Matthew Kern wrote an article on LinkedIn titled “Agile is Dead” that seems to be going somewhat viral among the project and development communities. As of the time I am posting this it has almost 150,000 view and is up over 20,000 views just since this morning.
In it he says (among other things):
“All these hyped trends have a lifespan. Management fads especially have a lifespan. In the modern environment these waves are closer together, and closer, and closer. The end of the curve can mean unpopularity, few sales, reduced margins i.e “death”.
“Who said Agile is dead? The founders of Agile and its practitioners said it, not me. Don’t go thinking I made this up. (I claim nothing myself regarding its current death, I just report the claims of many developers. It’s dead with or without me or my post. “
The article is full of links to supporting content and it’s definitely worth a read in my opinion. You may not agree with him, but the article and its many links may change your views a bit. Or not. 🙂
I have recently found myself wondering if we have fundamentally mis-identified the core value proposition of business analysis, or if my view of the issue is skewed by past experience? So I thought I would lay out my thoughts and see what others have to say.
First, let’s look at the IIBA definition of business analysis from the BABOK v3:
“Business Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.“[emphasis mine] 
And while we’re at it, let’s check the PMI definition from their recent Business Analysis Practice Guide:
“In short, business analysis is the set of activities performed to identify business needs and recommend relevant solutions; and to elicit, document, and manage requirements.” 
Since the PMI definition is virtually identical other than tacking on an explicit function around requirements, let’s use the IIBA definition from here on.
The first thing I take from the definitions is that both the IIBA and PMI seem to identify the core purpose of Business Analysis as being the practice of defining needs and recommending solutions.
But what is the core value proposition of Business Analysis?
With Google deciding to punish sites that aren’t mobile-friendly I decided to change the WordPress theme I use to one that is responsive and thus mobile friendly. While this should make Google happy the theme I ended up using (so far) is pretty plain and basic. Hopefully you all, the readers, don’t mind.
If you have feedback though, feel free to add comments to this post. If enough folks comment on something, I will explore other options.
There seems to be a trend going on in the business analysis world for relabeling things that were previously done with new “agile” labels. Bob the BA has done that in this recent article for Modern Analyst where he took what we used to call “tailor your communication to your audience and their needs” and put it under the “Minimally Viable Deliverable” name. However, he makes a lot of good points in this article and if you aren’t familiar with the principle already maybe attaching an agile-like buzzword will make you curious enough to read it and learn.
Besides, how could not want to recommend something written by someone who describes their job as “provid[ing] badass business analysis training, consulting and mentoring services”. 🙂