Agile Business Analysis – Ignore The Industry Hype (Business Analyst Role in Agile)


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What’s all the hype around Agile?
Is agile development something real, or even worth learning? Is it a joke?
In this video, I tell you exactly why Agile is over-hyped, and where to focus your time and resources rather than wasting it on learning the agile methodology.

Episode Transcript

So in the I.T. industry, there is a lot of marketing hype around agile. Agile seems to be the buzzword of the day. And if you’re somebody who’s just getting into business analysis likely you’ve gone to Google you’ve tried to do some searching to try to figure out what skills you should learn and you’re going to be inundated with agile training agile products for Agile Methodology everything seems to be agile.

I’m going to tell you something in this video that you’re unlikely to hear almost anywhere else and that something is that, you should spend very little of your time trying to learn agile methodology.

And the reason why I say that is that when you hit the ground and you start to find work and you start to get you to know, actually start doing work for your clients or for your employer, you’ll find that there are very few companies out there that actually use agile. They may be agile in name but the majority of companies out there run either purely waterfall projects or they run projects that are an agile hybrid of a waterfall of the Waterfall methodology.

So if you listen to the industry hype you’re going to spend an inordinate amount of your time and your resources learning something that you’re not actually going to be using in reality.

What you should do is learn enough agile to be able to speak about it intelligently when you’re in an interview recognizing the fact that when you get into that company and you start working for them it’s very unlikely regardless of what the employer claims or what the industry hype says it’s very unlikely that you’re going to be in an Agile environment.

The one exception to that is if you know that you want to work for a software company. So if you want to work let’s say for a big software company like a Microsoft or a Google or even a lot of the smaller software companies the likelihood of you doing Agile there is very high.

Outside of that those type of employers that are just purely software companies the likelihood of you running into a pure agile environment is close to zero.

Learn only enough agile to be able to speak about it intelligently learn the skills that you’re actually going to need to use which is an either purely a waterfall or a hybrid waterfall some variant of hybrid waterfall.

So first point what is agile. Well, let me talk about what Agile is not.

Many employers out there are sold on the idea that if they go agile they’re going to be able to deliver the exact same scope of a product much more quickly. That is the incorrect definition of agile. That’s not what Agile was designed for. That’s not what agile does, as a methodology.

What agile does is it gives you the ability, it gives your employer the ability to look up the entire scope of a project and then to divide it up in a way where it makes sense for them to release a certain portion of that entire scope much earlier in the process.

Most companies that hire business analysts are not software companies. Most companies out there are either like insurance companies finance companies a whole host of any other company out there outside of software is that where you’re most likely to end up as a business analyst right. And those companies certainly do not use pure agile.

I can almost guarantee you that there is there are a very very minute number of companies out there that are not software companies but do pure agile.

OK. So don’t invest too much of your time and effort learning agile just learn to speak about it intelligently.

The overhead is the third point I wanted to talk about agile projects take way more time and effort to deliver than waterfall projects to the overall scope of the solution would take way more time and effort to do in an agile project because of the complexity involved. And I talk about this in lesson 0.3 of the building blocks program about why that actually is.

And so all of the extra overhead that goes into running agile projects trying to figure out how to get your team trained well enough to be functioning as a well oiled agile machine. That stuff is that overhead is not worth taking on. If the competitive pressures aren’t there for the product that you’re building.

So remember agile there’s a lot of buzz around it. You do not need to learn pure agile. Don’t invest too much of your time and your effort and your money into learning agile if you’re just getting into business analysis learn the basic principles and then try to learn what you need for the environment that you’ll actually end up in.

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