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Introducing Lean Principles that Supercharge Your Requirements Discovery Process in Agile and Traditional Software Development

An Overview of LEAN Business Analysis for Agile Teams

Introducing Lean Principles that Supercharge Your Requirements Discovery Process in Agile and Traditional Software Development

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Author: Tom and Angela Hathaway
Pages: 154 (paperback edition)
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publication Date: February 25, 2020

Also available as ecourse and covered in an instructor-led course (live and online classroom).

What is this book about?

Lean Business Analysis Weaponizes the Agile Software Development Revolution

With the widespread adoption of Agile, software development has gone through some serious remodeling. The changes are a seismic shift from the days of mega-projects and monolithic methodologies. Agile teams build robust products incrementally and iteratively, requiring fast feedback from the business community to define ongoing work.

As a result, the process of defining IT requirements is evolving rapidly. Backlogs replace requirements definition documents. User Stories, Epics and Features replace requirement statements. Scenarios and Examples replace test cases. The timing of business analysis activities is shifting like sand.

What You Will Learn

What Is LEAN Business Analysis?

Business Analysis defines the future of Information Technology (IT) in an organization. Lean Business Analysis is the essential next step that enables the business community to take advantage of the speed of software delivery.

This book offers a brief overview of how you can reduce waste in Business Analysis practices to optimally support the new lean and agile software development world. Learn how lean principles:

  • Gain business agility by shifting from Project to Product Thinking
  • Accelerate time-to-market with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Combat waste in your Business Analysis Life Cycle
  • Optimize software development with effective Product Backlogs
  • Improve the outcome of your Business Analysis techniques
  • Express business needs in Features, User Stories, and Scenarios
  • Deliver product quality with Acceptance (Business-Facing) Testing

The authors describe the problems and the process plaguing organizations struggling to ensure that the software development community produces the IT environment that the business community needs.

They also show solutions that take advantage of Lean Manufacturing principles to capture and analyze business needs. They explain types of waste prevalent in conventional Business Analysis and suggest approaches to minimize the waste while increasing the quality of the deliverables, namely actionable Features, User Stories, and Requirements that enable Agile Teams.

Who will benefit from reading this book?

This book will help anyone who is involved with software development (Agile or traditional). In particular, it targets:

  • Product Owners
  • Business Analysts
  • Requirements Engineers
  • Test Developers
  • Business- and Customer-side Team Members
  • Agile Team Members
  • Subject Matter Experts (SME)
  • Project Leaders and Managers
  • Systems Analysts and Designers
  • AND “anyone wearing the business analysis hat”, meaning anyone responsible for defining a future IT solution

Table of Contents

I. How Do Lean Principles Affect the Business Analysis Process?

  • Business Needs Discovery and Analysis in Agile Software Development
  • Applying Lean Thinking to Business Analysis
  • A Bird’s Eye View of Four LEAN Software Development Philosophies
    • Lean and Kanban
    • Agile and Scrum
    • Continuous Delivery and DevOps
    • Continuous Integration and ATDD/BDD
  • Potential Wastes in Business Analysis and Requirements Discovery
  • 6 Lean Principles to Combat Waste in Business Analysis
    • Lean Principles Applied to Business Analysis
    • How Lean Principles Cut Down on Wasteful Business Analysis Work
  • The Shift of Focus from Project to Product Thinking
    • Project vs. Product Thinking
    • Adopting a Product Mindset

II. Lean Requirements Are the Ultimate Goal of Lean Business Analysis

  • The Need for LEAN Requirements
  • Conventional Requirements Levels
  • Requirements Constructs in an Agile/Lean Environment
    • Features, Epics, and User Stories
    • Lean Business Use Cases
    • Business Rules
    • Constraints
    • Scenarios and Scenario Outlines
  • Outcomes of Conventional vs. LEAN Business Analysis
  • Product Backlogs, Kanban Boards, and Other Requirements Repositories
    • Product Requirements Documents (PRD)
    • Using Backlogs as Requirements Repository
    • Kanban Boards
  • Knowing When to Do What in a Lean and Agile World
    • Strategic, Tactical, and Operational Business Analysis
    • Timing of Analysis in a Lean and Agile World
    • Seeding, Managing/Grooming the Product Backlog
    • Elaborate (Prepare) User Stories for the Next Iteration

