Thursday, April 11, 2013


Hello, and welcome to The Subversive BA.

Let's talk about why I'm here (and hopefully why you're here).

This is a blog primarily about Business Analysis, mostly in the context of Agile software development.  It's aimed primarily at people currently doing or curious about Agile development, and who in some way interact with the concept of "how do we decide what we want to do?"  Which is hopefully everyone working in Agile development environments.

Note that I'm saying "Business Analysis" not "Business Analysts" above.  That's deliberate.  There are people who will argue there's no need for "Business Analyst" as a role on Agile teams.  And they have a point.  The "traditional" Business Analyst who served primarily as a separator between "the people who need stuff" and "the people who solve their problems" is an inherently anti-Agile concept.

That said, even on Agile teams (possibly ESPECIALLY on Agile teams) there's need for Business Analysis.  There's a need to manage key questions like "What are our goals?"  "How should we attack our problems?"  "Are we aligned across the team on what we're doing?"  "What should we do next?"  "How do we know when we're done?"  For purposes of this blog, if you're working on these kinds of questions, whether it's your primary responsibility or just as a part of what you do, congratulations.  You're doing Business Analysis. 

What's so Subversive about this blog?  We'll find out together, but it stems primarily from my belief that making great software is hard.  What works is situation and team dependent.  One size rarely if ever fits all.  And yet there's a lot of effort in the industry to move towards standardized approaches.  Best practices.  Such ideas have their place - it's hard to learn without a framework.  But there are many in the industry who subscribe to the myth that there's a "right" way to build software in all cases.  I like throwing rocks at such people.

My goal isn't mindless contrarianism (though that's always fun).  Adaptability, openness, and evolution are the key drivers pushing forward the quest for great solutions to important problems.  Letting our ideas and thinking ossify on any definition of "good enough" is dangerous.  Shaking things up may be painful.  But it's how we learn.  And learning is good. 

Enjoy the show!

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