Why Every Agile Team Needs a Business Analyst
Business analysts are constantly striving to understand the needs of clients, strategizing ways to make organizations more efficient, and providing impactful technological solutions. No Agile team is complete without a business analyst, although some professionals argue that Agile teams can operate properly without a BA.
Why the Argument Against BAs in Agile?
Angela Wick, a contributor to the BA Times, said that those who think Agile teams can function well without a business analyst often take the Scrum Guide too literally as it states these teams should be comprised of Scrum master, product owner, and the development team.1 She encouraged readers not to underestimate the need Agile teams have for business analysts, saying “many organizations have many talented professionals titled BA, who have a crazy amount of skills to offer an agile team!” In fact, an increasing number of business analysts are getting certified in Agile analysis.
A Few Reasons All Agile Teams Need a Business Analyst
All Agile teams should include a business analyst for several reasons. Wick offered these:
- BAs bring a detailed view of the customer, user, data, processes, and systems, which helps the Agile team deliver better solutions.
- BAs help Agile teams manage value delivery by partnering with POs.
- BAs “collaborate cross functionally and apply their deep knowledge and skills in other areas to benefit the team.”
- BAs keep backlog items ready for the Agile team, which speeds up processes that drive better business outcomes.
The Benefits Certified Agile Business Analysts Bring to the Table
Business analysts are a boon to any Agile team. This is doubly true of business analysts with an Agile Analysis Certification. First and foremost, BAs who are Agile-certified bring an Agile mindset to the business analysis process. This means they are more people-focused and less process-focused. “A big win of this mindset is getting insight into real customer need and deliver a solution which not only meets business criteria but also delivers a value to our customers,” stated Agile Business Analyst Mindset.2
Another major benefit that a certified Agile business analyst can offer a client or Agile team is the ability to work effectively across three planning horizons: Strategy, Initiative, and Delivery. The PM Times said these planning horizons are crucial to driving Agile transformation across an organization, as well as offering “an apt framework for the shift in focus that occurs when moving between understanding the long-term strategic needs of the business and the immediate needs of a customer.” Learn more about each of these domains by reading the Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide.
Are You Prepared to Contribute Fully to an Agile Team?
No Agile team should be without a business analyst. Prepare yourself to contribute at the highest level to an Agile team with the IIBA Agile Analysis Certification. This competency-based certification proves your capabilities in Agile analysis and lets employers know you are ready to lead with an Agile mindset.
1. BA Times. 5 reasons BAs are critical to an agile team. https://www.batimes.com/angela-wick/5-reasons-bas-are-critical-to-an-agile-team.html.
2. BA Times. Agile business analyst mindset. https://www.batimes.com/articles/agile-business-analyst-mindset.html.