Archive October 2018

Is Business Analyst Role a Good Choice for My Career?

Is Business Analyst Role a Good Choice for My Career?

Is Business Analyst Role a Good Choice for My Career ?

“What appear to us as motions of the sun arise not from its motion but from the motion of the earth and our sphere, with which we revolve about the sun like any other planet” – Copernicus.

After the acceptance of Copernicus theory, people perceived the sun as the center  of the planets in the solar system. This was the paradigm shift in the mind-set of human beings who used to envision to the earth as the center of the universe throughout history.

In recent years a similar change has also occurred in IT business.

Previously the legacy systems at companies didn’t have an open architecture. It was not easy to update them or add new components. Although these systems were highly reliable and they allow limited changes. Most of the business unit request couldn’t be fulfilled due to technical constraints. As a result business was mostly driven by IT.

However, due to fierce competition and dynamic business environments in every industry, business units focused on differentiating their products and services by fully benefiting from technology. They become more demanding of IT departments. This fact increased the need for more flexible IT System, which led to the advent of new software development approaches like object –oriented programing and SOA (Service oriented Architecture). Software started to be developed with an open architecture of integrated components. This new way of software development brought more flexibility to IT systems, which meant more tolerance to full-fill business requests.

In this new approach, the most important success factor becomes achieving seamless orchestration of integrated system components. This required utilisation of modelling technique like UML(Unified Modeling language) , BPN(Business Process Model and Notation) and BPEL (Business Process Execution Language)as a major part of software analysis and design profession. This factor increased the strategic importance of business and system analysis in parallel.

Evolution of Enterprise Architecture Role –

In this new, more flexible, and more productive model, CIO’s(Chief information officers) need more assistance in keeping the IT architecture of the company aligned with the current and target business architectures. The role in charge of this assistance is defined as “enterprise architect”. Enterprise architects who design the architecture of IT solutions. Their goal is more holistic and at company level. Enterprise architects are responsible for liking business, information, application, infrastructure architectures of the company by using frameworks. They work in coordination with company executives to understand business strategies, and steer technical terms in building sustainable solutions that meet today’s and tomorrow business needs.

Stepping Stone for CIO Position –

The enterprise architect profession requires business knowledge, technical skills, and the ability to see the big picture with a bird’s-eye view. Hence the most suitable people to fill enterprise architecture positions are experienced business analyst and project managers who naturally gain these competencies as a part of their profession. Since enterprise architects are the best candidate to be tomorrow CIO’s, this position is also a good stepping stone for Business Analysts and project managers. Success in daily business analysis activities like requirement election and documentation is not enough to move forward in this challenging career path. Business Analyst should also involve in strategic task like business case development, follow the latest trends and developments in IT technologies, and learn the overall business architecture of their company by working for projects at different business domains.

Lastly, If you are thinking to pursue career in Business Analyst, then you are in right path 🙂

Go and explore tutorial and learn Business Analyst concepts.

Scrum Characteristics and Roles

Characteristics of Scrum:-

  • Scrum team members are Self-organized and focused.
  • Scrum works on lean documentation i.e less document required. They have a very precise and to the point stories.
  • The teams work together as a single unit.
  • Has a definite timeline of maximum one month.
  • Scrum help to develop project in many small parts.
  • Resources capability and availability are considered before committing anything.

Above all a great scrum team consists a product owner who maximises value, a scrum master who help team to improve continuously and last but not the least a team who focus on delivering high quality product.

Now let’s discuss one by one

  1. Product Owner –

A product owner (PO) is responsible for:

  • Developing product vision and market strategy.
  • Maintain product backlogs and order them according to necessity.
  • Involving stakeholders and end users of product.
  1. Scrum Master –

Scrum master is ensuring that the scrum team is following scrum theory, practices and rules. The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team.

Scrum master act as..

  • Servant-Leader, who take care of team member’s needs, achieving the result in line with organisation values, principle and business objective.
  • A good coach, coaching the individual with a focus on mind-set and behaviour, the team in continuous improvement and the organization in truly collaborating with the Scrum team.
  • Facilitator, by setting the stage and provide clear boundaries in which the team can collaborate.
  • Manager, responsible for managing team’s health, processes and managing team culture.
  • Mentor, that transfers agile knowledge and experience to the team.
  1. The Development Team –

Scrum Guide the Development Team consists of professionals who do the work of delivering a potentially releasable Increment of “Done” product at the end of each Sprint. Team Creates the increment of product. The resulting synergy optimizes the Development Team’s overall efficiency and effectiveness.

Development Teams have the following characteristics –

  • Self-organizing. They decide how to turn Product Backlog Items into working solutions.
  • No titles use in scrum, everyone is a developer.
  • Committed to achieving the Sprint Goal and delivering a high quality increment.

 

Daily Stand-up Meeting

As name has suggested, daily stand-up meetings is a daily status meeting among all the team members of agile. Meeting is not only focus on status update it also brings the problems of team members into focus so that it can be quickly addressed.