III. Lean and Agile Business Analysis Techniques

  • The Product Vision Statement (a.k.a. Next Big Thing)
  • The Product Roadmap
  • The Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
    • What is a Minimum Viable Product?
    • How Do You Define an MVP?
  • Lean Requirements Communication Techniques
    • Preparing to be a Lean BA
    • Picking the Right Mode of Communication
  • Managing Risk Alleviates Uncertainty
    • The Cynefin Framework
    • The Stacey Matrix
  • Pain-Point Analysis Reveals Your MVP, Potential Features, and User Stories
    • Pain-Point Analysis for Business Needs Elicitation
    • Agile and Lean Pain-Point Analysis Techniques
    • Problem/Symptom Reduction (PSR)
  • Ambiguity in Features and User Stories
    • The Need for a Mutual Understanding
    • What Exactly Is Ambiguity and Subjectivity?
    • Removing Ambiguity and Subjectivity with INVEST
  • Drilling Down on Epics, Features, User Stories, and Requirements
    • User Story Splitting
    • Functional Feature Drill-down and Story Decomp
    • Decision Tables
    • Lean Use Cases
  • Developing, Presenting, and Analyzing Visual Models
  • Acceptance or Business-Facing Testing
    • Acceptance Criteria and Scenarios
    • Test Data Engineering

IV. Growing a LEAN Business Analysis Process

Agile Featured online course: Business Analysis: Getting and Writing Lean Requirements

Lean Business Analysis for Lean Requirements: Techniques for Discovering and Writing User Stories, Acceptance Tests, Scenarios and Examples

Requirements Gathering with Use Cases for Business Analysts

Lean Use Cases to identify and write Use Case models and diagrams

Chatting with Humans: User Experience Design (UX) for Chatbots

Simple Conversational Design and Science-based Chatbot Copy that Engages People

Featured Course – Agile Business Analysis: Getting and Writing Lean Requirements

Lean agile business analysis for agile and lean requirements?

Browse Our Business Analysis Books Library

lean and agile business analysis books for requirements discovery

For SME’s and Business-side Teams: Writing Effective Lean Requirements

Book - Lean Agile User Stories and Features

How To Write User Stories That Deliver Real Business Value

How to Capture, Write, Prioritize, Rightsize, and Flesh Out User Stories with Defined Acceptance Tests as Given-When-Then (GWT) Scenarios

Business Analysis: Data Flow Diagrams to Visualize Workflows

Data Flow Diagrams and Process Modeling - Simply Put

Business Analyst Skills Test

Evaluate Your Business Analysis Skills


Tom and Angela’s Story

Like all good IT stories, theirs started on a project many years ago. Tom was the super techie, Angela the super SME. They fought their way through the 3-year development of a new policy maintenance system for an insurance company.

They vehemently disagreed on many aspects, but in the process discovered a fundamental truth about IT projects. The business community (Angela) should decide on the business needs while the technical team’s (Tom)’s job was to make the technology deliver what the business needed. Talk about a revolutionary idea! All that was left was learning how to communicate with each other without bloodshed to make the project a resounding success. Mission accomplished.

They decided this epiphany was so important that the world needed to know about it. As a result, they made it their mission (and their passion) to share this ground-breaking concept with the rest of the world.

To achieve that lofty goal, they married and began the mission that still defines their life. After over 30 years of living and working together 24x7x365, they are still wildly enthusiastic about helping the victims of technology learn how to ask for and get the IT solutions they need to do their jobs better. More importantly, they are more enthusiastically in love with each other than ever before!

How they Can Help

Tom and Angela love to share their experience, knowledge, and expertise with the world. They have taught thousands of students in face-to-face training, published 7 business analysis how-to books on, authored 9 courses on with over 20K students, and enriched the global community with 1.5 million views on their YouTube channel.

Their company, BA-EXPERTS, focuses exclusively on business analysis for anyone wearing the BA hat™. Business needs analysis for IT has become a critical skill for most business professionals regardless of job title (Business Analyst, Product Owner, SME, Project Manager, etc.). In a Lean and Agile world, knowing how to define business needs in the form of User Stories, Features, and other forms of requirements will open many doors.

BA-EXPERTS’ value proposition is enabling anyone wearing the BA hat™ (SMEs and Techies) to have access to high quality training materials and performance support. Please call 702-625-0146 or email for a free consultation.

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