Beyond Requirements

Beyond Requirements : Analysis with an Agile Mindset

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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).
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 179 x 229 x 16mm | 480g
  • Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 0321834550
  • 9780321834553
  • 469,817

Table of contents

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xxv

About the Author xxvii



Part I: Ideas 1



Chapter 1: Guiding Principles 3

Introduction 3

Deliver Value 4

Collaborate 5

Iterate 7

Simplify 8

Consider Context 9

Decide Wisely 10

Reflect and Adapt 11

Conclusion 12

If You Remember Nothing Else 12



Chapter 2: Helpful Concepts 15

Introduction 15

Needs and Solutions 15

Outcome and Output 19

Discovery and Delivery 20

If You Remember Nothing Else 23



Chapter 3: Influence of Lean Startup 25

Introduction 25

Customer Development 25

Build-Measure-Learn 29

Metrics 31

If You Remember Nothing Else 38



Chapter 4: Decision Making 39

Introduction 39

A Structure for Decision Making 39

Real Options 46

Cognitive Biases 48

If You Remember Nothing Else 53



Chapter 5: Deliver Value 55

Introduction 55

Feature Injection 55

Minimum Viable Product 63

Minimum Marketable Features 65

If You Remember Nothing Else 67



Chapter 6: Analysis with an Agile Mindset 69

Introduction 69

What Is the Need? 71

What Are Some Possible Solutions? 71

What Should We Do Next? 72

What Are the Details of This Part (i.e., Telling the Story)? 73

If You Remember Nothing Else 73



Part II: Case Studies 75



Chapter 7: Case Study: Conference Submission System 77

Introduction 77

The Need 77

The Possible Solution(s) 78

The Deliveries of Value 79

Lessons Learned 92



Chapter 8: Case Study: Commission System 95

Introduction 95

The Need 96

The Possible Solution(s) 96

The Deliveries of Value 97

Lessons Learned 98



Chapter 9: Case Study: Data Warehouse 101

Introduction 101

The Need 101

The Possible Solution(s) 102

The Deliveries of Value 103

Lessons Learned 110



Chapter 10: Case Study: Student Information System 111

Introduction 111

The Need 111

The Possible Solution(s) 114

Lessons Learned 118



Part III: Techniques 121



Chapter 11: Understanding Stakeholders 123

Introduction 123

Stakeholder Map 124

Commitment Scale 129

User Modeling 133

Persona 138



Chapter 12: Understanding Context 141

Introduction 141

Purpose-Based Alignment Model 142

Six Questions 147

Context Leadership Model 150



Chapter 13: Understanding the Need 159

Introduction 159

Decision Filters 160

Project Opportunity Assessment 163

Problem Statement 167



Chapter 14: Understanding the Solution(s) 171

Introduction 171

Impact Mapping 173

Story Mapping 177

Collaborative Modeling 182

Acceptance Criteria 188

Examples 192



Chapter 15: Organizing and Persisting Solution Information 199

Introduction 199

Discovery Board 200

Definition of Ready 204

Delivery Board 206

Definition of Done 211

System Documentation 213



Part IV: Resources 219



Glossary 221

References 245

Index 249
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About Kent J. McDonald

Kent J. McDonald uncovers better ways of delivering value by doing it and helping others do it. His years of experience include work in business analysis, strategic planning, project management, and product development in a variety of industries, including financial services, health insurance, performance marketing, human services, nonprofit, and automotive. He is active in the business analysis and agile software development communities helping people share stories about what does and does not work.



Kent has a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from Kent State University.



Kent is also a coauthor of Stand Back and Deliver: Accelerating Business Agility.
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