Being a good business analyst

It’s not enough to slice up business requirements and put them on the backlog for the technical team to build. Unfortunately, this behaviour is only too common for business analysts who don’t understand the technology.

There is a notion within the business analysis profession that analysts should remain firmly focused on the ‘what’ whilst staying completely agnostic of the ‘how’. However, this artificial separation is often unhelpful and can cause real problems.

I’m reminded of the foolishness of ignoring the implementation every time a poorly scoped user story gets carried over from sprint to sprint with a daily update of “95% done, nearly there.”

You don’t need to know precisely how each story will be implemented, but you should have enough of an understanding of the tech stack and implementation patterns the team uses to inform your work as the business analyst.

Everyone can write their own ‘hello world’ application, install docker and run Linux, read technical books and take online courses. ChatGPT will even give you high-quality code snippets for anything you can think of.

If nothing else, include the most technically able team member in your work to ensure good quality, technically feasible and appropriately sequenced stories are written for your developers.

If you are unhappy with your development team, they may need more detailed guidance.

Better software requirements can help with this.

Frank Ray Consulting. Software requirements for agile development teams, particularly remote, outsourced and offshore development teams working in financial services.

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