What is the Role of an Agile Business Analyst?

Who is an Agile Business Analyst? - Understanding Skills, Roles and Responsibilities

The IT industry is swiftly embracing agile methodology and this brings into focus the role of an agile business analyst. Since the focus of using agile methodologies is to deliver value to customers, it ultimately requires the need for the entire team to jointly perform business analysis on a continual basis. Who is an agile business analyst? What is the role of an agile business analyst? Is the role of a business analyst in agile projects different than that in waterfall projects? We will examine the role in detail.

In this article, we are going to discuss the need and the context of agile business analysts and their roles in an agile environment. To understand the role better, let’s understand the way the software development happens in an agile environment.

Who is an Agile Business Analyst?

An agile business analyst is a professional who possesses expertise in agile methodology and is adept at utilizing agile principles to benefit an organization. Their primary responsibility is to collaborate with various stakeholders and assist them in comprehending the advantages of agile methodology and how it can help their business.

Additionally, they play a crucial role in facilitating effective communication between the development team and the business, ensuring that the team understands the business requirements and how they can be met utilizing agile practices..

Qualifications for an Agile Business Analyst

The Agile Business Analyst (Agile BA) plays a crucial role in facilitating the implementation of agile methodologies in an organization. To become an Agile BA, one needs to meet certain qualifications that include academic qualifications, certifications, and relevant work experience.

  • A Bachelor's or Master's degree in Business Administration, Information Technology, or a related field is typically preferred for an Agile BA role. However, candidates with equivalent experience and relevant certification may also be considered.
  • Agile business analysts may require certifications such as Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), Agile Analysis Certification (AAC), or Certificate in Product Ownership Analysis(CPOA) to demonstrate their proficiency in agile methodologies. These certifications validate their knowledge and skills in the agile framework.
  • Agile business analysts must have experience working with agile methodologies, such as Scrum or Kanban, and have an in-depth understanding of agile principles and practices. They must also have experience working with business stakeholders to understand their needs and translate them into requirements for the development team. Additionally, experience in project management, software development life cycle, and business analysis methodologies is desirable.

What is Agile Methodology?

Agile methodology is the practice of continual iteration of software development and testing. Moreover, the agile methodology approaches are laid down within the values and principles as mentioned in the Agile Manifesto.

The purpose of agile methodologies is to deliver the right products and deliver small parts of the project frequently as it enables the customers to give feedback for different phases of the project and ask for project changes if needed.

Agile methodology is based on four core values:

1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools: Agile methodology emphasizes the importance of human interaction and communication in software development. It prioritizes face-to-face communication and collaboration among team members and stakeholders over relying on processes and tools.

2. Working software over comprehensive documentation: Agile methodology values working software over extensive documentation. It focuses on delivering working software frequently to the customer and continuously improving it through feedback.

3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: Agile methodology values customer collaboration throughout the project lifecycle over contract negotiation. The customer is actively involved in the development process, providing feedback and testing the software at regular intervals.

4. Responding to change over following a plan: Agile methodology values the ability to respond to change and adapt to evolving requirements over sticking to a rigid plan. The development team embraces change and pivots as needed to deliver maximum value to the customer.

History of Agile Movement

How did Agile come into picture? By the 1970s, software experts were convinced that the waterfall way of software development was not suitable for most of the bespoke software development projects, because of various reasons e.g. changing requirements, lack of consistent customer collaboration.

Many methodologies popped up thereafter – right from Prototyping, Spiral, XP, pair programming, DSDM etc. Agile can be thought of as a culmination of many such attempts. It took concrete shape when 17 such experts came together and agreed on a common Agile framework in 2001. The key principles behind Agile manifesto has been:

  • Early and continuous delivery of working software to encourage customer collaboration unlike other methodologies wherein working software is only available in the end for customer UAT.
  • Finding a methodology to respond to the reality of changing requirements, rather than trying to stabilize the requirements through various means e.g. Change request process

Both these principles indicate that the agile approach is adaptive rather than predictive, whether it is planning or design or development. People don’t follow a plan, made by project managers, but continuously adapt based on the customer feedback and changing scenarios.

We guess, what we described above, is well-known and agile methodologies have proven their superiority already. Let’s examine the context of a business analyst in agile Projects.

Context of Agile Business Analysts

What does an agile business analyst do in software projects:

  • Work as a primary interface between customer and the tech team
  • The primary role is collecting, analyzing & modeling customer requirements
  • It’s about translating the business requirements into set of technical requirements, so that technical teams can design and code the system better
  • Validate the software before handing over to the customer
  • Managing the requirements (changing requirements, prioritization etc.)