So what is Daily Stand-up?

  • It happens among agile team members where everyone has update their task status. It roughly held for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Every Team members has to answer three questions.
    • What I did yesterday.
    • What I will do Today.
    • Any Problem I am facing or I am blocked due to.
  • Daily stand-up is only for status update not for discussion. For any discussion team need to schedule another meeting.
  • Members need to be attentive and stand instead of sitting so that meeting can quickly over.

Attendee of Stand-up-meeting:-

  • Scrum Master, Product owner and delivery team member are the active participants of the stand-up meeting.
  • Stakeholders and customers are also encourage to be a part of meeting but they can only observe the activity not supposed to participate.

Note – If any Scrum team members are sitting on different location they can connect through conference call.

Agile User Stories

Agile mythology follows lean documentation it doesn’t mean there is no documentation takes place. In Agile user story is main the document to narrate user requirement in simple fashion. User stories are basically used in agile software development. User stories are basically description of a software feature from an end user perspective. A user story describes the type of user, what they want and why.

A User stories template uses the following types of format.

 

 

 

So in simple words you can say it cater following elements.

  • Who it is for?
  • What it expects from the system?
  • Why it is important (optional?)?

Role – The user should be someone who interacts with the system.

  • Be specific

Feature – As name suggest it should be the list of features that use want to do. Behavior of the system should be written as action.

  • Usually unique for each user stories
  • Active voice should be used instead of passive voice(“Can be notified”)

Reason – As name suggest, you need to write as a user why you want this feature. In other word what benefit a use will have with this feature.

  • Many user stories can share same reason or benefits.

Example of User stories –

  • As a [customer], I want [shopping cart feature] so that [I can purchase items online].
  • As a [customer], I want [to be able to view the items in my cart] so that [I know for sure what I’m purchasing].

 

 

Note point-

An agile story should be short, so that it can be fit in the sticky note or note card. User stories should be written in business language so that it can be easily understandable to business people as well as scrum team what customer wants and why they need particular feature.

 

 

Scrum-Sprint

Sprint is similar to 100 or 200m sprint. Depending upon length of the track we call it sprint or marathon. When there is a race, there will have length of the track and in agile sprint length measured in weeks.

Similar to race when the sprint starts whole team runs with its full capacity and capabilities till its completion. The smaller the sprint the faster you get the results.

Sprint is one time boxed iteration of a continuous development cycle. Within a Sprint, planned amount of work has to be completed by the team and made ready for review. Sprints are always short: normally about 2-4 weeks. Team collaboratively sets their target with Product Owner as “Sprint Goal” and plans their work in Sprint Backlog.

 

Each sprint follows a defined process –

Scrum–Product Backlog

Product backlog is basically a priorities feature list that needs to be done. In agile environment all task list broken down in to user stories or epic. The product owner is responsible for product backlog, including its content. Product Owner is the one who prioritize it based on the customer’s feedback or business value.

A typically product backlog consist following types of item –

  1. Features
  2. Bugs
  3. Technical work

Some people might asked why bugs? Because there’s really no difference between a bug and a new feature — each describes something different that a user wants. Bugs are also put on the Scrum product backlog.

Importance of Product Backlog –

  • Through product backlog estimation of features will be easy.
  • Product backlog help to priorities the work item that need to be develop first. Team ranks the feature item
  • It helps in planning and roadmap of the product.

Characteristic of Product Backlog –

  • Product backlog consist all wish list and product requirement of product.
  • Product owner need to make sure each product backlog consist detail user stories.
  • The product backlog acts as an input to the sprint backlog when comes to functionality.
  • There are also bugs/issues, epic, user stories and themes are included in the product backlog

Following are example of Product backlog. Every backlog contain detail requirement. As you can see if user will click on id, user story or detail requirement will open.

SDLC Model – Agile

SDLC Model – Agile

These days Agile is a very popular SDLC model. Agile methodology is a practice that supports continuous iteration of development. It’s a combination of iterative and incremental approach which focuses on process adaptability and customer satisfaction.

In agile, whole project breaks in to the small incremental builds. Every iteration typically takes 1 to 3 weak times. After every development iteration, the customer is able to see the result and understand if he is satisfied with it or not. Scrum approach is one of the popular approaches used in agile model.

To know more about agile scrum click here

Advantages of Agile –

  • Less Documentation.
  • Change adaptability, even at the last stage of build.
  • Batter customer engagement.
  • Fast development process
  • Agile promote team work and cross training.
  • Concurrent development and delivery within define time frame work gives agile an extra edge.
  • Agile project is easy to manage.

Disadvantages of Agile –

  • Not much compatible for large and complex project
  • Customer heavily interaction required, so if customer is not clear about their product they can mislead the agile team.
  • Transfer of technology to new team members may be quite challenging due to lack of documentation.
  • Each individual in agile team should be self-motivated and self-driven. If these things missing in team member, it can cause problem for project.