A business analyst supports a product owner by helping them analyze the business domain, stocking the product backlog, and grooming the product backlog.

The Business Analyst, also known as BA, plays a crucial and drastic role in the Scrum Team, though a BA role is not formally defined in the Scrum Framework. They act as the link between the Product Owner/customer and the technical IT team. The primary role of a BA is to evaluate the technical processes of a product and explain it to the Developer. They do not concern themselves with the business process as such as the Product Owner would but they do play a major duty in business processes. The role of a Business Analyst is not definite and can vary drastically. The BA has several responsibilities to play and is an integral part of the Scrum Team.

Responsibilities of a Business Analyst

A Business Analyst in the Scrum Team should adhere to several responsibilities. Few selective ones among them are as follows:

  • Review the User Stories created by the Product Owner and make sure that it meets the acceptance criteria. The BA has to make sure that every business rule is covered, and the functionality of the User Story is proper.
  • Anticipating and analyzing the needs of the customers to find solutions to address their problems.
  • Organizing the Product Backlog based on the prioritization provided by the Product Owner.
  • Building User Stories according to the requirements and making sure that they meet the acceptance criteria. (To be done, if not done by the Product Owner.)
  • Suggesting the requirements or improving them by working with the Product Owner and Stakeholders and understanding fully about the scope.

A Business Analyst has a major role to play in brainstorming sessions during the discussion of the upcoming Sprint Backlog. The BA sometimes is required to approve the implementation of the Product Increment as they understand all the technical probabilities associated with it. They also help the Developer understand the requirements of the product. A Business Analyst also works closely with the Quality Analyst and analyses the test coverage, converts real-world use cases into test cases, provides ideas and explanations to text complex functionality, etc. The BA’s duties also include them to plan meetings to help the team in estimations by making them get clarity on the dependency, complexity, and flow of the product. A Business Analyst always keeps learning about new trends in the market and keeps innovating and staying updated about the business area for which the product has been made.

Why is a Business Analyst important in a Scrum Team?

A Business Analyst has a crucial role to play in the success of any Scrum project. Their involvement in a project begins from understanding the needs of the customer and goes on to the Sprint demo. The Scrum Business Analyst is the primary contact person of the Developer whenever they face any impediment in the development process. The importance of the Scrum Business Analysts increases especially in the initial phases of a new project and with large scale projects. One example where the importance of Business Analysts can be understood is when there is no Business Analyst on the team the Product Owner has created a User Story such as “As a customer from an e-commerce website, I would like to perform all of these operations on my account”. And the acceptance criteria are:

  1. The customer should be able to log in.
  2. The customer can view different categories of electronics on different pages.
  3. The customer should be able to pay the bill by linking their credit and debit card.

Now, this kind of User Story would hold several story points, and cannot be accomplished at once. Hence, a Scrum Business Analyst has to break it down further, otherwise, things will worsen for the Developer as proper flow diagrams, and UI screens are not provided. This leads to a failing Sprint and a failed project. Hence, if a Product Owner is not a trained Business Analyst, it is highly recommended for the company to hire a Business Analyst on the team.

Conclusion: A Business Analyst can act as a Product Owner in many companies depending on the size and nature of the project and scale of the company. They are excellent professionals who are contacted by the Developer to discuss the impediments faced by the team during the development process. Hence, a Business Analyst is an integral part of any Scrum Team and a crucial member of the success of any project.


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