Wednesday, August 02, 2006

OK, no more rants on Agile from me...

I posed the issue about Agile saying "don't do requirements up front, because they will change" in a forum at and Scott Ambler himself weighed with the best answer yet on this, so go on over there and check it out. An email conversation with Peter Coffee has also helped me a great deal.

My conclusion is that originators of Agile did not see it as Extreme, but rather as Flexible; that I can understand. So, no more rants from me on Agile... but now I want to what in our profession is still bugging everyone out there. Please leave a comment, and if i get enough stuff, I will publish a "top ten' list.


Bob Savage said...

Something that has been bothering me lately:

I am seeing a lot of job openings that are titled "Business Analyst", but the details of the position make it clear that they want a Software Developer, Database Analyst, Programmer/Analyst, QA Engineer, or something else. I suspect that people are trying to fill these positions cheaply by calling them Business Analyst positions, but, notably, the position announcements lack any mention of Requirements Elicitation.

My opinion. If you want an expert at writing PL/SQL, advertise appropriately, (i.e. as Oracle DB developer), and pay accordingly.

I personally think the BA role is an important one, and I am sick of seeing the position treated in this way. I am certainly looking forward to the certification process that should be launched next year by the IIBA, but I am a little worried that the result is going to be similar to what happened with Project Managers: now BAs are expected to be certified Project Managers, because companies don't want to pay to fill a Project Manager position. Soon dish washers and janitors will be required to have CISCO and IIBA certifications, and no one will be hiring network administrators and Business Analysts.

David Wright said...

Funny, I just got an email describing a PM job but called a Business Analyst, even wanted PMP certification. Now, I know a lot of BA's did the work and got PMP certified because there was no BA certification yet; power to you, but if you do both PM and BA work on a project, I hope you are getting more money.

The more common mis-use of the BA title are those that are looking for specific product experience like SAP or Peoplesoft. I think the better name for that is Application Analyst, one who takes defined requirements and implements the app to best meet those requirements. Such people are in high demand and maybe do well in compensation as well. However, a BA is still needed to define those requirements.

Maybe its the title itself, Business Analyst; it is certainly open to interpretation. With Project Managers, Designers, Programmers, Testers and such, it is clear what each of these jobs do. Are we stuck with the Business Analyst title? Probably. The only similar title I have seen is actually Requirements Analyst, but somehow that feels too specific and limiting, so I will stick with BA for now. Given the mounting momentum of the IIBA, perhaps the time will be coming soon when ads for BA positions really are for BAs.

David Wright

Bob Savage said...

Maybe its the title itself, Business Analyst; it is certainly open to interpretation.

Yeah, I have thought about this myself. "Open to interpretation" has its up-side and its down-side.

I wonder if the people who most need a Business Analyst know what a Business Analyst is. These are people who don't have a good understanding of the problem (or opportunity) they are facing. They probably just know that a problem exists, and that they use Technology_X (be it ASP, Oracle, J2EE, or any other thing) so they look for someone with skills in that area. (Not understanding that a BA doesn't need skills in the solution space to bring value to a project).

About Me

Ontario, Canada
I have been an IT Business Analyst for 25 years, so I must have learned something. Also been on a lot of projects, which I have distilled into the book "Cascade": follow the link to the right to see more.