Given I am a Business Analyst
When I need to collaborate with my development team
Then I should use BDD to create a shared understanding
We recently ran a webinar for Business Analysts (BAs) to understand how Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) can help their team’s software development process.
We know that one of the biggest challenges is that business needs are not well understood by the people who want software – solutions are not requirements, so it’s natural that we miss information. Without a shared understanding of what the software should do, deviations are built into the solution through miscommunication. The cost of change grows over time – if we don’t get it right at the beginning, the design flaws are built into the system and are increasingly more difficult and costly to change.
BAs traditionally help communicate a shared understanding. They are also critical to:
- Agree acceptance criteria
- Identify business priorities
- Encourage quality practices throughout delivery team
- Review the team’s progress
How does this fit into the three practices of BDD?
Discovery: Collaborative creation of a shared understanding of requirements is led by the BA.
Formulation: System behavior is documented using business terminology and is reviewed by the BA.
Automation: The documentation is automated, creating living documentation that is verified against system behavior, which gives the BA feedback.
By adopting BDD and Gherkin, the team benefits from an approach to software development that maximizes the opportunities for collaboration, while minimizing the chance of missing or ambiguous requirements.
Ultimately, the documentation becomes a suite of automated acceptance tests written in a language that developers, QA & the business can all understand.
So where do you go from here?
If you are looking to adopt BDD and need some help getting started, check out the free resources at Cucumber School, including a new course, BDD for Business Analysts and Product Owners.
Are you ready to practice BDD with your teams and need a platform to do so? Check out CucumberStudio, which is the leading platform for BDD. It empowers the whole team to read and refine executable specifications without needing technical tools. Get started with a CucumberStudio trial here.