5 Agile Practices that Give You A Competitive Advantage

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Dananthi Arnott lays out the burden of the business analyst and the path to product owner, with 5 Agile Practices To Give Yourself A Competitive Advantage.

Dananthi Arnott is an agile coach for a large financial organisation, where she promotes and inspires teams to create customer centric products through innovation, using agile methodology. As a catalyst for change, her focus is on helping individuals and teams resolve their challenges by taking a non-directive approach to coaching and building self-organised, high-performing teams within the organisation.

Dananthi’s skills and experience come from her background as a trainer, agile coach, business systems analyst and software developer. She is an instructor for FrontRowAgile.com and has published on-line courses especially designed for Product Owners and Business Analysts.

Congratulations on your recent workshop at the Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa, it was well received by many. For those who weren’t fortunate to attend, could you give us a synopsis of what your session was about?

Yes of course, the goal was to introduce the business analyst community to the Agile product owner role and help them learn through class exercises “a few best practices that would give them a competitive advantage”.

By exploring the benefits of change driven product development, where business value is delivered iteratively and incrementally, I encouraged business analysts to try the approach out on their current projects.

The topic is clearly an area that you are personally passionate about. Why do you feel this subject is relevant and important for the business analysis profession?

When we discuss the skills matrix and what it means to have a cross-functional team we don’t seem to call out business analysis as a necessary skill. To me the

… business analysis knowledge areas are key to developing essential skills for the product owner role.

I feel that the product owner role is the natural progression for business analysts interested in working in an agile environment.

Having shared your ideas with the business analysis community. What key points would you like people to take-away, reflect and act upon?

The business analyst community is comprised of people who want to build the right product. They work with all team members and customers to make sure business needs are well communicated and there is a shared understanding of the business value being delivered.

Traditionally, they have had the burden of formulating the solutions in isolation with the customer, but

… in the agile work environment solution development is a collaborative effort that takes place with the entire team participating.

It is a much better experience and, I believe, the right way to build great products.

Now that you’ve had time to better absorb Inter-View Volume II, what are your thoughts on this initiative and the value it adds to the business analysis profession?

As long as Inter-View keeps its focus on Business Analysts and the advancement of the profession I am a fan.

Business analysis summit spoiled in terms of the learning and networking opportunities. What was your greatest personal insight taken from the business analysis conference?

The interests and enthusiasm the business analysts brought to the conference was inspiring. Judging from the participation in the agile workshop and the Agile Open Jam,

… the business analysts need more information on making their transition to agile a success.

The agile community needs to do more to include business analysts in the discussion so that the business analysis community feels empowered to transform how they work.

If I’m not mistaken, this was your first experience of South African business analysis. What impressions do you leave with of the local business analyst community?

It was an absolute pleasure and honestly, in my limited experience of

… having worked in the United States and Canada, the business analyst community of South Africa is no different.

We all seem to have the same challenges, drivers and motivators.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Business analysts bring skills that are central to working in a collaborative environment.

I hope more business analysts make the transition to agile, …

and we will see much higher numbers the next time you display the charts in the Inter-View Report.

Thank you for providing me with this opportunity to share my views, it has been a pleasure to be a part of the BA Summit in South Africa.

5 Agile Practices To Give Yourself A Competitive Advantage with Dananthi Arnott

Download Dananthi Arnott‘s slide-deck from BA Summit SA 2016 to get more guidance on training from 5 Agile Practices To Give Yourself A Competitive Advantage. Share your thoughts on agile practices to give yourself a competitive advantage with @Dananthi and @Newbert over on Twitter.

About Joe Newbert

Joe is a consultant, a writer, a speaker and above all a teacher, who spends most of his time at the Business Change Academy helping people to grow their skills, bring meaningful change and see their career soar.

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