Watermark Learning

Past Trends in Business Analysis, Project Management, and Agile

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At Watermark Learning, we have developed a series of “Trend” articles to forecast the direction of the business analysis and project management industries. Below are some of the predictions that we have made over the last few years.

2016 (A top 10 viewed article on Project Times during 2016)

  • Proving our value through Business Relationship Management
  • Agile is gaining wide acceptance but still faces challenges
  • Moving beyond our traditional PM and BA roles
  • Lightweight practices are not just for Scrum anymore
  • Certifications – and the winners are…
  • Designs during analysis bring business value quicker
  • Workforce trends are impacting project work and organizations


  • Making Agile work for organizations
  • Distributed leadership
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship on the rise, and morphing
  • Business analysis as design work
  • Struggle between centralized and distributed project governance
  • Schizophrenic approach to BA and PM credentials
  • Team-based Agile training


  • Continued excitement about Agile projects with more informal communications and documentation and use of modeling tools to get from high-level user stories to detail needed to estimate and build them
  • Focus on Design
  • Cloud computing
  • Greater interest in business analysis by project managers.


  • Project professionals need to provide advice, not pushback.
  • Organizations want scribes, not note-takers.
  • Organizations are beginning to recognize that agile projects require the ability to influence stakeholders.
  • Organizations are recognizing the cost of virtual teams.
  • Productivity and speed require the use of disparate and uncoordinated social media and collaboration tools.
  • Consensus is giving way to “productive conflict.”


  • Recognition of the importance of having both a BA and PM on Agile and traditional projects
  • Use of hybrid Agile methods so organizations can determine out what works best for them
  • BA as management consultant and change agent
  • Increase work in virtual environments


  • Organizations will apply the amount of documentation and governance appropriate for their projects
  • Adoption of Agile will continue to increase
  • Both the project management and business analysis designations will continue to grow
  • Continued delineation of PM/BA roles


  • Greater emphasis on requirements in project management
  • More emphasis on user stories and less emphasis on specifications for requirements
  • Increased use of Agile methods
  • Continued growth of BABOK use
  • Increased emphasis on business intelligence


To view our most current trends in detail, please visit our articles page for more insights.

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