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Distributed Agile Development

Blog: Business Analyst Learnings Blog

Agile work environments have long been the go-to for business analysts. Within such models, systems are built in increments via collaboration between cross-functional teams over time. 

A new trend in the form of distributed agile development is hitting even the seemingly stable software development space. As the name implies, the approach is based on the agile framework, but with distributed teams at its heart. So, what exactly is the role of a business analyst when distributed agile processes come into play? 

# 1 – Streamlining communications

Communication tools such as Skype and Jabber may not be altogether necessary when the entire project team is operating from the same station but may come critical when teams are geographically dispersed. State-of-the-art software such as Microsoft Teams provide a solid platform for building successful teams regardless of the distance between the team members. 

It’s important to understand the unique communication challenges posed by the distributed agile development approach. 

# 2 – Meeting the needs of global markets

In general terms, businesses adopt the distributed agile methodology in the hopes of expanding their reach and more easily appealing to growing global markets. That’s great news until you consider the sophisticated analytics behind such a goal. The fact is that, in addition to facing inevitable setbacks due to cultural differences and interests, geographically separated stakeholders may also have incredibly different priorities in their approach to handling business. 

Only by thoroughly researching each unique market, and understanding the analytics that lie behind purchasing decisions is it possible for any company to make this extensive reach work for them. Obviously, having someone on the ground can go a long way towards developing understanding here. 

A final word

Agile methodologies remain one of the most popular frameworks for software development and ultimately, distributed developments also hold many benefits from this standpoint. The whole purpose of the implementation is, after all, to build a flexible organisation with the ability to react fast and change in the face of challenges. As such, many a BA may find that they needn’t worry any longer about processes that once proved problematic. 

The compromise to success here really lies in the ability to understand the changing business landscape and analyze the risks inherent in this new model. The better able you are to do that, the more you can turn distributed agile methodologies to your benefit, leading to an entirely new market for analysis in this age where such developments could prove crucial.

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