Naga Chokkanathan

Notes from BA Conference 2.0 Bangalore

Posted on: August 1, 2011

Last weekend (30th July, 2011) I attended BA Conference 2.0 in Bangalore, conducted by Thoughtworks India. It was a very fun and useful event and I enjoyed every session.

Basically, I am not a BA, but very much interested in the art of analysis – from that perspective, My notes from the session are below – Hope someone finds them useful:

Keynote speech by Rajeev from ThoughtWorks – abt challenges BAs face in agile projects due to frequent changes in reqmts

* You can’t ‘do’ agile, you have to ‘be’ agile :> (Not process, culture)

Next talk: Requirements Engineering for Large Scale Systems – Santhosh Mishra, Lead Research Engineer, Siemens Bangalore

* BAs r there 2 smoothen requirement changes within a project / sprint

* Requirements Engineering is much more than software

* biggest mistake: starting to think about a solution, before understanding the problem

* REBOK 2.2 – Requirements Engineering Body of Knowledge

* REBOK-Elicitation,Analysis,Specification,System Modelling,Validation, Reqmt Management

* BAs r in best position when they guide the customer, instead of recommending reqmnts

* BA: only people who r paid for openly admiting ‘I dont know’& then asking questions;)

* Don’t leave it to a single person’s imagination, instead build a system model

* Canoe (What’s the Spelling?) modelling for products – 3 levels of requirements: Assumed Requirements, Unidirectional requirements, Wow Factors

* Assumed requirements (Must have, But most likely Customer will never tell you)

* 2.Unidirectional reqmnts (Provide more, customer is happy), 3.Wow Factors (USP)

* Anything wow today, may become must have requirements later (Example:Camera in mobile)

* Its observed that Women make better BAs (What could be the reason? 🙂

* Enjoyable requirements: Involving the stakeholder / Use role play / theatre

* In every conversation, customer should have a take away

* BAs working together do better than those working alone

* If no one available, make a developer part-time BA and learn from each other

Next Speaker: Shweta Sharma, Thoughtworks – Dealing with difficult conversations

* Opinions vary, Stakes are high, Emotions run high – fear of spoiling / losing a relationship

* Why we need them? Change the status quo / bring improvements / enable growth / reach solutions

* How to deliver the message: Prepare, Give bad news up front, Be direct, Be clear, No blame frame,Seek first to understand,then to be understood, Paraphrase/Summarize,Be prepared for bad reaction,Have “I” Conversations

* “I” conversations =what I did wrong, taking part of the blame instead of simply pointing fingers

* go to any conversation with the mindset that everyone has done their best, it will be effective

Next Speaker: Preethi Madhu – Culture and Business Agility

* Attributes of agility: Adaptive, Responsive, Effective, Ease of movement

* Think about bringing mindset changes, instead of simply focusing on agile tools

* Organization Culture: It’s not your / my culture, but a third culture accepted by everyone

* Of course, there may be local flavors to an organizational culture

* Physical infrastructure (of office / showroom) is an important part of your org culture

* Policy is a reflection of org culture, not the other way

* Thoughtworks reception area has a timeline updated upto 2093 (the year we become a 100 year old company) … Smart 🙂

Next Speaker – Pinkesh Shah – Product Management and Business Analysis

* When you are doing it for the first time, How to identify a MVP – Minimally viable product

* Customer tells what they need – faster horse, Prd Mgr should reach “car” from there (Henry Ford’s quote)

* MVP: Minimally acceptable set of features, from which you can grow to a full / real product

* Productizing process – 5 steps – Understanding Value, Creating value, Capturing Value / Pricing, Communicating value, Delivering Value

* 1. Understanding Value (Customer value modeling)

* 2. Creating Value (Define products)

* 3. Capturing Value (Value based pricing)

* 4. Communicating Value (Positioning Value Preposition)

* 5. Delivering Value (Value Channels Network)

* A product manager orchestrates these 5 steps

* Adaptive Productizing Framework – Roles of a product manager: 1. Market Analysis (Choosing to Build), 2. Strategic Planning (Building Profitably), 3. Product Planning (Building it right), 4. Go to market (Marketing it right), 5. Sales Enablement (Selling effectively)

* A Prod Mgr’s II (influential index) matters a lot within the company

* 3 Ingredients of a successful Prod Mgr: Functional Skills, Soft Skills, Domain expertise

Next Speaker – Prem Kumar – Looking Beyond your Clients – The CATWOE Checklist

* Easiest thing, ask your client – But Does your client know the requirements?

* Stakeholders commissioning requirements may not be the people who know the requirements

* Think of new dimensions – CATWOE checklist

* C=Customers, A = Actors implementing your solution,T=Transformation process, W=World View,O=Owners / stakeholders who own the process,E=Environmental Constraints

Next Speaker – Rohit Bansal – Solutioning for Social Impact Projects

* Social Impact Projects/ beneficiaries: low literacy, min xposure 2 technology,Bottom of pyramid,Susceptible to exploitation

* focus on change in behaviour, create sense of empowerment,+ve change in ecosystem, need to sustain the change

* Solution must be:Easy2 use,undrstand,access,evolve,focus human behavior,free/cheap,immediate value


2 Responses to "Notes from BA Conference 2.0 Bangalore"

Hello Sir ,
I too attended the Thoughtworks BA Conf, but had to leave after the Fun game due to another errand ,, Per my observation the best session in the morning was that of Santosh’s . He explained a lot with analogies rather than lengthy ppts.. Could I use some of your notes about the Conf since I missed the post lunch session?
btw I am regular reader of your tamil blog and admire your way of writing,,,,


Sure Raj – Feel free to use these notes

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