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Why is a Business Analyst Best Fit for Scrum Environment?

Business analysts can be said as the most important person in any organization. This is not just a role but a culmination of multiple roles put together in one profile. 

Can you think of any business doing well without having anyone show the correct direction and add value to the systems? It is like thinking of a trip without having anyone on the driver’s seat.

I have been working as a business analyst for almoseight 8 years now. When you reach this kind of stature in your life, the best thing you get to see is the view. Trust me, it’s wonderful at the top. It is not there I do not like to have a boss but in this profile, you actually run the whole show. Sounds interesting? But, it was not like this always! I have seen my set of ups and downs. But they all seemed small as I was always motivated.  

You need to be proactive and need to have that keen foresight to see what comes next. In this span of 8 years, I have known no breaks. Life has been always on the go. You being at the center of the organization, have to weave everything together and specify certain processes like the working of the systems, procedures and even operations. 

In the case of a software firm, you will be the primary link between the whole business unit and the IT. You will be involved in working with your clients, studying their needs and then working out the best possibilities for addressing them to the best abilities of your team. 

I am trying to address how does a business analyst role fits in the scrum. Don’t you also think, it is also important to address the thing from the beginning? It is always a good idea to brush your basics well. 

Business Analyst training

What is Scrum?

Simply put, Scrum is regarded as a framework that helps the businesses to work out complex issues. This happens at the time while it is working towards the production of the highly creative products of the highest quality. Scrum is in itself a framework directed at great team coordination and collaboration on complex products. 

This agile management methodology is used for the development of software projects with the primary goal of delivering a new software methodology in every 2-4 weeks. 

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Interaction Overview Diagram

Scrum is simple and it actually replaces a programmed approach. The Scrum Team consists of a Product Owner, the Development Team and the Scrum Master. These teams are self-organizing and also have multiple functions. Scrum teams often choose how to finish their work instead of being directed by outsiders. This is the core competency of cross-functional teams. 

Read More - Complete Agile Scrum Master Tutorial Guide for Beginners

Scrum has emerged as the most popular methodology of agile. Many surveys have stated that nearly 70% of all the software teams across the world make use of Scrum. Latter has also moved on to other business functions that include IT and marketing. Even the top leadership style is based on the Scrum. What do you think are the major benefits of the Scrum methodology?

These methodologies are highly helpful in addressing complexity in work and making the information highly transparent. 

Here are some of the most perceived benefits of Scrum:

 benefits of Scrum

Now, before I take you through the role of the business analyst in Scrum, I suppose it is also important to quickly brush up with the role of the business analyst.

Primary Role of the Business Analyst

As I mentioned that a business analyst is a central person in any organization, let us explore some of the basic roles of the profile.

  • Need-based analysis of customer business.
  • Conducting a domain analysis of the products, and improvement in suggestions.
  • Formalization of the requirements in terms of different kinds of methodologies, and even notations, usage, and prototyping, brainstorming, surveys, etc.
  • Analysis of the formalization in terms of the separation of the business, functional and other non-functional requirements. 
  • Transmission of requirements between the clients and the developers. 

Now, there are some projects that do not need a dedicated analyst. This is true. In such cases, you will find yourself sharing your role with experts from other fields like systems analysts, software developers, salesforce analysts, quality analysts, etc. 

However, you need to know where to draw the line. You as an analyst have to relate with the expectations of the clients and the customers. You have to ensure that you have come up with new ideas in terms of solutions and other requirements. 

Business Analyst Role in Scrum Environment

Read: The Miracle Of CCBA - Certificate of Capability in Business Analysis

Also, I want to mention that as an analyst you will come across situations where you feel that the client is unsure of the results and has really unworkable ideas. But, infact look for the missing link in your knowledge and then try to plug in the gaps. Even if the client has unworkable expectations, it is your job to bring it back to basics. It is your core competency to show the client what is possible and how to go about it. There is at times you have to show the light to them. He is not the analyst, you are. 

Steps to Follow in Such Situations:

  • Identify the needs of your clients. Dig deep to address the problem he is trying to solve.
  • Now work on the same independently and not with any team.
  • Mere visualization of the idea is not enough. You have to work on the same and develop the same into specific requirements for the creation of future products. Yes, you can make use of many different techniques for the same as various process models, structures, use cases, etc. Also, it is important to make proper estimates of the efforts and the amount of time it will require.
  • Every requirement has to be specified.
  • Finally, once the plan is specified and the requirements have been laid out, you have to advise the programmers and other QA for product development. 

Remember, in all this, it is important to keep the management and the client in the loop so that any discrepancy can be handled at the spot. 

Business Analyst Role in Scrum Environment

How do you think you as a business analyst fits into this picture? Think yourself to be the center of the whole story and paint a hero image for yourself. Seriously! It works like that. As a business analyst, no matter in which industry you are operating in, you will find yourself centrally placed. There is no room for a second thought. Why? 

