Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The role of the Agile Business Analyst

In Agile, the role of the BA has some adaptations when compared to traditional approach, in order to respond to client demands in an Agile approach.

Cottmeyer & Henson at VersionOne defend that the BA be the bridge between the product owner and the technical team. In the authors' published white paper, the role of the BA assumes this actor has a good knowledge of the system, and outlines functional requirements from the product owner, translating it to technical language useful for developers. These skills demand that the BA has a good understanding of software architecture concepts, in order to bring good specifications to the development team, so that the business needs are met.

In the Agile way, this process is done by identifying small amounts of functionalities, in an incremental approach (the agile approach), so that small product-ready developments are presented to the clients.

In order to specify robust specifications, the BA accepts input from all the team members, in opposition to receiving it only from the product owner in the traditional approach. This contributes to create a "strong sense of confidence", has the authors defend.

This change on the mindset of the BA can be challenging, coming from traditional project management approaches, but as Cottmeyer & Henson defend, it's an excelent way of creating "opportunities to learn more about how to write feature driven requirements".

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