I am working on a project that is at the very start. Prior to me starting it was setup to work in a waterfall way. The first activity is to select the product to use and the BA is now defining user requirements to be matched against product features. Is there a better Agile way of doing this? I especially would like to use user stories if possible as they can be re-used when doing the system configuration/modifications/integration tasks during implementation of a chosen product.
Why would this constitute "re-use"? Isn't work going to be implemented to a Done and fully usable standard the first time around? Aren't all the necessary system configuration/modifications/integration tasks going to be performed each Sprint?
The work you described would be considered Product Discovery which is necessary to build out a Product Backlog that will contain all work needed for the product. Often when a company is pursuing a transition to Scrum, this type of work has to be done before ever creating a Scrum Team. A well defined Product Backlog is the core to Scrum success. An in fact, this type of activity will continue even after the Scrum Teams start working. It is usually not considered Scrum Team activity is done outside of the Sprint boundaries.
One thing that concerns me is that you mentioned a Business Analyst but not a Product Owner. Will your Business Analysts be the ones fulfilling the Product Owner role in Scrum? Notice I said "role" and not "job". Scrum does not describe any jobs, just roles that need to be fulfilled in order for Scrum to be successful.
I especially would like to use user stories if possible...
We now know your opinion but how do the people that will actually be doing the work feel? Scrum is based on letting the people do the work make the decisions on how that work is managed and accomplished. Until you start to form Scrum Teams, these kind of decisions should be left alone. In fact, you might find that different teams want to operate with different processes, which is in line with the Scrum framework.
I have read some job descriptions that asks a product owner to translate business requirements into user stories to be added to the product backlog for later selection by the Developers during sprint planning (and I would hope, backlog item refining as well). In your scenario, assuming your project is being converted to Scrum from waterfall and you can do little to begin with the user story that you desire due to the organization's current processes, the product owner could just as well take those requirements and expand them into user stories (although not a Scrum requirement) or begin doing so with the sprint team during backlog item refinement. Of course, I don't actually know what the state of your scrum team is and as others have suggested herein, whether there is a product owner role already in place or a scrum team for that matter. It doesn't sound like that has occurred yet.
Does it require to have a requirement gathering phase ? Is it not enough to have a product goal and product backlog with items to start with initial couple of sprints ?.Product backlog then evolves when there is progress towards product goal.Team refines it as much needed and adapts the backlog based on feedback.
Hi Donna. Thanks for your question. As a first step I would suggest creating a Product Vision to be clear on the desired outcome with your stakeholders (if you have not already) then work with your BA transform this into a product backlog. This should help give you a good overview: Product Backlog Example. Hope it helps. Paul