It is because your teams will be working on your instructions. So, they have to be perfect. 

business analyst curriculumAs you go further, the IT industry is increasingly adopting the agile framework. Hence the role of the Scrum master will go up. It is the scrum master who will decide the progress of the project and will remove all the obstacles that come in the way. It has been realized that the role of the business analyst is highly in demand for being a scrum master. This came as a surprise to many in the industry, as initially, the framework of scrum had no place for the business analyst role, they have become an excellent fit now. If you are wondering how to let me explain.

  • The role of the scrum master saw many parallels with that of the business analyst. Both were trying to ensure that the business runs smoothly and things were completed in time. Scrum master is supposed to conduct daily meetings and take inputs from the team members on what has been covered and what lies ahead. Likewise, the role of the business analyst is very similar to this. 
  • The experience of a business analyst is truly unparalleled in the industry. I, working as one, know when to deal with the clients, sponsors, etc. This is routine work and makes an everyday story. Essentially, this also forms the primary role of the scrum master. 
  • Another reason why a business analyst fits in the role is because the environment of the scrum is highly collaborative. The job that a business analyst handles alone is now taken up by a whole team. But that does not mean you take a back-seat. You are still what you were and you still do what you were doing. The only difference is that the work is spread but you still remain in lead. You take on the command and ensure that whatever happens around you is done to perfection. In the scrum environment, it is the product owner who has to handle the backlogs. But, when it comes to the business analyst, core to our instincts the responsibility gets passed on to us. As someone, who is adept at guiding people, we take charge of the backlogs and work alongside the product owner. 

Challenges and Focus of a Business Analyst

This part is interesting. Infact this happens in many walks of life wherever there is a perceived overlapping of the roles. Think of it in your daily life, at home, at work, just everywhere. Whenever you see that ambiguity you tend to get confused which then leads to insecurity. 

Read more - Business Analyst Career Path

Take this as a pinch of salt that as a business analyst you are significant but when you walk into a new framework and you expect to excel in it or make your mark, there is this extra mile that you have to walk. 

Read: Popular Business Analysis Tools Which Actually Make Your Life Better
  • Yes, I am talking about certifications. If you get one in the scrum, then the sky is the limit. You will be seen as the best fit. So, I personally suggest, get one before you actually hit the role. But, at the same time, it becomes essential to state that it is not impossible. You will be faced with challenges draped in the form of opinions. 
  • You will often come across a view that will want that you need to be multi-skilled. Like I mentioned, yes it works. But, take heart. You can manage it otherwise. But, for the ones who suggest that you need to have that software engineer approach to be a successful scrum master, just keep them at bay. Do not get entangled in fears that you need to learn typical software to proceed further. This does not work like that. 
  • Another major challenge is that your role is highly similar to the one of the product owner. Yes, it happens. You get confused and infact start to question your own significance and need. Don’t! This thing also happens when you have to constantly juggle your role between striking a link and liaison with the technology and the development teams. You might feel that there is a gap or a missing link that you need to plug. Remember, there is a reason why they have a separate software team. If this work had to be done by the business analysts only, then why was there a need for a dedicated team. You have to stick to your guns. Your role is to tell different teams what and how to do. And trust me, this is important. Infact, this is the core.
  • Another challenge that I have noticed is that the business analyst in a new setup, you have to earn your place in the minds of your teams. But don’t you think this happens everywhere? Don’t you feel that you have to earn that place whenever you enter a new environment? Remember, things do not happen. Things have to be done. They have to be pushed. You have to show your talent and your value. And yes, you will meet people who will try to undermine your stature, try to steal your team-mates' loyalty and of course your credit. Stay put and do your bit. This always works. Quitting never helped anyone. It never will.

Business Analyst Quiz

How do you think like a business analyst you will cover this in the scrum environment?

Remember, it is your battle and only you know best how to win it. The very reason you are there in that role is that you are capable and there are people at the top who know that. However, that much isn’t enough. You have to constantly perform and prove yourself. 

You as a business analyst by now know how to add value to the firm, to the new framework. Give your best and work to the best of your abilities. You have to know that these teams know that has to be done, but they are not sure of the best ways to get it done. So, as a business analyst has to make use of your abilities and your knowledge to tell them the best way forward. 

One way you can do that is by cross-training your new team members about the skills, concepts, and techniques about the analysis. This will make them feel empowered as they can relate to what you are talking about. They will know what problem you are trying to solve and how. This helps them to creatively engage with the process and come up with new solutions to the problems.

This is your work to bring about that change in focus and a basic shift in their mindset so they can perceive you correctly. Once you achieve that and are able to strike a chord with the team you will not need to worry. 

Summary

A business analyst is a typical future role that can fit in different industrial verticals. Likewise, the scrum framework is gaining prominence with time. As the two come together, the synergy that is generated cannot be imagined. Business analyst forms a great fit for the same. Remember, everything has its own share of challenges that cannot be over-ruled. The trick is to stay put and not quit.

I’m sure you enjoyed reading this. If you are considering such a switch, go ahead with prudence and faith. We will love to hear about your experiences.  




    Janbask Training

    A dynamic, highly professional, and a global online training course provider committed to propelling the next generation of technology learners with a whole new way of training experience.


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