How to Build Better Process Flows

How to Build Better Process Flows

We all know pictures and visuals are a great way to communicate. A good image often communicates more information in less time than anything short of a mind-meld. Unfortunately, we don’t know how to build a useful visual for our projects; when we do, they don’t get the attention we expect. It doesn’t have to be this way.

During this workshop we will practice building process flows that are easy to understand. It’s fun, it’s simple, and best of all, it’s a great way to share. Come and learn how to communicate with your business owners and team!

BDD: What it is and why we should care

It’s hip to be agile and cool to TDD, but what the heck is BDD (Behavio[u]r Driven Development? Where’s the intersection between TDD, ATDD, and BDD? More importantly, can it help my team focus better, or deliver faster? Yes!

We will walk through what BDD is, what it isn’t, and what it could be for your team. Part lecture, part conversation, and a teeny-tiny bit of practice; this session will be an irreverent look at this fabulous technique.

Cliff Notes version: BDD is about understanding and delivering functionality people use. If your software provides features for people, then come hear why BDD rocks!

Consulting Secrets @ Mix-IT

I was honored to be asked to speak at Mix-IT 2014. The conference is very well run, with 500 attendees, 50 speakers, 2 languages, a mix of technical and non-technical topics, and a format accommodating both talks and workshops. Best of all, it’s very inexpensive @ $50 Euros so there is no reason working folks with stingy bosses cannot attend.

I submitted a couple ideas and they chose my newest talk, Consulting Secrets. As I described it verbally during the run-up to the talk, it’s about hacking yourself and your conversation so you can be more effective. I have only presented this a few times and I was challenged by the shorter time-frame and the potential language barriers. In the end, I was delighted with the turn-out and the response to my talk. It went better than I ever anticipated!

For those who are looking for the slides, or Ángel Medinilla‘s outstanding visual summary, look no further.

From the conference material:

Sometimes it’s not just about code. It’s about understanding, sharing, communication, and leverage.

Unfortunately, the skills to work well with others–from stakeholders, to users, to team mates–isn’t taught in school. It’s not taught most anyplace.

This interactive talk will give participants the chance to practice stances and communication techniques that will immediately impact their effectiveness.

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn how consultants use the skills of business analysts and scrum masters to influence the opinions and actions of people around them. Come and learn practical “soft skill” tips for making an impact on your project, team members, stakeholders, and executives.

Ideas for now:
* How your body language influences you and others.
* How to use language so others will listen and care your message.


 

Visual summary of "Consulting Secrets of Effective Communication" for Mix-IT 2014 in Lyon, France

Visual summary of “Consulting Secrets of Effective Communication” for Mix-IT 2014 in Lyon, France

TinyStories

How to Improve Your Requirements with Tiny Stories

I presented How to Improve Your Requirements with Tiny Stories at ProjectSummit & BusinessAnalystWorld held in Boston on October 21-22, 2013.

I firmly believe using the Given – When – Then of Behavior Driven Development (BDD) is relevant for business analysts. This talk is probably my best presentation of the material in the last few years.

You are welcome to view the accompanying presentation below. I sill share the link for the accompanying video upon request (and after I upload it to YouTube).

https://speakerdeck.com/jeffreygoodreq/how-to-improve-your-requirements-with-tiny-stories

Skills for Success: Professional Development Day @ IIBA Minn / St. Paul

I will be giving a new version of my talk about Behavior Based Requirements at this year’s Professional Development Day in Minneapolis / St. Paul. I am excited because I have reworked the entire presentation to both show my passion and give attendees a chance to practice using the Given-When-Then requirements format.

The conference title is Skills for Success: Evolving as a Business Analyst and my presentation is “How to Use Behavior Based Requirements to Build Understanding & Save Your Project.”

The event is on Monday, April 15 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center outside of Minneapolis (registration link). This is one of the premiere PDD events in North America and I am honored to be speaking. If you are in the area, please come, engage, and learn from the outstanding speaker line-up and local BA community.

