FREE course: What Is Agile / Lean Business Analysis and Why Should You Care?

Understanding How Lean Principles Affect Your Requirements Discovery Process in Agile Software Development

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Duration: 1 hour
Format: FREE Online course
Author: Tom and Angela Hathaway

Interested in a BA career? Check out “Three Emerging Careers for IT Business Analysts”

Course Description

How Does Lean and Agile Affect Your Requirements Discovery Process?

With the widespread adoption of Agile, software development has gone through some serious remodeling. Agile teams build robust products incrementally and iteratively, requiring fast feedback from the business community to define ongoing work.  As a result, the process of defining IT requirements is evolving rapidly. Backlogs replace requirements definition documents. User Stories, Epics and Features replace requirement statements. Scenarios and Examples replace test cases. The timing of business analysis activities is shifting like sand.

This course is a brief overview of how you can reduce waste in Business Analysis practices to optimally support the new lean and agile software development world. You will learn about topics such as:

  • The purpose of a product roadmap and a prioritized product backlog
  • The concept of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Agile and Lean thinking applied to requirements discovery, analysis, and acceptance testing
  • Lean requirement constructs such as Features, User Stories, Epics, Scenarios, Examples, etc.
  • The importance of feedback from your customers to improve the product

Learning Objectives

You will learn how to:

  • Understand how lean principles affect the business analysis and requirements definition process
  • Explain what lean requirements such as Features, User Stories, Epics, Scenarios, etc. look like in a lean and agile world
  • Apply lean principles to known business analysis techniques

Target Audience

  • Agile Product Owners
  • Subject Matter Experts (SME)
  • Business Process Managers
  • Business Process Users
  • Project Leaders and Managers
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Architects
  • Systems Analysts
  • Software Testers
  • Business Architects
  • User liaison personnel
  • AND “anyone wearing the business analysis hat”, meaning anyone responsible for defining what a project should deliver will benefit from this class. Although it is directed toward Information Technology projects, all of the techniques will benefit you on any project, professional or personal.

Course Outline

Introduction to the Course

  • Course Description and Learning Objectives
  • Instructor Bio

How Do Lean Principles Affect the Business Analysis Process?

  • Welcome to the Course
  • Four Philosophies Dominate Current IT Development
  • Potential Wastes in Business Analysis and Requirements Discovery
  • Six Lean Principles to Combat Waste in Business Analysis
  • The Shift Focus from Project to Product in Lean and Agile

Lean Requirements Are the Prime Deliverable of Lean Business Analysis

  • 6 Requirements Constructs in an Agile, Lean Environment
  • 7 Product Backlogs and Other Requirements Repositories and Kanban Boards
  • 8 Managing Backlogs
  • 9 Knowing When to Do What in a Lean and Agile World

What Lean Techniques Does the One Wearing the BA Hat Need?

  • 10 Creating and Using a Product Vision (Next Big Thing)
  • 11 Defining a Minimum Viable (Buyable) Product
  • 12 Lean Requirements Communication Techniques
  • 13 Lean Problem Analysis Reveals Business Needs
  • 14 Writing SMART Features, Requirements, User Stories, and Epics
  • 15 Using Cynefin to Manage Uncertainty
  • 16 Right-Sizing Epics, Features, User Stories, and Requirements
  • 17 Developing, Presenting, and Analyzing Visual Models
  • 18 Acceptance or Business-Facing Testing


  • 19 What Should You Do Now?
  • 20 Bonus Lecture: Where can I learn more?


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