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What Is Agile or Lean Business Analysis? (Now FREE!)

Understanding How Lean Principles Affect Your Requirements Discovery Process in Agile Software Development

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Duration: 1 hour
Format: Self-paced, online
Author: Tom and Angela Hathaway


Prefer reading? Also available as Paperback/ebook
Interested in a BA career? Learn more: “Three Emerging Careers for IT Business Analysts“.

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What is this course about?

How Does Lean and Agile Affect Your Requirements Discovery Process?

With the widespread adoption of Agile, software development has gone through some serious remodeling. 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.

This course is a brief overview of how you can reduce waste in Business Analysis practices to optimally support the new lean and agile software development world. You will learn about topics such as:

  • The purpose of a product roadmap and a prioritized product backlog
  • The concept of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Agile and Lean thinking applied to requirements discovery, analysis, and acceptance testing
  • Lean requirement constructs such as Features, User Stories, Epics, Scenarios, Examples, etc.
  • The importance of feedback from your customers to improve the product

Who should take this course?

  • Product Owners
  • Business Analysts
  • Requirements Engineers
  • 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

What Can You Do After the Course?

You will learn how to:

  • Understand how lean principles affect the business analysis and requirements definition process
  • Explain what lean requirements such as Features, User Stories, Epics, Scenarios, etc. look like in a lean and agile world
  • Apply lean principles to known business analysis techniques

Detailed Course Outline

Introduction to the Course

  • Course Description and Learning Objectives
  • Instructor Bio

How Do Lean Principles Affect the Business Analysis Process?

  • Welcome to the Course
  • Four Philosophies Dominate Current IT Development
  • Potential Wastes in Business Analysis and Requirements Discovery
  • Six Lean Principles to Combat Waste in Business Analysis
  • The Shift Focus from Project to Product in Lean and Agile

Lean Requirements Are the Prime Deliverable of Lean Business Analysis

  • 6 Requirements Constructs in an Agile, Lean Environment
  • 7 Product Backlogs and Other Requirements Repositories and Kanban Boards
  • 8 Manage (or Groom) and Seed Product Backlogs
  • 9 Know When to Do What in a Lean and Agile World

What Lean Techniques Does the One Wearing the BA Hat Need?

  • 10 Create and Use a Product Vision (Next Big Thing)
  • 11 Define a Minimum Viable (Buyable) Product
  • 12 Lean Requirements Communication Techniques
  • 13 Lean Problem Analysis Reveals Business Needs
  • 14 Write SMART Features, Requirements, User Stories, and Epics
  • 15 Use Cynefin to Manage Uncertainty
  • 16 Right-Size Epics, Features, User Stories, and Requirements
  • 17 Develop, Present, and Analyze Visual Models
  • 18 Acceptance or Business-Facing Testing


  • 19 What Should You Do Now?
  • 20 Bonus Lecture: Where can I learn more?

Learn Lean / Agile Business Analysis Techniques

Book - Lean Agile User Stories and Features

Self-paced Course – Agile 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

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


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