All Those Meetings!?!

June 29, 2006 — Posted by Jim Trott

Recently, I had the chance to interact with some business leaders about Lean and Agile. One idea that resonated with them, as well as with this excellent Product Owner I had the chance to work with, is as follows.

Business Analysts, when they first hear that this is going to be an Agile project, often say, “Agile! Oh no! All those meetings!!!” Agile has a reputation for lots of meetings. Which is never fun to contemplate! It takes a mindshift to understand why Agile places such a premium on “high bandwidth communication” between the Business and the Developers.

The Product Owner confided to me that, in reality, More...the Business often resorts to relying on the Developers to help them think about their projects. Yes, they are the business SMEs, but they don’t really know what questions they should be asking, what thought they ought to be having about the product. So, they defer to the Developers to help them figure that out. One of the reasons he likes Agile is that the Business is learning sooner how to think about their project and can see more clearly what the project will be like in the future.

So, when he hears “Agile” he thinks “All those meetings”… and smiles because he does value meetings that result in value. He wants the developers to help the Business understand what needs to be done. It helps them become better business analysts, themselves!

And then he pauses. "Now, I have to think hard about how to get those business analysts freed up to be available to the project!"

But, that's his job :-)

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About the author | Jim Trott

Jim Trott is a senior consultant for Net Objectives. He has used object-oriented and pattern-based analysis techniques throughout his 20 year career in knowledge management and knowledge engineering. He is the co-author of Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design, Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility, and the Lean-Agile Pocket Guide for Scrum Teams.



        

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