I am in a web agency that is trying to implement from Waterfall to Scrum, so we have old habits that I need to change to go to a more Scrum way.

One of my problems is the functional analysis document that my developers and QA rely on. We have a functional analyst committed full time to write those documents, get them approved by the product owners and then transfer the information to the developers, which in their turn ask their lot of questions to both the functional analyst and the product owners. The QA writes his test cases according to the functional analysis.

How can I replace their need for documentation and get rid of the analysis document while keeping the approbation of the client?

The later I am thinking about the agile contract and/or the DOD document, but I would be curious to hear what others would suggest in a similar situation.

  • 1
    I would recommend reading "User Stories Applied" by Mike Cohn. It covers the entire subject of working with the issues. Jan 12 '12 at 13:11

Replace documents with conversations and aim for shared understanding rather than knowledge transfer.

My team (Devs, Analyst, QA, PO) meets for 30 mins every day or so to discuss upcoming stories, their acceptance criteria and how we're going to test them. This gives everyone the opportunity to ask questions and for the Product Owner to be confident everyone understands what they're asking for.

I agree that it's good to involve devs in analysis activity too, particularly any meetings with stakeholders.

The key is to ask what purpose the docs fulfil. Approval of scope, knowledge transfer to devs and QA input into testing can be handled by involving the customer in discussions with devs/testers and making sure the requirements are captured in the form of acceptance criteria.

If there are other reasons for the docs to exist, it's good to try to examine why they are needed and where possible deliver the value of the doc in a more collaborative way.

That's not always easy with 3rd parties with limited availability. An analyst can make a good customer proxy in these cases. Getting them pairing with dev/QA is better than getting them to write a doc.

  • I'm not sure that the complete replacement of documentation has any benefits in @Stef's case. Very often, you have to show a list of features, acceptance tests and test reports to the customer.
    – Zsolt
    Jan 12 '12 at 14:23
  • Ran out of characters in comment so added to my answer!
    – Ben
    Jan 12 '12 at 22:26
  • Thanks I see it now. I agree that the purpose is a must and this is what people forget the most often
    – Zsolt
    Jan 13 '12 at 13:43

It is the developers who finally does the development of all the functionalities. So, it is always recommended for developers to do the functional analysis.

This way you are increasing the multi-faceted attribute of the developers also. And, they need not reiterate between functional analyst and manager to get things clear while developing.

But after developers do the initial functional analysis, always desginated person can ratify the result. This way everyone develops the dimensional view of the product being developed.

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