
  • Getting from Use Cases to Scenarios
  • Scenarios to Validate Non-Functional Requirements (NFRs)
  • Example-Mapping and Test Data Engineering

7 From Showtime to Go Time!

  • Accepting the Learning Curve
  • Personal Improvement Plan