A role of a business analyst is full of ambiguity and inconclusive. The day to day activities of a business analyst in one organization is a lot different from another. Why in the same company the role may vary at different levels. A business analyst certification can help you gain a clearer picture of the various kinds of roles involved. But, the usefulness of the certification doesn’t end here. A certification program not only shows that you have the right skillsets for the job but also demonstrates your dedication towards the role.

What is the role of a Business Analyst in Agile projects?

The role of a business analyst has always been focused on understanding the requirements and documents them or playing an intermediary between the teams. 

However, business analysts play a more in-depth role in the Aigle environment. They are involved in many direct communications with the project team.

So, what are the main skills required of a business analyst in an Agile environment?

  • Domain knowledge – Good knowledge of various business processes involved in any domain, be it healthcare, finance, manufacturing, etc.
  • Various process improvement tools and techniques such as Six Sigma and others to evaluate the business process.
  • IT knowledge – To understand the various IT requirements to be met for the project completion
  • Process understanding – To be able to understand how a particular business process works and how their role as a business analyst can add value to the process.

How is the role of Agile Business Analyst different from traditional BA roles?

As already mentioned, the business analyst role is very abstract. It included higher levels of uncertainty. However, in the Agile environment, the role of the BA is more like the following:

  • Lowered emphasis on documentation
  • More changes are encouraged and they see to it that these changes are communicated effectively.
  • In the agile environment, the product owner plays the role of a business analyst with some assistance on large projects. The product owner’s role goes well beyond that of business analysts’.
  • Rather than documenting the requirements and communicating them to the project team, the business analysts also focus on improving the process to make it more effective.
  • Business Analysts in the Agile environment also involve themselves by writing user stories in a clear and easy-to-understand manner for the development team.
  • The ‘why’ angle is clearly demonstrated in the stories and why that angle is important is also elicited.
  • In large projects, business analysts also need to bridge the needs of different smaller projects involved.

What kind of training is needed for this?

Making a switch between a traditional business analyst role to an agile business analyst is a cumbersome process.

Before the transition, the current business analyst should resolve the following questions:

  • What role will I be playing in the Agile development team?
  • Which is the most effective way to work with the product owners?
  • How to make that shift from writing requirements to powerful user stories for the development team with a value-added angle.

The following steps can be implemented by the traditional business analyst before making the switch:

  • Research Agile Methods.
  • Understand the Agile requirements from a business analyst perspective and change your mindset accordingly.
  • Support the product owner.
  • Think in the lines of creating powerful user stories with a ‘why’ angle included. It should be a perspective the developer team cannot think of.
  • Focus more on business value:
  1. How to reduce cost
  2. Time management
  3. Reduction of risk
  4. Elimination of waste
  5. Simplifying the complex business problems
  6. Improving quality.

Conclusion: The most important point to become an agile business analyst is how to get started. Once the plan is fixed, and the execution is on the way, then the transition is evitable.