Role of agile business analyst, as a specialist has been gaining critical importance for two reasons:

  • Incorrect/insufficient understanding of customer requirements has been one of the top reasons for failed projects and agile business analysts are entrusted with the responsibility of getting the requirements right.
  • Technical teams may write better programs if they can understand – “Why something is required”? Agile business analysts achieve this using modeling and close collaboration with the technical team.

The above become even more relevant with the increasing size and complexity of the projects. We conducted a webinar some time back on the roles and responsibilities of a business analyst.


The roles and responsibilities of a business analyst may differ for different positions in an organization. For instance, the roles of BA in the software development cycle will be different from the roles of a BA as part of the Scrum team. Let’s now examine the role and need of a BA in agile methodologies.

Role of Agile Business Analyst

Scrum is probably the most used and followed agile methodology but Scrum did not define the role of a BA, probably because the role of a business analyst was not very prominent then. Scrum has a role of a product owner. A product owner is responsible for eliciting, analyzing, modeling, and managing the requirements.

An agile business analyst’s role is very similar to a product owner’s role. Let’s try and understand the role of an agile business analyst for the following:

1. Agile Business Analyst Role in Software Development Cycle

The role of an agile business analyst in the software development process/cycle may differ for the different phases. Here is everything you need to know about the role of an agile business analyst in different phases of a software development process.

Requirement Gathering Phase

In this phase, the agile business analyst plays a crucial role in gathering requirements from stakeholders, analyzing them, and creating a clear understanding of what the software needs to accomplish.

The role of agile business analyst in the requirement gathering phase is as follows:

  • Agile BA gathers all the high-level requirements and breaks them down to fit in time-boxed delivery cycles.
  • Refining the next few weeks’ worth of requirements into details for the developers to start.
  • Lower priority requirements will remain on the list as options until they are the next priority.


Documentation is a critical part of software development, and the agile BA is responsible for creating and maintaining documentation related to requirements, workflows, and processes. The role of business analyst in agile is to create the following documents during the documentation phase.

  • Epics, user stories, acceptance criteria
  • Backlog features/epics/user stories and use cases, Backlogs.

Note- The epics, user stories, and acceptance criteria are followed while developing the project.

Requirement Confirmation & Change Request

After the requirements are gathered, the BA must confirm them with stakeholders to ensure accuracy and completeness. A business analyst in agile performs the following role for the requirement confirmation and change request phase.

  • Change requests are anticipated and considered anytime during the development cycle. On every iteration, the feedback is taken by the agile business analysts during every time-boxed delivery cycle so that further changes can be accommodated.


An Agile software development methodology involves multiple iterations or sprints, each focusing on delivering a specific set of requirements.

In the iteration phase, the business analyst performs the following role:

  • An agile business analyst will regularly be connected with the development team in every iteration cycle.
  • An agile BA will communicate/demo developed functionality in front of a client to obtain their feedback.

Progress Update & Delivery Cycle

Throughout the development cycle, the BA must provide progress updates to stakeholders and ensure that the project remains on track.

The role of an agile BA in progress update and the delivery cycle is as follows:

  • Visibility is high as BA will demo functionality in regular iteration intervals.
  • After client approval, projects get delivered in small functional slices in every iteration.

Improvement Aspect

The Agile BA is responsible for identifying areas of improvement in the software development cycle and working with the team to implement these improvements.

  • An Agile BA is responsible for ongoing feedback at the end of each iteration.
  • The feedback is leveraged in the next iteration.

2. Agile Business Analyst Role as a Product Owner

The role of an agile business analyst as a product owner becomes a blend of both domains. Here are some of the roles of an agile BA as a product owner.

  • The BA is responsible for being in charge of everything related to the business, product, and documentation.
  • The BA constantly acts as a pilot for the agile team and the stakeholders.
  • The BA is responsible for interacting with the customers, understanding the requirements, and then documenting them.
  • The BA creates the user stories followed by prioritization.
  • The BA is also responsible for interacting with the entire agile team and educating them on where and how to start, among other information.

In a nutshell, an agile business analyst must have an in-depth knowledge of the product to ultimately lead to the successful development and delivery of the respective product.

3. Agile Business Analyst Role as a Scrum Team Member

In SCRUM, the product backlog captures the requirements for the entire product/project. A set of requirements taken up to be completed in a particular SPRINT are listed in the sprint backlog. The product owner is responsible for managing the product & sprint backlog.


