Abstract: Among the issues of applicability and use of the Agile methodologies there are three most popular: in what measure are they compatible with fixed-price contracts; what is the managers’ role; what about analysts. The first two issues are covered by a number of reports and articles from gurus of Agile movement. But the last one is not covered so well, and by this report, we make an attempt to improve situation.
First part discusses the reasons why there is an opinion that there is no place for analyst in Agile. The main one is a misinterpretation of some theses and “slogans” which are found in descriptions of Agile methodologies. For example, cross-functionality of team members, denial of need for the detailed specifications, desire to escape the unnecessary documentation, etc.
Second part describes the problems emerging at different stages of the Agile development process, which are usually hard to solve without an analyst: formation of the domain model; specifying tasks for an iteration; interaction with business-staff (domain expertise, clarifying the requirements’ details); quality assurance; pilot deployment and initial support of software.
Third part gives a detailed description and analysis of the options for interaction between analyst(s) and developer team: analyst inside the team; Product Owner acting as analyst; analyst being the Product Owner’s assistant; separate department of analysts. We discuss the benefits and disadvantages of each option, and conditions under which it can be applied.
Final part briefly addresses related issues, such as: what is Agile specifications; where, how and why to deal with an internal project documentation; why domain models are again in mainstream; how to bring up an analyst.
All materials are based on the practical use of Scrum methodology in Russian software company, and are correlated with authoritative views and statements.