Many organisations are experimenting with applying agile techniques. However, without a good understanding of the agile mindset, this often does not lead to the expected results. At the latest BBC Conference, I talked to Kathy Berkidge, who frequently speaks on agile and how it enables good collaboration. She also discusses the relation of agile and mindfulness, which is maybe a bit unexpected but can be a big enabler!
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?
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.
Agile and lean thinking are starting to produce good results, not only in the world of start-ups, but also in IT environments in established organisations. But more value can be created, and more waste eliminated, by bringing lean principles to the business and to the business analysis profession. There are lots of great resources available online. In this post, I gathered some material that inspired me.
When you are working in a start-up with a small number of people, you can take decisions quickly, independent of existing products or services, strategies, organisational structures and so on. That’s one of the advantages of being “two kids in a garage”. In theory, you could simulate such an environment in an established organisation. In reality, it proofs difficult to keep corporate interference out of the way.
While spending some time in Rio for facilitating a business case training, I got to see quite a lot of surfers (mostly before work hours, mind you). At the same time, I came across a video about the Samsung Galaxy Surfboard. The video shows a surfboard with a LED display, enabling the surfer to check weather and water conditions, like the frequency of waves, and to receive text messages. It’s a nice example of how technology can be integrated in just about any aspect of our life.
This demonstrates how digital transformation is blending online and offline worlds, or analog and digital worlds, into a single human experience. It shows how technology has become a powerful enabler for improving our lives. But technology still is just that: an enabler.