The role of an Agile Business Analyst (Agile BA) is not defined in frameworks under the Agile umbrella, but for certain has an important role in the team. Sometimes, the role is under the hat of a Product Owner.
With the rising of projects complexity, it is hard to maintain the requirements under the same hat. The Agile BA needs to be the responsible person in creating great projects/products. But are there other skills & mindsets that such a role must have?
The essence of being agile is adaptability. Our challenges are forcing us in a direction or in others if we should use an agile approach or the waterfall methodology. Why not love waterfall methodology?… 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 new situations. Therefore, adaptability is a very strong concept in our agile world, which in short and medium-term will become the new normal.
First, the Agile BA person should understand the problem of the client-facing with and then focus on the solution by bringing the highest value. Still regarding the fact that a lot of projects is failing because of the undertaking into consideration risk management. When we address the highest risks with the highest value, it minimizes the percentage of failing. The goal orientation helps them in the necessity of system thinking, in order not to lose the big picture in the current sprints.
New approaches to solving business problems and improvements to the business processes in which the problem exists. All the ideas need validation to be efficient and effective. So, it is imperative to hold interviews with not biased clients and to interpret the outcome.
The success of a leader’s s role stays in facilitation, communication, influence and not through authority. Usually, they should assure that they understand the big challenges in their organization and maintain their leadership position.
Agile BAs should have the right attitude (I’m a believer of Servant-Leadership style) towards all the business roles implicated at the organization level: stakeholders, customers (internal and external) and they should become some a mediator between these roles to achieve what they need towards success.
‘What-is’ version vs ‘Will-be’ version of the process for improvements and innovation at this level
This is the tool that all the Agile business analysts need to relate to bring value to the table, but this is not the only thing that they should do. They can start with themes, epics 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 what the team will develop.
Therefore, from my perspective, a great Agile BA has a good understanding of the projects and products at the organisation level to find better ways to get the unfair advantage of the company into the market.
In the small projects, the need for an Agile Business Analyst role is not very clear as in big/enterprise projects. He/she can bring a lot of value to the table as they have the characteristics described below.
Sometimes, the roles of an Agile BA and of an Agile PM could overlap.
Please check some differences between Agile Business Analyst and Agile Product Owner, here