Business analysts’ community has been talking about ‘agile business analysts’, and this topic has been so much on the focus that there are courses conducted on how to become one. There is a LinkedIn group named ‘Agile Business Analysts”. After all, what is it about? Some people even wonder that they never come across any mention of business analyst while talking about Agile. Agile focuses on the concept of providing value to the clients, and this underlines the need for a business analyst. The difference is that in Agile, the entire team collaborates to do business analysis. There is indeed a substantial difference in the way business analysis is done in Agile and other businesses.
Business Analysis in Agile
Agile business analysis is different from the usual business analysis. Business analysts usually work on large volumes of documents. The agile business analysis emphasises on a smaller number of documents. To find a solution for a business problem and to decide on the documentation, an Agile business analyst work in collaboration with other members of the team. Another major difference is the concept of iterations, which are a time-boxed delivery cycle. They are short, unlike traditional projects. Each iteration goes through the complete cycle of requirement gathering to development, testing, and delivery. During each cycle, the team collaborate to determine what sort of analysis is needed to create a bigger picture without spending much time in building an inventory. You may enrol in a business analyst course to acquire the skills needed to excel in this role.
What is the Role of a Business Analyst in Agile?
- Business Advisor: The main role of a business analyst in Agile is to support the product owner. An Agile business analyst scrutinizes the business domain, stocks and grooms the backlog. Business analyst courses focus on building these critical skills. The product owner is the ultimate decision-maker, who is responsible for representing the business needs and understanding the requirements. It the business owner who decides which requirement is important. However, the product owner may trust a business analyst if he/she is able to demonstrate good business analysis skills.
- Domain Analysis: The business analyst is responsible for analysing, understanding and explaining the business domain and identify the problem that requires a solution. To achieve this, an agile business analyst facilitates discussions on revising, creating and/or elimination of business processes, what are the requisite information and who are the stakeholders, what are the systems involved etc. Along with this, the business analyst also facilitates the discussion about the policies and rules to guide the project. A business analyst needs to look into the requirement models and see if the models can be used even after the project is done and settled.
- Stocking the Product Backlog: This means that the business analyst is responsible for creating a catalogue of user stories that represent the project. Each user story narrates the specific feature or functionality of the project that is valuable to the user or software solution.
- Grooming the Backlog: It is upon the business analyst to maintain the backlog so that it can be used as a tool. A business analyst can provide information on the value of the different elements in the product backlog perceived by the stakeholders.
The role of a business analyst in traditional software development was clearer and well-defined than the modern context, such as Agile business analyst. The role of product owner sometimes masks that of the business analyst, however, the business analyst is responsible for providing adequate support to the product owner ad to ensure close collaboration between the team members to ensure the smooth execution of the project. Enrolling in a good business analyst course will help you understand more about the role.
Also Read: Rethinking the Role of Business Analyst