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The Business Analyst Batting Average Metric

Think baseball.  I'm proposing (tongue mostly in cheek) a new type of development statistic.

We've started to tease our Business Analyst by tracking her batting average for any given day.  The BA batting average (BABA) statistic is calculated by keeping track of every question you ask the BA.  If the result of the question leads to:

  •  A simpler solution or less work than you feared, that's a hit
  • More complexity than you were aware of, or makes you develop down the path that creates more work, that's a strikeout

My BA batted 2 for 4 yesterday (.500), which isn't too bad for us.

Using the BABA Statistic 

It's absolutely impossible for a Business Analyst or the team in general to bat a thousand, but there just shouldn't be very many big surprises in the course of executing a user story.  A lower BABA number indicates that the ongoing analysis and development tasking just isn't detailed enough.  A high BABA number should give you a fairly high level of confidence in your project estimation.  A low BABA number means that your estimates are likely crap.






And yes, there's a project smell in there in regards to communication and the level of analysis and detail in the user stories, but that's for another day. 

About Jeremy Miller

Jeremy is the Chief Software Architect at Dovetail Software, the coolest ISV in Austin. Jeremy began his IT career writing "Shadow IT" applications to automate his engineering documentation, then wandered into software development because it looked like more fun. Jeremy is the author of the open source StructureMap tool for Dependency Injection with .Net, StoryTeller for supercharged acceptance testing in .Net, and one of the principal developers behind FubuMVC. Jeremy's thoughts on all things software can be found at The Shade Tree Developer at http://codebetter.com/jeremymiller.
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  • http://stevenharman.net/ Steve Harman

    You say a .500 average isn’t *too bad*, well I say it’s legendary.

    I mean, thats more than enough to get her into Cooperstown! :)

  • http://codebetter.com/blogs/jeremy.miller jmiller

    Or just simply let the BA’s actually work and interact with the developers.

  • Doug Mayer

    Now if only more companies would hire BAs that bat much more than 100. 😉

  • http://blogs.giffordconsulting.com Tim Gifford

    Great idea! You’re batting 1000 on this one.