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Beyond Requirements: Analysis with an Agile Mindset

Book Description

Satisfy Stakeholders by Solving the Right Problems, in the Right Ways

In Beyond Requirements, Kent J. McDonald shows how applying analysis techniques with an agile mindset can radically transform analysis from merely “gathering and documenting requirements” to an important activity teams use to build shared understanding. First, McDonald discusses the unique agile mindset, reviews the key principles underlying it, and shows how these principles link to effective analysis. Next, he puts these principles to work in four wide-ranging and thought-provoking case studies. Finally, he drills down on a full set of techniques for effective agile analysis, using examples to show how, why, and when they work.

McDonald’s strategies will teach you how to understand stakeholders’ needs, identify the best solution for satisfying those needs, and build a shared understanding of your solution that persists throughout the product lifecycle. He also demonstrates how to iterate your analysis, taking advantage of what you learn throughout development, testing, and deployment so that you can continuously adapt, refine, and improve.

Whether you’re an analysis practitioner or you perform analysis tasks as a developer, manager, or tester, McDonald’s techniques will help your team consistently find and deliver better solutions.

Coverage includes

  • Core concepts for analysis: needs/ solutions, outcome/output, discovery/delivery

  • Adapting Lean Startup ideas for IT projects: customer delivery, build–measure–learn, and metrics

  • Structuring decisions, recognizing differences between options and commitments, and overcoming cognitive biases

  • Focusing on value: feature injection, minimum viable products, and minimum marketable features

  • Understanding how analysis flows alongside your project’s lifecycle

  • Analyzing users: mapping stakeholders, gauging commitment, and creating personas

  • Understanding context: performing strategy (enterprise) analysis

  • Clarifying needs: applying decision filters, assessing project opportunities, stating problems

  • Investigating solutions: impact and story mapping, collaborative modeling, and acceptance criteria definition

  • Kent J. McDonald uncovers better ways of delivering value. His experience includes work in business analysis, strategic planning, project management, and product development in the financial services, health insurance, performance marketing, human services, nonprofit, and automotive industries. He has a BS in industrial engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from Kent State University. He is coauthor of Stand Back and Deliver: Accelerating Business Agility (Addison-Wesley, 2009).

    Table of Contents

    1. About This eBook
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright Page
    4. Dedication
    5. Contents
    6. Preface
      1. What This Book Is About
      2. Who Is This Book For?
      3. To What Context Does This Book Apply?
      4. What Problem Is This Book Trying to Solve?
      5. How the Book Is Organized
        1. Part I: Ideas
        2. Part II: Case Studies
        3. Part III: Techniques
        4. Part IV: Resources
    7. Acknowledgments
    8. About the Author
    9. Part I: Ideas
      1. Chapter 1. Guiding Principles
        1. Introduction
        2. Deliver Value
        3. Collaborate
        4. Iterate
        5. Simplify
        6. Consider Context
        7. Decide Wisely
        8. Reflect and Adapt
        9. Conclusion
        10. If You Remember Nothing Else
      2. Chapter 2. Helpful Concepts
        1. Introduction
        2. Needs and Solutions
        3. Outcome and Output
        4. Discovery and Delivery
        5. If You Remember Nothing Else
      3. Chapter 3. Influence of Lean Startup
        1. Introduction
        2. Customer Development
        3. Build-Measure-Learn
        4. Metrics
          1. Good Metrics
          2. Things to Consider with Metrics
          3. Creating Your Metrics
        5. If You Remember Nothing Else
      4. Chapter 4. Decision Making
        1. Introduction
        2. A Structure for Decision Making
          1. Determine the Decision Maker
          2. Select a Decision Mechanism
          3. Determine What Information Is Needed
          4. Make a Timely Decision
          5. Build Support with Peers/Stakeholders
          6. Communicate the Decision
          7. Enact the Decision
        3. Real Options
        4. Cognitive Biases
          1. Elicitation
          2. Analysis
          3. Decision Making
        5. If You Remember Nothing Else
      5. Chapter 5. Deliver Value
        1. Introduction
        2. Feature Injection
          1. Identify the Value
          2. Inject the Features
          3. Spot the Examples
        3. Minimum Viable Product
        4. Minimum Marketable Features
        5. If You Remember Nothing Else
      6. Chapter 6. Analysis with an Agile Mindset
        1. Introduction
        2. What Is the Need?
        3. What Are Some Possible Solutions?
        4. What Should We Do Next?
        5. What Are the Details of This Part (i.e., Telling the Story)?
        6. If You Remember Nothing Else
    10. Part II: Case Studies
      1. Chapter 7. Case Study: Conference Submission System
        1. Introduction
        2. The Need
        3. The Possible Solution(s)
        4. The Deliveries of Value
          1. Define-Build-Test
          2. The Incident of the Themes
          3. Agile2014
        5. Lessons Learned
      2. Chapter 8. Case Study: Commission System
        1. Introduction
        2. The Need
        3. The Possible Solution(s)
        4. The Deliveries of Value
        5. Lessons Learned
      3. Chapter 9. Case Study: Data Warehouse
        1. Introduction
        2. The Need
        3. The Possible Solution(s)
        4. The Deliveries of Value
        5. Lessons Learned
      4. Chapter 10. Case Study: Student Information System
        1. Introduction
        2. The Need
        3. The Possible Solution(s)
        4. Lessons Learned
    11. Part III: Techniques
      1. Chapter 11. Understanding Stakeholders
        1. Introduction
          1. Stakeholder Analysis
          2. User Analysis
        2. Stakeholder Map
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
        3. Commitment Scale
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resource
        4. User Modeling
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
        5. Persona
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
      2. Chapter 12. Understanding Context
        1. Introduction
        2. Purpose-Based Alignment Model
          1. What It Is
          2. The Quadrants Explained
          3. An Example
          4. When to Use It
          5. Why Use It
          6. How to Use It
          7. Caveats and Considerations
          8. Additional Resource
        3. Six Questions
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resource
        4. Context Leadership Model
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resource
      3. Chapter 13. Understanding the Need
        1. Introduction
        2. Decision Filters
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
        3. Project Opportunity Assessment
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resource
        4. Problem Statement
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resource
      4. Chapter 14. Understanding the Solution(s)
        1. Introduction
        2. Impact Mapping
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
        3. Story Mapping
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
        4. Collaborative Modeling
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
        5. Acceptance Criteria
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
        6. Examples
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
      5. Chapter 15. Organizing and Persisting Solution Information
        1. Introduction
        2. Discovery Board
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
        3. Definition of Ready
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
        4. Delivery Board
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
        5. Definition of Done
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
        6. System Documentation
          1. What It Is
          2. An Example
          3. When to Use It
          4. Why Use It
          5. How to Use It
          6. Caveats and Considerations
          7. Additional Resources
    12. Part IV: Resources
      1. Glossary
        1. Introduction
        2. Definitions
      2. References
    13. Index
    14. Code Snippets