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It's Time to Put Value in the Driver's Seat
By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman
In ProjectTimes

Deliver value. It is the mantra of every agile or lean team and a big part of the conversation among traditional or waterfall teams as well. You would expect, then, for all teams to define a product’s value explicitly and transparently….Read On

Exploring Product Options to Arrive at the Right Requirements
By Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener
In BA/PM Times

When is a so-called requirement really required? And is it the “right” requirement? The answers depend on many facets: stakeholders, value, planning horizon, and so on. This article explores using options as a means to identify….Read On

Turning Competing Stakeholders into
Collaborating Product Partners

By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman
In BA/PM Times

On time. On budget. Error free. These are crucial delivery goals for any organization. Yet they are rendered almost meaningless if the product fails to deliver value. That’s why successful delivery teams work hand-in-hand….Read On

Discover to Deliver
By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman
In InfoQ

Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman have written a book titled Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis. The book addresses the planning and analysis activities needed in implementing business products and business….Read On

Avoiding too many user stories in
software development

By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman
In TechTarget

Today, the user story is often front and center in development projects, according to EBG Consultingco-principals Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman. That said, they are seeing development teams creating many unnecessary user stories….Read On

The risks of Agile software development:
Overcoming feature creep

By Ellen Gottesdiener
In TechTarget

What is the most common risk of Agile software development? The biggest risk of any technology project is creeping user requirements. Feature creep, also known as scope creep, is common in most software projects….Read On

Amplifying Agile Practices with Business Analysis
By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman

When software development teams adopt lean/agile principles, they focus on delivering a product that yields the highest value in the shortest possible time. In this effort, they soon discover that efficient and effective….Read On

Collaborative and Creative
Business Analysis

By Mary Gorman
In PMI Global Congress Proceedings

The success of any business analysis effort hinges on effective stakeholder collaboration. To engage and equip stakeholders from diverse disciplines, good business analysis uses an artful mix of techniques to identify business needs….Read On

Straight Dope on Scope
By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Projects at Work

Changes to scope are inevitable, but they aren’t created equal. Good scope changes occur as you discover requirements that serve project goals and align to product vision. Here are three tips for systematically managing product scope….Read On

Straight Dope on Scope, Part 2
By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Projects at Work

Project teams will always feel pressure to reflect changes in stakeholders’ needs by expanding the scope of products being developed. Rather than resist these changes, anticipate and manage them. Here are three more tips….Read On

What's Down with Agile Documentation?
By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman
In Project Times

Recently we worked with an Agile team that was building an FDA-regulated medical device. Some team members were worried about how to produce the required verification and validation documents. “What do we do?” they asked us….Read On

Strengthen Your Discovery Muscle
By Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener
In Better Software

In a recent interview in the New York Times, Panera Bread co-CEO Ronald M. Shaich talks about the importance of developing an organization’s “discovery muscle” as well as its “delivery muscle.” [1] Most companies have worked hard….Read On

Is 'Agile software documentation' an oxymoron?
By Ellen Gottesdiener
In TechTarget

Some application developers and software QA pros think Agile software documentation doesn’t really exist, or that Agile development methods requires us to shift focus away from documentation. Is that really true?….Read On

Who Should Drive Agile Planning and
Software Requirements Analysis?

By Mary Gorman
In TechTarget

Who is the person in Agile who drives the software requirements process, particularly the software requirements analysis and planning? It really varies. In a Scrum environment, for example there may be someone who is the Scrum Master….Read On

Agile process: Structured Conversations
Build Business-Ready software

By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman
In TechTarget

Many teams are good at delivering working software throughout the Agile process, but not so good at building software that meets business needs. Often, tight deadlines spur teams to start coding before fully identifying business….Read On

Secrets of Successful Agile Analysis: How to Make Your Business Analysis Skills Indispensable
By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman
In Bridging the Gap

Are you exploring a business analysis career in an agile software development environment? Are you concerned about keeping your business analysis skills relevant in an increasingly agile world? Would you be interested in learning….Read On

Harvesting Stakeholder Perspectives to
Organize Your Backlog

By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman
In Better Software

Every agile or Scrum team knows the dilemma of organizing the backlog of project requirements. It’s like cleaning out the garage. You know you’ll have to handle everything sooner or later, but where do you start? How do you organize….Read On

It's the Goal, Not the Role: The Value of
Business Analysis in Scrum

By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman
In StickyMinds

In agile development, what happens to the traditional business analyst? Consider Scrum, currently the most popular agile method. In Scrum, there is no “business analyst” role. In fact, there is not an explicit role for tester, project manager….Read On

Agile Planning and Analysis:
Synchronizing to Deliver Value

By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman
In Better Software

Agile is about the continuous incremental delivery of valuable, market-ready software. Your agile team iteratively explores and evaluates product needs—commonly referred to as requirements—by planning and analyzing what to build….Read On

Are Your Software Development Practices
Jumping the Shark?

By Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener
In SD Times

In September 1977, the TV sitcom “Happy Days” had über-hip Fonzie, clad in leather jacket and swimshorts, water-ski over a shark to prove his mettle—and at that moment even diehard fans knew that the show was past….Read On

Agile Requirements: Not an Oxymoron
By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Agile Record

Adult children. Jumbo shrimp. Seriously funny. I’m sure you recognize these expressions as oxymorons—self-contradictory phrases, often with an ironic meaning. Should we add “Agile requirements” to the list? Does Agile development fit….Read On

How to Manage User Stories in
Your Agile Development Projects

By Sue Burk
In TechTarget

In Agile environments, are the user stories the requirements? Do the details get documented somewhere? Often, the details are documented. User stories are small, concise statements of the functionality that is needed for the agile team ….Read On

Slicing Requirements For Agile Success
By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman
In StickyMinds

If you’ve struggled to find collaborative ways for your team and customer to understand evolving product needs while delivering value on a steady basis, you’re not alone. Challenges include accurately estimating….Read On

Playing at Work: Games that Deliver Value
By Mary Gorman
In Sticky Minds

Whoever claims that work has no room for play or play might not be a form of work may not know about the serious purpose of agile games.You can learn from games, use them to instigate change, innovate, and make product decisions….Read On

Experts Take on Business Analysis and Agile
By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Modern Analyst

If you ask Business Analysts what they think about ‘Agile’, you’re likely to get a mixed bag of answers. Some are curious about what Agile is, while others are interested or excited in the benefits of Agile methodologies….Read On

Managing Your Analysis Debt
By Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener
In Better Software

We recently heard about an agile project that implemented four user stories. The first story began, “As a sales associate…”; The second story began, “As a sales rep …”; and the third and fourth stories began, “As a sales consultant …” These stories….Read On

A View to Agile Requirements
By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Modern Analyst

The patterns, workshop design guidelines, and collaboration techniques I describe in Requirements by Collaboration are agnostic to product or software development method. When I wrote the book, agile methods were beginning….Read On

Agile Requirements by Collaboration: Making Smart Choices about What and When to Build
By Ellen Gottesdiener
In InformIT

Requirements workshops have always had elements of agility. These workshops build and sustain collaboration among technical and business people, generate shared understanding and mutual trust, incorporate hard-nosed….Read On

Agile Business Analysis in Flow:
The Work of the Agile Analyst (Part 1)

By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Modern Analyst

Agile is here, and it’s coming soon to an organization near you-if it’s not already there. As a business analyst, are you ready to make the transition to this value-centered development approach? How will your role change?….Read On

Agile Business Analysis in Flow:
The Work of the Agile Analyst (Part 2)

By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Modern Analyst

In Part 1 of “Business Analysis in Flow – The Work of the Agile Analyst ,” I talked about the new skills and attitudes business analysts need to bring to agile development. When your organization adopts this value‐centered approach….Read On

What's Going Right Around Here? Using AI to
Improve Your Agile Requirements Process

By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Sticky Minds

Instead of focusing on the problems, focus on what works. That is the simple premise of ʺappreciative
inquiry.ʺ In this weekʹs column, Ellen Gottesdiener explains how to help your team focus on the processes that work by outlining….Read On

The Agile Analyst: Eyes for Waste
By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Modern Analyst

As an agile analyst, you know how easy it is to get lost in a blizzard of project details. The way to keep focused is to remind yourself of the chief reason for using agile processes: to deliver business value for your organization. With that in mind….Read On

Team Retrospectives - for Better
Iteration Assessment

By Ellen Gottesdiener
In The Rational Edge

To build a positive project team it is essential to make self-reflection and continuous learning a part of your organization’s culture. Perhaps the single most efficient way to do this is by incorporating ongoing team retrospectives….Read On

Amplifying Collaboration with Guerilla Facilitation
By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Sticky Minds

Do you ever feel frustrated that you can’t intervene during group gatherings gone astray? How can you take action when you’re not the one in charge? Do you wonder how you can “lead from behind” to improve the quality….Read On

Requirements by Collaboration:
Getting it Right the First Time

By Ellen Gottesdiener
In IEEE Software

There is plenty of hard and anecdotal evidence that the most critical factor for your product’s success is your stakeholders’ involvement in defining requirements. Put another way, in-sufficient stakeholder involvement is often cited….Read On

Decide How to Decide: A Collaboration Pattern
By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Software Development Magazine

Of all the legacies of the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion, perhaps none is more chilling than the words of the Rogers Commission’s report, the official analysis of what went wrong. “There was a serious flaw,” says the report….Read On

You Know When It's Not There: How Trust
Enables and Enhances Collaboration

By Ellen Gottesdiener
In Cutter Journal

Great products are built by teams that collaborate in a healthy and transparent manner, and trust is a key ingredient of effective collaboration. On a software project, trust is needed between business
and technical people….Read On