Damian Wilson & Geoff Griffin – Analysing Agile: How to make Agile make sense

Popular Agile practices often appear to defy reason and common sense. As dedicated critical thinkers, Business Analysts can be particularly susceptible to some of the sanity eroding aspects of Agile. While they are often quick to publicly embrace Agile, often they secretly lie awake at night worrying. This presentation attempts to make sense of some of the more perplexing aspects of the world of Agile.

The Agile revolution has taken the world by storm. Businesses don’t quite know what it is, but they know it sounds great and they need it! It promises that things will be cheaper, faster and free of boring requirements documentation. The mere mention of Agile can almost guarantee training approval or lift attendance at conference presentations. But Agile does not necessarily make things clearer or easier for a Business Analyst.

After searching in vain for a BA role in Scrum for Dummies even the most stable business analysts can begin to feel confused and uneasy. After all, many Business Analysts have only recently convinced their Project Manager that they are not there to provide basic project administration, execute test scripts or collect dry cleaning. Now they must face fresh uncertainty around the role of the BA if Agile has not caused it to vanish entirely.

Agile confronts Business Analysts with a number of baffling problems.

  • When do we examine the current business context (process, rules, data, stakeholders etc.)?
  • If anyone can add a user story – who analyses the requirements?
  • How do I manage traceability, dependencies and change impact analysis when my requirements are a set of story cards?
  • How re-usable are these elaborated user stories?
  • How will I deal with thousands of user stories?

To answer such questions Damian and Geoff spoke to a number of organisations about Business Analysis and the use of Agile. This, combined with their own experience as BA leaders, led to some surprising discoveries. This presentation shares an analysis of Agile that makes sense of some of its more peculiar practices and identifies a few areas where it doesn’t quite make sense at all.


Damian Wilson – BA Practice Manager at DST Bluedoor

Damian is the President of the Australian chapter of the IIBA. He spent six years leading BA Services for a consulting company. He left in 2015 to assume responsibility for Enterprise BA capability at DST Bluedoor where he discovered they were preparing to adopt Agile.


Geoff Griffin – BA Practice Manager at DST Bluedoor

Geoff has established an enviable reputation as a strategic thinking leader within the business analysis community.

With a strong Business Analysis background that spans over 10 years, Geoff has earned the respect of his peers within the Australian BA community as an experienced leader major BA capabilities.

Demonstrating a deep understanding of the BA profession, Geoff’s recent focus has been benchmarking and strategic workforce planning for a leading Business Analyst capability in Wealth management.