I keep hearing that Agile is ringing out the death knell of Business Analysis. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will concede that some agile teams do not need a Business Analyst. I will not accept that agile teams do not do analysis. The IIBA defines a Business Analyst as anyone who performs business analysis. So agile teams do have Business Analysts, just not in name.
What has become evident to me is that agile teams perceive that they need only a very limited set of business analysis skills. They need only to elaborate the user story before each iteration. They do this through conversations that makes up one of the three “C” of a user story. That is a very limited view. If you look at the Value Management Steam of the IC Agile Knowledge Framework, the elaboration of a user story is a small facet of analysis. Consider the very popular Scaled Agile Framework for organisational role out of agile, here you find three layers of planning and elaboration: Epic, Feature and User Story (the sequence is a point of discussion). This is also in keeping with the BABOK Extension for Agile which proposes three horizons of planning.
This is why Business analysis is not dead. To get from the corporate strategy through the three layers to arrive at the user stories in the agile team’s backlog needs a full gambit of business analysis skills and methods. Guess who has those skills, and yes you got it, the Business Analyst. Organisations that are hoping to role agile at scale cannot do without a good experienced Business Analyst. So yes, some agile teams may not need a person called a Business Analyst, but an organization hoping to roll out their strategy using an agile approach will need business analysis and hence Business Analysts.
But we as Business Analysts we need to understand that our role needs to be redefined. The most important mind shift relates to our role as Business Analysts is in this changing world. We no longer exist to produce requirement documentation, or any documents in fact. Our role is to get consensual agreement on complex decisions that need to be made. How we do this will be the subject of a subsequent blog.
#BABOK #Business Value #Business Analyst #Consensual Agreement #Agile Team