Business Analysis in Agile Projects



Traditional system-development methodologies are rapidly being replaced by more iterative or agile approaches. More organizations are realizing the benefits of faster product deployment at a lower cost, with less rework due to missed requirements. Effective business analysis is key to developing those requirements and keeping projects on track. This course explores the contributions of good requirements development in an Agile environment and equips business analysts with the critical thinking, analytical skills, and necessary people skills they need to add value to every Agile project.

In this course, you will learn the techniques for discovering, understanding, and describing product vision; understanding and depicting personas and user stories; identifying and describing additional requirements and acceptance criteria; modeling desired product features and functions; working collaboratively with other team members; and communicating expertly with colleagues, sponsors, and business customers. Lively lectures combined with insightful demonstrations and realistic practice exercises provide you with the competence and confidence you need to improve project outcomes through better requirements definition.

A variety of demonstrations, large-group activities, and small-group team exercises will refine and enhance your Agile business analysis skills. Working in small groups, you and your peers will identify, discuss, and practice the tools and techniques your organization should be using to better define and communicate requirements for your Agile project.


  • Business customer, user, or partner
  • Project sponsor or project owner
  • Business analyst
  • Business systems analyst
  • Systems analyst
  • Project manager
  • Systems architect or designer
  • Systems or application developer
  • QA professional
  • Systems tester
  • Leader of systems, projects, or teams
  • Anyone wanting to enhance their Agile business analysis skills

Learning Objectives

  • Importance of business analysis in Agile projects
  • How analysis adds business value for an Agile project's sponsors and customers
  • Key roles and responsibilities of Agile team members
  • Ways business analysis aligns with the principles of the Agile Manifesto
  • Role of the business analyst in an Agile project
  • Similarities and differences between plan-driven ('traditional') and change-driven ('agile') approaches, and how business analysis supports both
  • How to use early and continuous feedback to drive change in your projects
  • Various flavors of Agile such as Scrum, XP, Kanban, and Lean
  • Key concepts of Agile approaches such as backlogs, sprints, and stories
  • How to write effective user stories and define acceptance criteria for them
  • Techniques of story mapping, story decomposition and story elaboration
  • Connection between user stories and use cases
  • Concept of behavior-driven development
  • Build an effective discovery and delivery framework to help your Agile project succeed

1. Agile Essentials

  • What is Agile?
  • The Agile Manifesto and Guiding Principles
  • A Variety of Agile Approaches
  • Hybridizing Agile
  • Which Agile is Right for You?
  • Business Analysis for Agile Projects

2. The Agile Business Analyst

  • The Role of Business Analyst in Agile Projects
  • BA Underlying Competencies
  • Review of Requirements Basics
  • It's Still About Asking the Right Questions
  • Business Analysis Techniques: Some You Know and Some New Ones
  • Mapping BA Techniques to Agile
  • Guidelines for Agile Business Analysis

3. The Product Vision

  • A Framework for Assessing Business Needs and Value
  • Defining the Product That Solves the Problem
  • Building a Product Roadmap
  • The Importance of Release Planning
  • Stakeholders, Actors and Personas

4. The Voice of the Customer

  • Concepts: Goals, Themes, and Epics
  • User Stories
  • Use Cases
  • Story/Feature Mapping
  • Story Decomposition
  • Story Elaboration
  • Defining Acceptance Criteria
  • Storyboarding for Validation

5. Prioritizing for Business Value

  • What is a Product Backlog?
  • Prioritizing Items for the Backlog
  • The Importance of Sprint Planning
  • Managing and Grooming the Backlog

6. Clarify with Examples: Moving Toward Behavior-Driven Development

  • Understanding Behavior-Driven Development
  • How Real Examples Bridge the Gap
  • Using Analysis Models for Elaboration and Clarification
  • The 'Given/When/Then/And' Technique

7. Collaboration and Continuous Improvement

  • Creating a Safe Working Environment
  • Using Collaborative Games
  • The Importance of Stand-Ups and Sprint Reviews
  • Retrospectives: Lessons Learned
  • Toward Continuous Improvement