Business agility is key to success - claims latest book from BCS

28 February 2017

Agile and business analysisAll businesses have to be on constant alert for changes that may cause problems or offer opportunities for them - according to the latest book to be published by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Agile and Business Analysis by Lynda Girvan and Debra Paul provides comprehensive coverage of agile and explains this in the context of business analysis. It is ideal for anyone undertaking business analysis activities or wishing to understand how business analysis and agile used together enable the delivery of beneficial business outcomes.

Agile is an iterative and incremental approach to software development that has rapidly gained in popularity across the IT industry. It offers business analysts a range of techniques and approaches to extend their toolkit and revolutionise their working practices.

The book offers the following top tips for the agile business analyst:

  • Understand the problem before deciding on the solution
  • Recognise that agile is a mindset not a method
  • Prioritisation is key
  • Decompose goals not activities
  • Select the most relevant technique rather than the most-used
  • Focus on delivering outcomes rather than completing tasks

Agile and Business Analysis will help business analysts understand how they can use agile both on wide-ranging business change programmes or individual software development projects. Additionally, this book will help anyone engaged in developing software to understand the relevance and application of business analysis.

Co-author Debra Paul explains: “Business agility is the ability of an organisation to be responsive to forces within the business environment and to be adaptable when change is required. Agile organisations are able to act when the environment changes and are able to adopt new ideas. They have flat structures, with processes and systems that embrace change. Their cultures are open and adaptable, their people empowered and flexible.”

Julian Holmes, Principal Consultant, Thought Works says: “I have never understood those in the agile community that have insisted that there is no need for an analyst role in the context of agile projects. The project team needs access to first-hand business knowledge, combined with empowered and timely decision making but if the business representatives don’t have the experience or skills to translate their contribution to the project team, then the project will suffer. With this book, Lynda and Debra bridge this gap and help not only the business but also the agile community, to understand why the gap exists, what can be done to address it, which existing roles can help, and how existing agile roles and practices contribute to the solution. I highly recommend it.”

Dr Terri Lydiard, Teal Business Solutions Ltd adds: “This book is invaluable to anyone undertaking agile analysis, illustrating that by using new techniques to supplement and extend the BA toolkit, and adopting a “just enough, just in time” philosophy, a truly agile delivery approach can be supported.”

About the authors
Lynda Girvan is a Principal Consultant and Trainer for Assist Knowledge Development. Lynda has over 25 years’ experience in business analysis, agile development, agile coaching and transformational change programmes across both public and private sectors. Lynda developed and leads the agile business analysis training portfolio for AssistKD and was a key member in the creation and development of the BCS Advanced International Diploma in Business Analysis. Lynda is a co-author of the BCS publication, Developing Information Systems, and has spoken at European and International conferences on agile and business analysis. Lynda is a member of BCS.

Debra Paul is the Managing Director of Assist Knowledge Development. Debbie has worked in business analysis and business change for over 30 years and has experience in a range of sectors and organisations. Debra is the editor and co-author of the best-selling BCS publication, Business Analysis, and co-author of Business Analysis Techniques and The Human Touch. Debra has extensive knowledge and expertise in applying a range of BA tools, techniques and best practices and is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars. She was the chief architect for the BCS Advanced International Diploma in Business Analysis. Debra is a Chartered Fellow of BCS and a founder member of the BA Manager Forum.

About the book
ISBN: 9781780173221
Format: Paperback
Publication date: Feb 2017
Price - UK: £29.99; EU: €37.99; US/ROW: $41.99

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