Agile business analyst

The agile business analyst role is becoming an important role on agile projects. Since most agile methods do not specifically address the agile business analyst role, this new agile certification from APMG plugs the gaps.

APMG accredited training organisation for Agile BA (Agile Business Analysis).

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Knowledge Train | Agile business analyst

More about agile business analysis

Traditional business analysis

Business analysis has traditionally involved studying the business needs of an organisation and devising solutions to business problems.

A business analyst (sometimes called a systems analyst on IT projects) operates at different levels within the organisation. At the strategic level they can act as a business architect developing strategic objectives. They are more commonly involved at the tactical level by helping to define projects and programmes where change solutions are developed.

Often, a business analyst is involved in:

  • Strategic analysis
  • Business capability modelling
  • Process and value stream mapping
  • Skills and competency mapping
  • Process re-engineering
  • Data definition
  • Stakeholder liaison
  • Requirements’ engineering
  • Defining cost-effective business solutions.

No agile BA role in Scrum

The Agile influence in organisations continues to grow and it has moved beyond its initial software development home. Agile software development methods such as Scrum have been embraced in many business sectors for their change projects.

The business analysis process on traditional projects would typically occur in the early stages of a project, especially in analysing the current business processes and systems, and identify cost-effective solutions. This would often require discussions with stakeholders to identify their business needs and documenting before gaining sign-off for the development work.

On agile projects, since it is iterative in nature, there isn’t ‘one big analysis phase’ at the beginning of the project. The analysis of current systems and processes must take place, but it is now spread across multiple iterations, as the solution evolves based upon user feedback of the developing product.

Therefore, traditional project roles, including the business analyst role must learn new guidance, concepts, and techniques.

In fact, Scrum doesn’t even define a business analyst role for an agile team. In Scrum, the development team members themselves are expected to be generalists and capable of doing a bit of coding, design, and testing. In Scrum it is the Product Owner who writes a user story. Product Owners prioritise user stories in the product backlog for the development team.

This is an example of how an agile business analyst can complement existing agile methods such as Scrum by bringing their experience, insight and knowledge into the collaborative work required for writing user stories. Development team members therefore would hugely benefit by learning the business analysis techniques and methods applicable for analysis work on agile teams.

Supporting the project and development team

Of all the many varied agile methodologies, only one specifically refers to, and defines the role of the business analyst. DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method) describes how the agile business analyst role both supports the project level roles (such as project manager and project sponsor) and the solution development team.

In DSDM the agile business analyst facilitates the relationship between the business and technical roles (or in Scrum, between the Product Owner and development team). This helps ensure the right decisions about the evolving solution are made daily and that the development team has the correct understanding of the emerging needs and requirements of the business.

The agile business analyst therefore performs a vital role in facilitating the team’s contribution to value creation.

AgileBA certification and training

To help AgileBAs learn about the new agile business analyst role, training courses in the new APMG AgileBA certification scheme are available.

Certification is available at Foundation and Practitioner levels by passing the required AgileBA examinations. Training courses include both the AgileBA Foundation exam, and AgileBA Practitioner exam.

For more information about Agile BA courses, training, and certification, click the button at the top of the page.

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