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IIBA announce Agile Extension to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge

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Kevin Brennan, Vice President - Professional Development, from the International Institute for Business Analysis (IIBA(tm)) announced the release of a draft of the Introduction for the Agile Extension to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK(tm)) at the Agile 2010 conference today. 

The intent of the draft release is to get feedback from the Agile Business Analysis community on the applicability and application of the various business analysis techniques on Agile projects.  

The IIBA(tm) is the professional association for business analysis, with over 14000 members in nearly 100 chapters around the world.  Founded in 2003 in Canada the IIBA(tm) defines standards of practice, offers certification, defines competencies and provides a community of practice for business analysis practitioners to share knowledge and experience around the world. 

The BABOK(tm) defines the knowledge areas and commonly used techniques of business analysis.  The current version of the BABOK(tm) contains a number of practices that are commonly used on Agile projects.  The BABOK(tm) is not intended to present a prescriptive approach to analysis but is frequently interpreted as advocating a "waterfall" approach.  With the continued uptake of Agile techniques, many business analysts are struggling to understand how the role changes in Agile projects and how to adapt to an environment of building software in small increments and just-in-time requirements.

The IIBA(tm) recognized this as a problem and in 2009 established a volunteer group tasked with preparing material for the Agile extension to the BABOK(tm).  The intent of this extension is to provide people undertaking analysis in Agile teams with a set of tools and techniques that they can use, and provide them with some useful guidelines as to how and when to apply their skills to deliver the best value to their teams, projects and organisations.

Another area of risk that the IIBA(tm) recognized is the likelihood of "weak" or "sham" Agile implementations in organisations where "doing Agile" is not accompanied by any real cultural or governance change and Agile is used as an excuse to abandon existing practices without applying the Agile disciplines.  The Agile Extension to the BABOK(tm) will equip people in those organisations with the knowledge of Agile good practices so they can challenge weak Agile implementations.

In late 2009 a call was put out to the IIBA(tm) membership asking for volunteers with Agile project experience to contribute to developing the extension.  Simultaneously Chris Matts and others formed the Agile BA Requirements Yahoo group to provide a place for the analysis community to engage on the use of analysis techniques and approaches in Agile projects.  The Yahoo group has been a source of and early reviewers for many of the ideas that are feeding into the extension.

The IIBA(tm) team, led by David Morris, has prepared a public draft of the introduction to the extension.  This is available from the IIBA website - they invite feedback and comments from the community to help make it a worthwhile and useful product for business analysis in Agile projects.

There will be an Open-Space session Agile 2010 on Thursday 12 August where members of the extension team will be seeking input on the various practices that are available and their relevance to Agile projects. 



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