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.