Holiday Episode: In the style of the New York Sun editorial in which an 8 year old Virginia asks if there’s a Santa Clause, grown up Virginia asks if there are Business Analysts in Agile.

DEAR EDITOR: I am 30 years old.
Some of my coworkers say there is no Business Analyst in Agile; especially with Scrum.
My boss says, ‘If you hear it on Mastering Business Analysis, it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Business Analyst in Agile?


Virginia, your coworkers are wrong. They have been affected by things they’ve heard about Agile and Scrum without understanding the mindset, values, and principles behind the practices. They do not believe except what they read about Scrum. They think that nothing can be which is beyond the Scrum Guide. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s, women’s or children’s, are not fixed. In many organizations our knowledge is a mere speck, a crumb as compared with the boundless and ever changing world around us as measured by the potential growth of the growth mindset capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there are Business Analysts in Agile.  They exist as certainly as critical thinking and problem solving and communication exists, and you know that they abound and give to your solutions its value and quality. Alas, how difficult would it be to create valuable solutions if there were no Business Analysts? It would be as difficult as if there were no Product Managers. There would be no clear communication then, no customer-centric focus, no vision to make exceptional our teams. We should have no alignment, except in micromanagement. The value with which our products bring to our customers would be diminished.

No BAs in Agile! You might as well not believe in collaboration! You might get your manager to draw up an organizational chart showing Business Analysts an Agile teams, but even if it does not list the title Business Analyst, what would that show? The power of Business Analysis is not in the role title, but in the clarity, shared understanding, and value they bring to teams, organizations, and customers. Most significant things Business Analysts do are those that we cannot see, yet are critical. Did you ever see a shared understanding or alignment? Of course not, but these intangibles are there in great teams. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders great teams have yet to develop.

You may create a process diagram or draw a value stream map, but there is a veil covering today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world which not the smartest person, nor even the united intelligence of all the smartest people that ever lived, could draw. Only vision, innovation, experimentation, and analysis of outcomes can push aside that curtain and picture the value and quality beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else as real and abiding.

No BAs in Agile! Thank God there are; and they may have different titles. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, the skill of business analysis will continue to help teams and organizations create high quality, valuable solutions.

Yes Virginia, there are Business Analysts in Agile.

Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and happy holidays however you celebrate. I wish you a joyous and prosperous 2020.

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