In this episode, Anthony Mersino discusses where a Business Analyst fits on a Scrum Team and ways you can bring more value to the team and your organization.


After listening to this episode, you'll understand:

  • Why the question about the BA role in Scrum keeps coming up
  • The different roles a Business Analyst can take on
  • How to overcome some of the resistance to Agile transformations
  • What you can do to be a more valuable team member


I’m often asked if there’s a place for Business Analysts on a Scrum Team.  The question keeps coming up every few months even though many organizations have adopted Scrum and other Agile frameworks and their BAs continue to provide value.

This keeps coming up in part because the Scrum Guide does not mention specific skills or the Business Analyst role.  It also doesn’t mention UX designers, quality engineers, or other roles beyond the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and the Development Team.


The Challenges

There are a few challenges Business Analysts face when their organization goes through an Agile transformation.  We are told that people must be multi-skilled and BAs worry that they need to become software engineers to provide value to the team.  This leads to fearing that you’ll be forced to learn something difficult or something you’re not interested in.

Additionally, because the Product Owner role is close to the Business Analyst skill set, BAs are often concerned or confused about their role and how to be a valuable team member.  Related to this is that while serving as a liaison between business and technology is valuable, it’s generally better if the entire team understands the customer’s problems, needs, and goals.  This leaves BAs to question the value they provide.

During an Agile Transformation, Business Analysts may also find themselves in the middle of a turf war as some BA managers try to retain control of the people who report to them.

All of these challenges can leave Business Analysts confused and concerned about their future.


Shifting Focus

To overcome some of these challenges, Business Analysts first need to realize that their role is to support achieving the team goals.  With that focus, we can look for ways to bring value to the team while applying the skill of business analysis.

One way to do that is to cross train your team members in business analysis concepts and techniques.  This helps the entire team to understand the customer problem that they’re trying to solve and engages their creativity to find the right solution to a meaningful problem.


Listen to the full episode to understand how to overcome the other challenges and some of the antipatterns associated with an Agile Transformation.



 Aggressively pursue cross training.  Train your team members in Business Analysis skills and develop a shared understanding of your customers, the problems they face, and how to develop solutions that meet their needs.  In addition, cross train with team members to pick up new skills in UX, development, testing, and other areas that will help the team achieve its goal.


 Links mentioned in this episode:

Anthony Mersino

Anthony Mersino

Founder, Trainer, and Coach at Vitality Chicago Inc.

Anthony Mersino is an Enterprise Agile Coach who has specialized in helping project teams and organizations reach their full potential since 2001. He has deep experience in Agile frameworks such as Scrum and Kanban and also has experience leading large-scale IT projects and programs. Anthony has helped launch over 100 new Scrum teams and has helped train and coach several Fortune 500 organizations through their Agile Transformation.

Anthony Mersino is the author of Agile Project Management, and Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers; the People Skills You Need to Succeed.  Mr. Mersino has an MBA and holds the PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSP, CAL1, and PSPO certifications.


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