What is the job of the business analyst in Agile?
A Business Analyst role existence is the one which is often challenged in Agile team in conjunction with many other roles like development team, Scrum Master and Product Owner. However there are various reasons to believe that a business analyst is a key member of the team and can add significant value to the cross functional agile team.
The business analyst is a persona on the team who:
- Establish a communication channel with Product Management and Development team
The business analyst in Agile team is responsible for understanding and communicating the holistic end-to-end business transactions impacted and its functionality with the Product Owner and development team. Often a business analyst is also one of the cross functional team member in an agile team. In several cases, especially for a distributed team, a business analyst back fills a busy Product owner role for the team. Hence she is often called as Proxy or Supporting Product Owner. She is the center of communications in agile teams who are remotely located and who don’t have the availability of the real Product Owner. She works with the real Product Owner to understand the big picture and cascades the same to the development team. The business analyst also acts as a two way communication channel between the Product Owner and brings the customer feedback to the team. The business analyst sometimes explains the Product vision to the development team and explains the business purpose behind working on a specific feature. It is very much essential for the business analyst to foster a shared understanding with the entire team. The business analyst also negotiates with Product Owner on behalf of the team with respect to delivery timelines.
- Evoke requirements breakdown
A business analyst in Agile team decompose the heavy requirements into small manageable pieces and write them in the form of user stories. He also write acceptance criteria and makes wireframes to make it easily explainable. He also manages dependencies between user stories with the help of Product Owner. She will also be engaged in managing the product backlog like grooming the backlog, prioritizing and refining it as per the changing market needs. She ensures alignment and realignment of business priorities with the development team.
- Helps team in requirement analysis
The agile team business analyst work day to day with the team and clarified requirements, acceptance criteria, accept final stories and coordinate with other business people. She communicates with various people by facilitating agile ceremonies such as iteration planning, kickoff etc. She also acts as a major stakeholder in all estimation sessions and numerous ad-hoc discussions. She focus on keeping the team up-to-date in making any changes to the stories as per the changing customer priorities and having their questions answered. She also makes an impact by attending agile ceremonies by guiding the team to make the best decisions, by making required data available. The business analyst largely contributes to the development team success.
- Perform test validation
Agile business analyst may have a deeper understanding in the system functionality as well. She also understands the various screens business flows and how end users really work with the application. She is also aware of negative flows, validation controls, colors and fonts and screen layouts and response times. In agile teams, she may also help the team in performing test validation to check the test cases are comprehensive that matches with the application functional flow and give feedback. She also review the ‘Definition of Done’ produced by the team and give appropriate feedback. She also reviews the necessary user documentation produced by the team and understand if it is concrete that helps the end customer in understanding the application flow.