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Agile Fundamentals


Duration: Classroom - 2 Days
Why Take This Course:

This two days comprehensive course builds your knowledge and skills in the agile approach to defining and analyzing requirements. You will learn about the role of the business analyst on agile projects, and how to write user stories, which are the most common method of representing requirements in agile methods.  You will learn techniques for building and managing a Product Backlog of user stories, and techniques for prioritizing requirements for releases and iterations.

You will learn the conditions of success for agile methods, how to scale the agile approach for large teams, and how to adapt your current business analysis methods to become more agile.

The agile method Scrum will be used as a reference method during the course, but the techniques described also apply to other agile methods.

You will apply what you learn in a series of hands-on activities using a realistic case study that takes you through the agile requirements process, with example solutions.

This course can also be taught on-site for a project team. The team’s project can be used as the basis for the course activities, resulting in the creation of key artifacts, such as the Product Backlog, the selection and prioritization of themes and stories for releases and iterations, and release and iteration plans.

Learn How To:

The course will help you practically learn on the following areas:

  • Describe the agile values and principles
  • Explain agile roles and responsibilities
  • Describe agile business analysis activities
  • Develop user stories and acceptance tests
  • Define nonfunctional requirements and business rules using an agile approach
  • Use user story mapping to identify key functionality for a release
  • Describe and apply release theme and user story prioritization techniques
  • Estimate user story size using story points and planning poker
  • Create release and iteration plans based on user stories
  • Describe techniques for negotiating changes to user stories during an iteration
  • Describe the conditions of success for implementing agile
  • Describe ways to adapt the agile requirements approach
  • Describe approaches for scaling agile for large teams
  • Conduct an agile retrospective


  • Agile Basics
  • Agile and lean values and principles
  • Contrasting agile and waterfall methods
  • Agile roles and responsibilities
  • The agile business analyst
  • The agile project manager
  • The agile team environment
  • Defining to delivering: agile requirements and planning processes
  • Iteration Zero activities
  • Defining the vision
  • Activity: Define the vision

Defining Agile Requirements

  • Identifying user roles
  • Creating personas
  • Activity: Identify user roles and create a persona
  • Creating the Product Backlog
    • User story components: The 3 C’s
    • Guidelines for writing user stories
    • Story writing workshops
    • Creating low-fidelity prototypes to elicit user stories
    • Activity: Story writing workshop
    • Deriving user stories from epics
    • Identifying story “smells” to avoid
  • Defining nonfunctional requirements and business rules
  • Activity: Define nonfunctional requirements and business rules using an agile approach
  • Business analysis activities
  • Characteristics of an effective customer representative
  • Using user proxies
  • Agile modeling
  • Creating requirements runway during iterations
  • Just-in-time requirements elaboration
  • Agile use cases
  • Activity: Write an agile use case
  • Activity: Writing acceptance tests
  • Writing acceptance tests for user stories
  • Managing user stories with agile tools
  • Requirements traceability in agile projects

Analyzing and Prioritizing Customer Needs

  • Levels of planning in agile
  • Creating a product roadmap
  • Prioritizing for releases
    • Prioritizing themes for releases
    • Financial prioritization techniques
    • Using the Kano model to prioritize desirability
    • Using user story mapping to identify key functionality
    • Activity: User story mapping
    • Using the MoSCoW rules to prioritize user stories within the release backlog
    • Activity: Prioritize user stories

Planning Releases and Iterations

  • Estimating user stories
    • Story points and ideal days
    • Estimating with Planning Poker
    • Activity: Estimate user stories with Planning Poker
  • Planning releases
  • Forecasting velocity
  • Selecting an iteration length
  • Creating a release plan
  • Activity: Create a release plan
  • Decomposing stories into tasks
  • Estimating tasks
  • Creating an iteration plan on the Team Board
  • Activity: Create an iteration plan
  • Planning iterations

Conducting Iterations

  • Activities during iterations
    • The daily stand-up meeting
    • Updating the Team Board
    • Using burndown charts to track progress
    • Activity: Simulate a daily stand-up
    • The iteration review meeting
    • Managing changes to the project backlog
  • Defining “done on agile projects
  • Negotiating changes during an iteration
  • Techniques for splitting user stories
  • Guidelines for re-estimating
  • Growing stories iteratively over iterations
  • Activity: Negotiate changes in story size
  • Agile technical practices
  • Releasing software into production

Adapting and Scaling Agile

  • Adapting agile methods
  • Conditions for success for implementing agile methods
  • Motivations for implementing agile methods
  • Self-organizing teams
    • Characteristics of effective self-organizing teams
    • Establishing ground rules
    • Activity: Team self-assessment
  • Scaling agile methods
  • Methods used to scale agile methods for larger teams
  • Communication considerations for agile teams
  • Course summary
  • Activity: Course retrospective
  • Agile retrospectives
Format: To help assimilate the tools and techniques learned, there is a mixture of group and team exercises throughout the course. The use of a realistic case study will help reinforce concepts learned. Students will need to be prepared for a high level of participation. Each participant will receive a comprehensive student guide complete with examples and workshop solutions.
Who Should Attend: This course is valuable for all agile team members: business analysts, Product Owners, customer, users, Scrum Masters or project coaches, testers, developers and architects – anyone on a project who is involved in eliciting, defining, analyzing, and validating business needs and requirements in order to transform them into working software.
Prerequisites: An awareness of agile and business analysis methods is helpful, but not required.
Knowledge Area:



Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
Requirements Elicitation
Requirements Management and Communication
Enterprise Analysis
Requirements Analysis
Solution Assessment and Validation
Underlying Competencies

Project Scope Management
Project Communications Management
Project Human Resource Management
Project Time Management
Project Cost Management
Project Risk Management
Project Stakeholder Management

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