This is the fourth instalment of a series of posts focussed on setting an analysis rhythm for large or complex agile programmes. You can read three previous posts here. In this final post I’ll explain the last two activities involved in this approach and conclude on timing and duration of activities.
Support build and test
At this stage in the process the stories you’ve written will be in use and the analyst on hand to support the build and test activity.
Supporting the build and test involves answering questions posed by developers or testers, reviewing the tests written during the detailed design activity and what gets built.
During build and test the designers and developers will finalise the design.
The final activity involved in setting an analysis rhythm is to support iteration.
Following the completion of a sprint, new stories are likely to be added to a backlog as a result of feedback or user testing. Analysts should ensure that the stories are captured at a high level to allow the product owner to prioritise.
Once the stories have been prioritised, detailed analysis takes place in preparation for development.
Timing and duration of activities
It’s important to consider the timing and duration of all the activities involved in setting an analysis rhythm for large or complex agile programmes.
Timing and duration will depend on the programme environment in which you’re operating, the team size and it’s maturity. Experiment with timing, duration and approach as you progress.
Allow enough time for the analysis to be informed by design, experimentation and user research but don’t allow too much and risk losing momentum.
For example, on a larger programme you may decide to pace the big thinking, high-level design and detailed design at different sprints in advance of the build. For a smaller project all activities may happen in tandem and within just a few days.
Whilst considering timing and duration of activities you may also want to think about how you spread the analysts across each activity. For a large team it may be suitable to pair your analysts, each pair focussing on a different activity.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about this approach to setting an analysis rhythm. I’d like to hear how it could work for your programme and what other approaches you’ve used.