Little by little...

Little by little...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Resist or Roll With It

At an agile conference that I attended recently, there was a session where each table was labeled with a role from an agile team. Attendees were to get up and sit at a table that had their role on it.

So I got up and scanned the room for my table. There were several for Product Owners, more for Developers and Testers and even a few for Directors (aka upper management since the conference was geared toward managers investigating agile practices.) But I still didn’t have a home. Where do the BA’s belong?

I finally asked an organizer and received the answer, “Oh, we didn’t think of that one when we were creating the labels.” Ouch! Am I obsolete? Not wanting to make a fuss, I found a seat with the testers since I have a hand in creating our automated tests (and there were cookies at their table J).

Since discovering agile, I have been only mildly troubled at not seeing the term ‘business analyst’ anywhere. Why should I worry? My contributions at work are valued and my boss frequently recognizes my worth to the team. And I enjoy what I do, despite some frustrations.

But I’m not na├»ve. I know that the times, they are a-changing. The tasks that I do now will be obsolete in a year, if not next week. The tools we use are constantly re-evaluated and replaced. The only constant in life is change and it’s my choice whether to resist it or roll with it.

That’s why I now write acceptance criteria with gherkin instead of requirements with a traceability matrix. And instead of getting ‘final’ approval for an un-read pile of documentation, I demo working software every two weeks. My idea of ‘change management’ now involves moving index cards on our story wall.

So I’m not worried. I know that my value is not in the tasks that I do. And it certainly is not in the title you give me. I will roll with it whatever you call me.