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The Business Analyst @ AKQA SF

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Justin Raczak

on 8 March 2013

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Transcript of The Business Analyst @ AKQA SF

The Business
Analyst @ AKQA SF Research & Discovery The BA facilitates effective and comprehensive stakeholder interviews to develop a foundational understanding of client business. By absorbing both project-related and personal details, the BA gains a client-oriented perspective on desired outcomes.

This knowledge helps inform the strategy and discovery tracks, identifying key areas of research and exploration. Product Design & Development As an individual who remains tapped into the technology landscape and its rapid evolution, the BA is well-positioned to lead workstreams of brainstorming and idea generation. These activities are grounded in the foundational knowledge and direction developed during initial research and discovery phases. Technology The BA is familiar with agile planning and development processes and is key in organizing ideas and concepts into actionable iterations ready for rapid prototyping.

When appropriate, the BA generates documentation to capture product features and functionality including user stories, process flows, and specifications and annotations. Documentation is agile in nature and captures only that which is deemed necessary and consumable.

In development, the BA serves as the bridge between discovery activities and execution. Project & Process As an early member of the project team, the BA is well-positioned to support client services efforts in matters of scope and team deployment. Leveraging knowledge in product design and development, the BA can help ensure the right people are deployed at the right time to deliver just enough work just in time.

When appropriate, the BA can participate in sprint planning activities with technical leads and help align these exercises with a master project plan. Requirements & Discovery Design Build & Test Release Waterfall Execution Research &
Discovery Release & Test Design & Build Review & Iterate Agile Execution Primary Objective
Facilitate an increasingly agile workflow within the agency setting to foster collaborative outcomes with great success probabilities. Research and discovery is an ongoing process. New ideas and considerations are investigated and new learnings are folded into the iterative development process. Design and development begin shortly after Research & Discovery have kicked off. Low res ideas are developed, capturing only basic concepts and/or functionality. These ideas are malleable and are refined as new discovery is brought forward. As logical iterations of concepts and ideas are completed, progress is shared with stakeholders, including internal SMEs and relevant client participants. This facilitates early capture of trajectory accuracy and allows for necessary realignment. Internal and external feedback is evaluated against the existing iteration(s) and the refinement process begins. Additional, specific research may be required based on feedback to accurately realign approach. The agile approach builds bolstered confidence around project direction for both internal and external teams and reduces tension points related to final delivery. Key Differences Waterfall Agile Stakeholders are interviewed early and
requirements are solidified and locked. Stakeholders are interviewed early and
remain involved in the process. Requirements
are flexible and edited frequently. A locked set of requirements and a
single round of discovery inform design
and development. Requirements fluctuate and learning is
continuous. Early design and development is
low-res to reduce overhead related to updates. Interpretation of stakeholder
commentary and intent are internally
debated in an effort to ensure effective
delivery. Intent and direction are vetted with the client
through iterative review and validation in an
effort to ensure effective delivery. High risk of incorrect trajectory
and overburn as a result of rigid
requirements and process Improved likelihood of correct
trajectory and reduced risk of
overburn through stakeholder
validation and low-overhead
process
Serving as Product Owner, the agile BA is favorably positioned to monitor process health through clear visibility into all stages of the process. Leveraged effectively, the empowered BA can bring high value both as a supporter and a producer. Discovery is performed in a single round and is viewed as complete. Clients sign off on requirements and this body becomes rigid. The design process is informed by early discovery and is often performed once. Updates are made to documents such as PSDs. Development receives hardened assets from the design phase and executes a build based on these 'signed off' documents. The final product, based primarily, often solely, on early discovery rounds is submitted to the client for review. Typically, most project resources are now burnt.
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