The role of an Agile Business Analyst is not well defined, but for certain he has an important role in the team. Sometimes, the role is under the hat of Product.
Owner, but for sure in big or enterprise projects, it is hard to maintain the requirements under the same hat. In the first place, the Agile BA needs to be the role responsible for the requirements of the project/product that is built. But are there other skills & mindsets that such a role must have?
The essence of being agile is adaptability. Our challenges are dictating if we need to use an agile approach or if we could use waterfall. Everybody loves waterfall – it is very clear, smooth and would love to apply it all the time.
The challenges appear when uncertainty comes into place, and you need to adapt to the new situation. This is why adaptability is a very strong concept in our agile world.
Through goal orientation, an agile BA understands and brings value in solving business problems. The goal orientation helps them in the necessity of system thinking, in order not to lose the big picture in the current sprints.
This role is looking for new approaches in terms of solving the business problem and improvements to the business processes in which the problem exists. Also, it is imperative to hold interviews with possible clients that are not biased and to interpret the outcome.
The leader’ s role is achieved with facilitation, communication, influence and not through authority. Usually, they should assure that they understand the big challenges in their organization in order to be perceived and maintain their leadership position.
Agile BAs should have the ZEN attitude towards all the business roles implicated at the organization level: business sponsors, customers (internal, but external as well) and they should become some sort of a mediator between these roles in order to achieve what is needed towards success.
A knowledgeable person in the domain that they activate in order to understand processes, metrics and of course the business perspective.
Identify the “what-is” versus “will-be”, in order to improve and innovate the process level.
This is the tool that all the agile business analysts need to relate to in order to bring value to the table, but this is not the only thing that they should do. They can start with EPICS in order to have an overview of the system. They need to discuss the stories with all the team members and be clear and concise on the input/output of stories.
This is why, from my perspective, a great agile BA has a good understanding of the projects and products at the organization level to find better ways to obtain the unfair advantage of the company into the market.
Level of the uncertainty at the business level
In the small projects maybe an agile business analyst is not needed as in big/enterprise projects. Even so, he/she can bring a lot of value on the table as they have the characteristics described below.
Sometimes, the role of an agile BA could be overlapped with the role of an Agile Project Manager.
Please check some differences between Agile Business Analyst and Agile Product Owner, here.