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Business Analysis Methodology Book Business Analyst's Guide to Requirements Analysis, Lean UX Design and Project Management at Lean Enterprises and Lean Startups - Yayici, Emrah

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Matheus Puppe

· 8 min read

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Here is a summary of the key points from the Business Analysis Methodology Book:

  • The book explores applying lean principles and methodology to business analysis, requirements gathering, UX design, technical design, development, testing and project management.

  • The goal is to help companies develop innovative products faster within tight budgets and deadlines.

  • Lean focuses on eliminating waste throughout the product development lifecycle and reinvesting savings into new projects.

  • Key lean principles include being value-oriented, customer-centered, iterative, simplistic and willing to fail early.

  • Enterprise architecture is important for strategic alignment of projects with business goals to avoid wasting resources.

  • An enterprise architecture team evaluates new product requests and ensures technical and business architecture flexibility.

  • Requirements analysis done with a lean mindset means focusing on “just enough” information to satisfy customer needs.

  • Agile methods are generally better suited than waterfall for lean due to their iterative nature and flexibility.

  • UX design, development, testing and project management chapters explain how to apply lean in those areas as well.

  • A mobile app case study is included to demonstrate applying the lean principles and methodology in practice.

The key points are:

  • Technical teams often spend most of their time on “keeping the lights on” - handling enhancement/modification requests for existing products instead of developing new products.

  • This leaves little time for developing new innovative products and demotivates teams who would rather work on new projects.

  • If enhancement requests are not tracked systematically, the total cost of maintaining existing products can become very high and outweigh the costs of replacing the products.

  • Frequent enhancement requests can also lead to scope creep and wasted resources from rework if requirements are not well-managed.

  • Not delivering new products fast enough causes projects to lose importance and value for the business due to changing market conditions and time-to-market pressures.

So in summary, the issue highlighted is that technical teams do not have sufficient capacity to deliver new products quickly because they are overwhelmed with maintaining and enhancing existing products. This can negatively impact the business.

The passage discusses the lean approach to product development and the best methodology to use - waterfall or agile. It states that while agile is commonly associated with lean due to its emphasis on working software, customer collaboration and response to change, waterfall can still be effective if modified to be more iterative.

The key points made are:

  • Agile delivers working product faster through short sprints, enabling early customer feedback. This flexibility makes it better for dynamic environments where changes are common.

  • However, agile is not always appropriate, such as when integration between components is complex or team co-location is not feasible.

  • Waterfall can be made more iterative by increasing releases, prototyping for feedback, prioritizing requirements, and decomposing work for better traceability.

  • The best methodology depends on the specific project’s needs - no one-size-fits-all. Waterfall may still be suitable in some cases like complex integration projects.

So in summary, while agile is commonly linked to lean, either methodology can work if tailored to the project, with an emphasis on delivering working product frequently for customer feedback.

The passage discusses applying different project methodologies, namely Waterfall, Agile and hybrid approaches, to different phases of a mobile application development project for CEC (a company).

It associated Waterfall with deterministic/static projects and Agile with dynamic/changing projects. For the CEC project, a hybrid approach was used - Waterfall for the initial phase to launch core features, followed by Agile for subsequent phases to add more features.

The first Waterfall phase delivered on time and saw more usage and value than expected. Subsequent Agile phases further improved the app based on customer feedback. New features like coupons increased sales and engagement.

The passage also discusses best practices for requirements gathering, like aligning requirements with business needs, resolving stakeholder conflicts early, observing customers, dealing with different personality types, using prototypes for visualization, etc. to prevent costly changes later in the project.

Here is a summary of the key points about requirements documentation:

  • Use case technique in waterfall involves defining actors, goals (use cases), and how actors achieve goals through activities on use case documents. Activities map to functional requirements.

  • User stories in Agile describe features from the user’s perspective in simple language.

  • Requirements documentation should follow best practices like separating main/alternative/exception scenarios, defining assumptions and business rules parametrically, making requirements testable, and visualizing workflows with flowcharts.

  • The objective is to clarify what functionality is needed and non-functional requirements, not technical implementation details.

  • Conflicts should be seen as normal and resolved early through negotiation at requirements gathering meetings rather than postponing through issue logging. Applying techniques like functional decomposition and “five whys” can help address complex problems.

  • Changes can have butterfly effects, so impact of changes needs to be analyzed across multiple levels of requirements. Small changes could require significant effort if impacting many other components.

