Introduction to Agile Business Analyst
The agile business analyst, also known as the business system analyst (BSA), are professionals whose task is to convert the business needs into a technology work plan. The agile business analyst collaborates and applies the business skills to add value to the organization’s business needs. The agile business analyst has expertise in the business domain as well as a good customer connect, which is helpful.
The traditional business analyst focuses on analyzing the business needs only and pays the least attention to product development. The traditional business analyst approaches to solve the problem in one go, unlike the agile business analyst. The agile business analyst breaks the bigger problem into smaller parts to work efficiently and gradually focuses on achieving the project development in iterations or smaller sprints or phases. It promotes adaptability and a strong business relationship between the project stakeholder and team members.
Key Characteristics of a Good Agile Business Analyst
Following are the characteristics of a good agile business analyst:
1. Communication Expert
Effective communication is the key to the success of any business. A business analyst is expected to be an expert in face-to-face communication while delivering the data analysis report in the business meeting or explaining the key concept to the management level. For any project, the business analyst needs to communicate over the phone or by mail; open and clear communication is crucial in project management or while implying agile practices in business implementation.
2. Problem-Solving Ability
An agile business analyst should be a problem solver and have an approach to finding a solution to any problem. However, in certain situations, the problems are not solved in the first attempt, and multiple repeated rounds are required to find the solution. Thus an agile business analyst is required to be stubborn enough to find an appropriate solution for a business issue.
3. Critical Thinking
An agile business analyst must be a critical thinker. The business analyst must speak to each and every team member participating in the project execution and implementation to recognize why or what is the underlying reason for this need and how this need can help the respective team members and the project manager else production and profit will saturate and stop at a certain point. Root cause analysis of the problem is compulsory as visualizing the problem from the outer surface will provide shallow results, which is useless.
4. Analytical Bend of Mind
An analytical bend of mind is important and is earned through experience. An agile business analyst must have an analytical bend of mind towards finding business solutions for increasing production and profit. An analytical approach towards solving a problem will let the analyst break a loaf of a huge problem into smaller activities and solve them. Thus an analytical approach will allow us to find an effective solution and to build a framework.
5. Process Modelling
Process modeling or visualizing the problem and solution is equally important. However, finding a solution in mind is not sufficient; the analyst will have to visualize the solution to other team members in order to achieve the solution. Visual representation of the solution is important because it helps to understand the data better.
6. Relationship Building Skill
Relationship building skill involves trust-building and filling up the gaps between the stakeholder and the cross-functional team members. The business analyst plays a key role in building trust between them.
Role of an Agile Business Analyst
It has played a key role in software development; let us analyze a few crucial roles.
1. Analyzing the System
An agile business analyst studies the whole system in detail right from zero iteration to the release phase of the project. A business analyst works closely with the development team to understand product development and understand the project’s initial requirement. An agile business analyst scopes the project, and help identify the project’s automation areas.
2. Recognizing the Business Needs
An agile business analyst sits with the stakeholders to understand their requirements and to understand their vision of the product, and then they translate the stakeholder’s vision of the product into the business needs and communicate it to the team members to make them understand the client’s expectation for the project. Meetings with the project stakeholder is an iterative process so the business analyst saves the time of the other team member like the development team and spends a significant amount of time in meetings with the stakeholder to understand the changes and modifications in the client’s requirement.
3. Translating the Technical Issues
As already mentioned, an agile business analyst works closely with the development team to understand the project’s technical needs and make them understand the client’s vision. The business analyst understands the technical requirements and explains the technical aspects of the stakeholder and the management team. Thus it acts as a balancer or translator between the stakeholder and the other team members by making them understand each other’s requisite.
4. Process Modeling and Documentation
The business analyst represents the client’s requirement and the business data into easy to understand visualization forms to have a clear understanding of the business needs. The business analyst works with the project stakeholder to model and document the project requirements.
5. Conveying Project Update to Stakeholders
The role of a business analyst is like a surrogate to the project stakeholders as the business analyst will communicate their thoughts and vision to the other cross-functional team working on the project, and also the business analyst will convey the project update gathered from the development team to the project stakeholder for validation of the decision and to proceed further. A business analyst will update the project stakeholder for prioritizing the activities so that the project can be delivered on time as per the client’s wish.
A business analyst helps to collaborate with the business users and the business sponsors to add value to the organization’s profits. They play a key role in keeping the product backlog and project progress prioritized and groomed to plan the subsequent iterations and tasks for the next sprint.
This has been a guide to Agile Business Analyst. Here we discussed the concept, role, and key characteristics of agile business analysts. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –