Lean and agile have become a thing in most organisations. They have a significant impact on how projects are run. As a consequence, they heavily influence what people expect from business analysis.
But what exactly is lean business analysis? Can and should analysis work be performed in an agile way?
Whenever I speak at a conference or other event, I ask the audience who is “innovating”. All hands always go up. But what is “innovation”, apart from a hype and a buzz word?
Let me draw from a few definitions I quite like.
Have you ever been in a situation where stakeholders presented you a solution to analyse and get implemented? Where your devotion to your analysis work uncovered more insights on the real need or root cause, and brought up alternative solutions? Where you have been unable to convince your stakeholders hereof and really influence the project’s focus?
Having impact is not only of direct benefit for your organisation, it’s also important to feel valued for your work.
When I recently cut a slice of brown bread for breakfast, I discovered a white blob in the middle. Strange. Yet I ate it, and you know what? I did not die. Seriously, I didn’t even get sick.
We really need to be ok with having more white blobs when innovating.
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in a lot of organisations is getting started with early customer validation. But it’s not so much an organisational issue, it’s mostly a personal issue. Do you have what it takes to get out and talk to potential customers?
Many executives admit they struggle with turning their strategy into a business reality. What can business analysis do about it?
So your team is working hard, iterating on your product, getting customer feedback along the way and turning it into a great solution. But are you sure you are going in the right direction?
During trainings and workshops, I often tell about the Zappos example to explain the concepts of hypotheses and cheap validation. How many pairs of shoes did Zappos have in stock when they first launched their web site? Zero.
One time, after the Zappos example, I got an interesting question, showing how hard it is to grasp the essence of hypothesis discovery and validation.