 

Post conference update: Here is the published version of my slides:

easy-button

Agile User Stories Are Easy (IIBA Fort Worth)

I had the pleasure of speaking to the IIBA chapter in Cowtown last night. That’s Fort Worth for those of you unfamiliar with the Great State of Texas.

Total attendance was 15 people and we had some good conversation. There were not many questions during the presentation, but enough to let me know they were listening. I was touched a few folks from the IIBA Dallas chapter drove over for the meeting, thanks.

Holly Millet, a guest at the event, was kind enough to run the camera and record my presentation. If you are interested in seeing this, then please let me know and I’ll put it online and provide a link.

This presentation is at an introductory level, aimed at Business Analysts who have not worked in an Agile or Scrum for a significant period of time. I do not by any means cover everything it means to be an Agile BA, but rather focus on the elements of good stories, including writing Acceptance Criteria in a Given – When – Then format. This latter section should provide some value for anyone not already involved in the format. Unfortunately, with only an hour, I include enough content to push out interactive activities.

In August I coined the term Behavior Based Requirements to describe Given-When-Then and some of the related concepts to BAs. If this is your first introduction to this format for capturing and communicating value, you can find much more information on my resource page here.

As usual, I am posting a version of the slide deck here for attendees who want to view a copy of the slides. I typically shift the slide order just a tad to make more sense for reading at your desk. This slide deck includes references and mentions the mighty shoulders I stand upon when presenting.

iStock_000014958717XSmall

Presenting this week!

Our speaker at this week’s IIBA Dallas Chapter meeting is very ill. With only 48-hours, it’s not much time to get a new speaker, so I will be presenting! Please come on over this Thursday to hear me present on Feature Injection and Behavior Driven Development (BDD).

 

Unleashing the Power of Behavior Driven Development

Thursday, March 15, 2012 6PM
IIBA Dallas Chapter; Hosted at BravoTech
4835 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1000, Dallas
(NW corner of Dallas North Tollway and I-635)
Cost: $10  Includes food

There is a special place where the hidden treasure of great requirements are found. It’s not that what we have today is bad, but it’s time to move beyond writing stodgy requirements no one else is willing to read. Diagrams are great for communicating, but most of the time you need more than just pictures. And user stories a really good step forward, but many of us find they are still missing something.

The secret may lie in Behavior Driven Development (BDD). The fabulous thing, besides the cool name, is this is easy to learn, easy to use, and produces better stories, requirements, tests, and code!

This presentation is for analysts who already know how to right requirements, but want to move to something more productive. This is an introduction to a new technique, using natural language to describe both the value and features of a system and each interaction.

Come learn about writing requirements and acceptance criteria in business language (for your customers) that are clear and complete (for your developers) and super-duper easy to double-check (for the testers)!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the fundamentals and benefits of Behavior Driven Development
  2. Learn how to write better requirements & acceptance criteria using natural language and business terms
  3. Tap into the power of permutations to ensure test cases are complete.

BABOK Alignment:

  • This talk aligns with the Agile Extension to the Business Analysis Book of Knowledge (BABOK).
  • See: Chapter 4: Techniques / Get Real Using Examples (pp. 81-84)

About the Speaker:

Jeffrey DavidsonJeffrey Davidson, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified Product Manager (PMC)
Principal Consultant, ThoughtWorks
President, IIBA Dallas Chapter

Jeffrey Davidson is a Principal Consultant with ThoughtWorks, a leading Agile development firm with a passion to improve how businesses design, build and evolve software. He also serves as President of IIBA Dallas Chapter.

Jeffrey is a consulting Business Analyst, Mentor, Coach, and Trainer. An engaging and entertaining speaker, Jeffrey speaks with passion to audiences across the country on business analysis and agile development.

Jeffrey has had many titles, including Director of Business Analysis & Quality Assurance for UTI, Business Analyst for Dell, Systems Engineer for Raytheon, and Product Manager for Ebay. He is a Certified Product Manager (PMC) and a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO).

Jeffrey’s focus is helping organizations and Business Analysts transition to Agile, delivering great requirements, and building world-class analyst teams.