  • Documentation aims to reduce wasted work by focusing on what customers will actually use through a customer-centric and iterative approach.

  • Agile methodologies like Scrum focus on working products over comprehensive documentation. User stories are used instead of detailed use cases.

  • At the second phase of the project, the CEC mobile app used Scrum methodology and defined user stories in the product backlog instead of use cases. Examples of user stories for the CEC app are provided.

  • Acceptance criteria are important to make user stories more specific for developers. Example acceptance criteria for the CEC app are mentioned.

  • In theory, product owners define and prioritize user stories, but they often lack technical knowledge, so business analysts still play a role to help translate requirements.

  • Documentation should follow lean principles of being “just enough” - only what is needed, to avoid waste from overly long documents. Documentation level depends on project needs.

  • Requirements should be defined and documented separately for business, user, functional, non-functional, and system levels, following the “just in time” lean principle.

  • Ensuring usability is important in addition to functionality and design. A lean UX approach that identifies user profiles and builds interfaces iteratively around users ensures usability.

  • User interfaces should be designed based on user profiling which includes demographics like age, gender, education, tech comfort levels, and business background. User interviews can help understand profiles.

  • Personas are defined to represent user profiles and their likely mental models. Personas have names, photos, demographics and scenarios.

  • Interaction design is based on flow charts of use case scenarios to group requirements into interfaces. This ensures all functionality is included.

  • Information architecture categorizes content through card sorting. Content should be concise and useful to personas.

  • Iterative prototyping discovers usability issues early. High priority features are prototyped first.

  • In agile, user stories may not need separate prototypes if granular enough for testing in working software.

  • Prototypes focus on functionality over aesthetics, behaving like craftsmen not artists. Simplicity is key in the lean approach. Iterative testing improves the design.

Here is a summary of the key points about quality assurance and testing in the lean approach:

  • Testing finds defects but cannot prove zero defects. The goal is to reduce undiscovered defects, not claim zero defects.

  • Exhaustive testing of every aspect is impossible due to time/resource limits. Testing should focus on high-risk areas identified through risk analysis.

  • Both positive and negative test cases are needed, not just those tied to requirements. Negative cases help identify risks.

  • Techniques like equivalence partitioning, boundary values, and combinatorial testing help achieve coverage with fewer test cases, reducing waste from excessive testing.

  • Quality assurance teams should be proactive and start testing as early as possible. Early testing finds defects sooner when they are cheaper to fix, before problems compound later in development.

  • The goal is balancing time to market with quality, not perfection. A product may release with low-priority defects if time is critical, to be fixed later. Quality is optimized within lean constraints.

In summary, lean testing follows risk-based, pragmatic principles to reduce waste from excessive or late-stage testing, focusing on high-value testing that improves quality within time and resource limits.

  • Product testing should begin early through reviews of requirement documents and user testing of prototypes to find functionality and usability defects.

  • Repeating the same test cases will not find new defects, so tests cases need to be regularly updated to avoid the “pesticide paradox”.

  • Test cases should be defined based on requirements, business rules, risks, and scenarios from use cases or user stories.

  • Automated regression testing is important for iterative development but taking time to implement automation tools can be risky for time-sensitive projects.

  • Some automation tools remain unused, becoming “shelfware”. Tools should only be adopted when the team’s testing skills and process maturity allow effective use.

  • User acceptance testing (UAT) is critical for validating requirements and business needs. It should include both exploratory and planned testing with trained users.

  • Project and product scope must be aligned. Project managers ensure deliverables create value by collaborating with business analysts.

  • Focusing only on outputs rather than outcomes can fail projects. KPIs should optimize whole-team objectives like requirements satisfaction.

  • Applying lean principles takes persistence over time rather than giving up early. The CEC mobile app project successfully met its objectives through a lean approach.

  • The project was completed on time, meeting all deadlines. This suggests effective scheduling and risk management to avoid delays.

  • The project delivered high satisfaction to all stakeholders involved. This indicates it met requirements and expectations.

  • Upper management recognized the benefits of applying lean project principles and decided to adopt this approach for all future projects. This demonstrates they saw value in the lean approach for delivering successful outcomes on time and to requirements.

In summary, the project was effectively managed from a time, cost and quality perspective to satisfy stakeholders. As a result, the organization decided to standardize the lean approach that enabled this success for application to their other projects going forward.

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