Why should you become an Agile Business Analyst? Is it the better remuneration you are looking for? Or the ability to strive in the IT sector? Or the job satisfaction you will get? We are sure you will get multiple reasons for this very question. This article brings you clarity on why becoming an Agile Business Analyst can be a game-changer for you. Aren’t we all looking for the ability to perform an agile business analyst job with ease?
Agile Business Analyst job plays a crucial role in an agile team by contributing a fair share of their skills and knowledge of agile business analysis. One of the keys focuses of an agile BA on an agile team is to support the product owner (PO) with decision making. Moreover, a BA also challenges the views and ideas of stakeholders during review meetings to ensure that they align with the product objectives.
In this guide, let’s take a look at the agile business analyst job as a profession, and what are the advantages of opting for it as a career.
Advantages of Agile Business Analyst
A few of the advantages of being an agile business analyst is as follows:
Demand and compensation
Agile is settling into the market and becoming an integral part of the IT industry. The 15th Annual State of Agile Report, held in May 2020 says that organizations are adopting agile for multiple benefits like Delivery speed, time to market, managing changing priorities, and many more.
The compensation is directly aligned with the demand for Agile Business Analysts. Because Agile business analysts bring highly sought-after expertise in an ever-changing environment. The average annual salary of an agile business analyst as per PayScale is $78,700.
Stepping stone to become a Product Owner
Interested to take up the Product Owner role down the line? Agile Business Analysis builds a strong foundation for product ownership. The Agile Business Analysis principles align your mindset to the very essence needed to perform the role of a Product Owner. In particular, Skills like Cultivating Customer Intimacy, Learning Fast, and Delivering Values are a few of them.
Your preparedness towards embracing the change
When you are ready to embrace the changing environment, you are ready to face any challenge. It makes you only stronger. Agile advocates in empowering individuals. As a business analyst, you get sharpened with timely decision-making.
For example, a change in the identified feature set is put on hold due to organization-level decisions. Here, the agile mindset will help you to accept this change, and instead of resisting and feeling how much effort you and your team would have already put in, you can now focus on what is on the plate. The agile mindset helps you to shift immediately instead of wasting time on overthinking.
A refined professional
The IT industry has a proven record of unpredictability. Same Projects would have seen changing context. Changes from organizational internal factors or external ones. What is important is to accept the changes as and when they come. When you adapt to the feedback and learning, the more ease comes to you to perform well in your environment. What used to look challenging earlier might be a thrill now.
A better human being
One of the impactful lines from the agile manifesto says ‘Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
A human-centric behavior will always thrive. Business Analysis is focused to maximize the output for the customers (real end-users or consumers). When you use both philosophies together, you can empathize with the customers more to bring up the hidden pain points and understand their needs clearly.
A better decision-maker
The ever-evolving context will for sure make you a better decision-maker. Multiple rounds of prioritization, de-prioritization on backlog items will help you in becoming so. As a business analyst, you can influence the key decision-makers for the changes required for the business.
Moreover, as a voice-of-customer, you will get to know the bigger picture of the need. The more insights you get the better decisions you can make on the solutions and alternatives.
Earning the necessary skills and knowledge of agile business analysis concepts can improve your confidence and boost your morale while interacting with other team members, stakeholders, or higher management. Communication is a key factor for the success of any business and being an agile BA can help you improve your communication skills.
Driving continuous improvements for the organization
The primary focus of performing business analysis in any organization is to enhance and deliver better business outcomes. An agile business analyst gets a clear understanding of agile practices, priorities, team management approach, among others. It helps the agile BA to help drive continuous improvement in their organization by successfully keeping a track of agile projects, and effectively communicating with the other team members and stakeholders.
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Agile Business Analysis with a career graph
We took a LinkedIn poll on ‘how is the awareness of people in terms of agile business analysis. The engagement on the post compelled me to pick this topic to write about.
It is disheartening to see people’s awareness for the sake of doing things just to keep up with the demand in the industry. The very core of agile as embracing the change is lost. People are still resisting to accept the new norm of being agile. Once you embrace the change there is no stop to your climb on your career-success ladder.
Pic Source: IIBA
With a result-oriented career graph, Agile Business Analysis does not only align your mindset towards agile practice, but also sharpens your decision-making, logical thinking, and other core analysis skills to strive in an ever-changing agile environment.
Contribution BA makes to an Agile Team
An agile business analyst makes the following contribution to an agile team:
- The primary contribution of a BA to an agile team is to reduce silos of information by acting as the voice of the customers. A BA interacts with the customer to understand their needs and find relevant solutions.
- Secondly, a BA ensures there is coordination and team effort to complete all the necessary tasks.
- Thirdly, a BA works on creating the user stories with applicable acceptance criteria within the stipulated deadlines, so they can go forward to be pushed into sprints.
- Frequent discussions by the BA with other team members, stakeholders, PO, and customers to ensure there is no gap at any level.
- Finally, a BA helps support the processes where the agile team has input for requirements before the sprint planning. It ensures accuracy at all times.
Being an agile business analyst has its perks and it broadens your horizons to gain a significant amount of knowledge and skills of agile business analysis. As an agile BA, you can add value to your organization through better business outcomes and improved customer satisfaction.
So, these were some of the benefits of the agile business analyst job, If you think you have a logical mind, problem-solving attitude, analytical thinking and you are ready to make decisions in an ever-evolving environment, then it is the right time to make a start for yourself in the agile business analysis domain.
The key role of a business analyst in agile is to support the product owner (PO) by analyzing, facilitating dialogue, and providing accurate information to support informed decision-making.
A few metrics that can be used to measure success in Agile BA is as follows:
On-time delivery of products
Sprint burndown report
Epic and release burndown
Cumulative flow diagram
DevOps is the process of getting the development and operation teams together. The purpose of DevOps is to manage the engineering processes. On the other hand, Agile is an iterative approach that focuses on collaboration, customer feedback, and delivering the parts of a project at a time.
A few mistakes that you can avoid in agile project management is as follows:
You are not setting a long-term vision for the project.
The project suffers from fragmented outputs
Unable to predict time and resources needed with minimal planning
Avoiding documentation for agile projects
Not enough team planning before starting the project
Business analysts act as the bridge holding everyone together as they collaborate with the team members, stakeholders, and also act as the voice of the customers. Moreover, a business analyst effectively translates the needs of the business into user stories and prioritizes deliverables.
A business analyst plays a crucial role in aligning the Scrum teams with the needs of the customers. Moreover, a scrum business analyst may work as a product owner (PO) in most cases and have a set of responsibilities to perform.