What does a Business Analyst do on Scrum Team?
15th Feb, 2019
What is Business Analysis?
Per BABOK v3, Business analysis is the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders. Business analysis enables an enterprise to articulate needs and the rationale for change and to design and describe solutions that can provide value.
Change is defined as the act of transformation in response to a need. The need is a problem or opportunity to be addressed. A solution is a specific way of satisfying one or more needs in a context. Value is the worth, importance, or usefulness of something to a stakeholder within a context.
In simple words, Business Analysis is creatively solving users’ problems through solutions that generate value for all stakeholders (users as well as the organization building the solution). Business Analysis the process of uncovering the current state from different perspectives( customers, users, and organization) and determine activities required to evolve toward the future state.
Who is a Business Analyst?
A Business Analyst is a person with the appropriate skills to perform Business Analysis. Business Analysts are responsible for:
• understanding enterprise problems and goals,
• analyzing needs and solutions,
• devising strategies,
• driving solution development, and
• facilitating stakeholder engagement and collaboration.
A Business Analyst should have the following skills to be effective:
• Creative Thinking,
• Decision Making,
• Systems Thinking,
• Business Acumen, and
What happens to Business Analysis when organizations adopt Scrum?
Per IIBA BABOK, there are six knowledge areas. Let’s explore who does what w.r.t these knowledge areas.
• Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring: Organizing and coordinating the effort of Business Analysis. This activity is something a Product Owner is responsible for while they can take the help of the development team.
• Elicitation and Collaboration: Collaborating with stakeholders to uncover needs through interaction, research, experiments, etc. This activity is one of the significant responsibilities of a Product Owner.
• Requirements Life Cycle Management: Continuously managing and maintaining the requirements from inception to retirement. A Product Owner is responsible for managing the Product Backlog throughout the life cycle of the product.
• Strategy Analysis: Analyzing the strategic needs from the organizational perspective and aligning the Business Analysis activities to the strategy. Product Owners are not only responsible for aligning product development activities to strategy but also define strategy.
• Requirements Analysis and Design Definition: Analysing user needs, devising solutions, and running experiments to verify and validate the requirements and solution. This activity is a shared responsibility of the Product Owner and development team.
• Solution Evaluation: Performation problem/solution fit to make sure that users' needs are met by the solution and all the stakeholders gain value. The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of work done by the team.
If you notice, most of the work done by the Business Analysts maps to Product Owner responsibility. However, Product Owners do much more than Business Analysts do.
How do Business Analysts compare to the role of a Product Owner?
Product Owner Responsibilities in a nutshell
The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the return on investment (ROI) of the product by creatively solving the user’s problem while strategically helping the business succeed.
They are responsible for uncovering user needs through experiments and deciding the priorities of features to be built every Sprint. Analyze the competition and strategically position the product to achieve product/market fit and design the business model to help the organization achieve revenue and margin goals.
Satisha Venkataramaiah explains how a BA role maps to that of a Product Owner.
Business Analysis covers only the creative part of Product Ownership (Product Design and Development). Business Analysts will have to learn Product Strategy and Product Marketing skills and take on that responsibility to scale as Product Owners.
Can a Business Analyst become a Scrum Master?
Well, Business Analysts belong to the Product Management profession whereas a Scrum Master belongs to the coaching/facilitation profession. If a BA becomes a Scrum Master, it would be a change of profession.
However, Business Analysts have two critical skills required for a Scrum Master; Systems Thinking and Facilitation. Both Business Analysts and Scrum Masters work transformation, a Business Analyst on Business whereas a Scrum Master on the team’s capability.
A good Business Analyst can undoubtedly be a good Scrum Master if they can acquire coaching skills.
How much salary does a PO get in India?
If you want to learn more about Product Owner, join our Certified Scrum Product Owner course, and to learn about the Scrum Master role, join our Certified Scrum Master course.
Satisha K Venkataramaiah has worked as a Business Analyst and is working as Product Owner at leanGears building products for startups and product managers.