In traditional approaches, the Business Analyst gathers the requirements months or years ahead of the team. Clearly that doesn’t work in an Agile world. Scrum doesn’t define any traditional roles inside the team: BA, QA, DBA, Dev, UX – instead everyone is a Developer or, better yet, a doer. This creates discomfort, but also opportunities.
This question, or a variation of it, is one that often comes up in training workshops and our Lean Coffee sessions. Some options I’ve seen work well:
- BA is the Product Owner
- BA works inside the Scrum Team assisting the Product Owner flesh specific details. (This happens most often when there is one PO for multiple teams working on a single product, in which case the PO is focused on Product Strategy/Prioritization not PBIs/User Stories)
- BA participates with QA and Programmers to define acceptance criteria – in the BDD style
- BA cross skills and helps with QA, this is a natural outgrowth of the previous step
- Some cross skill into UX work and, rarely, others cross skill to programming
How to Cross-Skill and Grow T-shaped Team Members
Product Owner Isn’t Just a Business Analyst on Steroids
Scrum by Example – The Story of an Incomplete Sprint
Scrum By Example – The Team Collaborate on Acceptance Criteria
- The Agile Business Analyst Mindset
- Agile Business Analyst Mindset | Introduction For Business Analysts In 2021
- Business Analysts in Scrum
- The Experts’ Take on Business Analysis and Agile
- How Agile Helped Me Survive Being a Business Analyst
- What is the Role of a Business Analyst in Scrum?
Mark Levison has been helping Scrum teams and organizations with Agile, Scrum and Kanban style approaches since 2001. From certified scrum master training to custom Agile courses, he has helped well over 8,000 individuals, earning him respect and top rated reviews as one of the pioneers within the industry, as well as a raft of certifications from the ScrumAlliance. Mark has been a speaker at various Agile Conferences for more than 20 years, and is a published Scrum author with eBooks as well as articles on InfoQ.com, ScrumAlliance.org an AgileAlliance.org.
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