At the start of the project, product owners work with the customer and the stakeholders to come up with the broad level requirements (EPICs, Themes, and user stories). Based on the prioritization of requirements, user stories are detailed out to create detailed user story cards.The team estimates and discusses the user stories (prioritized for this sprint) in the presence of the product owner. The product owner answers the queries relating to the requirements.

During the development, the Scrum team collaborates with the product owner to validate the solution (read individual screens or functionalities).The product owner also manages the backlogs and keeps them up-to-date. This includes – adding new user stories, deleting or modifying user stories based on the interactions with the customer.

To conclude, the product owner’s role aligns with the business analyst role in any other project, however, the nuisances of Agile methodologies make it challenging. Agile methodologies are not easy to implement in the true spirit as it requires not only a team’s alignment, it requires changes across the group or even organization.

You may also like our latest blog related to “Product Owner vs Business Analyst vs Scrum Master?”, click on the link, and explore other areas of Business Analyst.

4. Agile Business Analyst Role as a Business Advisor

In an Agile environment, a Business Analyst (BA) plays the role of a business advisor. The Agile BA helps the development team understand the business domain and ensures that the final product meets the needs of the customer.

I. Agile BA Role to Analyze the Business Domain:

The Agile BA analyzes the business domain by identifying and documenting business requirements, conducting stakeholder interviews, and understanding the customer's needs. By doing so, the BA ensures that the final product meets the business objectives and aligns with the overall strategy of the organization.

II. Agile BA Role to Stock the Product Backlog:

The Agile BA stocks the product backlog by identifying and prioritizing user stories based on business value. They work closely with stakeholders and the development team to ensure that the product backlog contains all the necessary features and requirements needed to meet the customer's needs.

III. Agile BA Role to Groom the Product Backlog:

The BA grooms the product backlog by refining user stories, adding acceptance criteria, and removing redundant or unnecessary items. They collaborate with the development team to ensure that the backlog is properly structured, and the items are appropriately estimated.

5. Agile Business Analyst Role as a Business Coach

As an Agile Business Analyst (BA), one of the critical roles in an Agile project is that of a Business Coach. A BA's primary responsibility is to bridge the gap between the business and the development team, ensure that the requirements are understood, and facilitate collaboration between stakeholders. Let's look at the different ways a BA can act as a Business Coach.

I. Role of Agile BA to Facilitate Collaboration:

A BA facilitates collaboration by bringing together stakeholders from different areas of the business and the development team. They act as a mediator, guiding the team in identifying solutions that meet both business and technical requirements. A BA fosters a culture of collaboration by encouraging open communication and collaboration, leading to better team performance and project outcomes.

II. Role of Agile BA to Generate Examples:

One of the most important tasks of an agile BA is to generate examples that explain business requirements and help the development team in understanding how to meet them. By creating user stories, workflows, and other documentation, a BA provides the team with a clear understanding of what they are building and how it will be used. This helps the team to build better solutions that meet the needs of the business.

III. Role of Agile BA to Transfer Knowledge:

An Agile BA must transfer knowledge to the development team, which includes technical information, business requirements, and domain knowledge. They are responsible for ensuring that the team has a clear understanding of what they are building and why. By sharing knowledge, a BA empowers the team to make informed decisions that contribute to project success.

IV. Role of Agile BA to be a Good Team Member:

Finally, an agile BA must be a good team member. This means actively listening, providing feedback, and working collaboratively with the development team. A BA should be open to suggestions and willing to adapt to changes, keeping the project's goals in mind. They should be approachable and available to team members, fostering a positive team dynamic that contributes to overall project success.

Skills required to be an Agile Business Analyst

The key skills required to become an agile business analyst are as follows:

Good Communication Skills

Good communication skills are a must for the agile business analyst as they are responsible to carry out all the communications with the customers, teams, stakeholders, or other cross-functional teams. A BA should be able to convey the messages clearly to everyone.

In-Depth Business Knowledge

It is crucial for an agile BA to hold an in-depth knowledge of the business, product, and vision. Moreover, along with having a thorough understanding of business knowledge, a business analyst should know how to recognize and prioritize the business values.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Another important skill that an agile business analyst should possess is flexibility and adaptability as agile teams function with cross-functional teams, it becomes necessary for a BA to adapt and be flexible to coordinate with different teams.

Knowledge of Tools and Techniques

One of the top skills to become an agile business analyst is to have a good knowledge of agile tools and techniques as they are helpful for backlog management, making estimates, and reporting for sprints, or it is also helpful for providing real-time collaboration.

How to build a career as an Agile BA?

The first and foremost step towards becoming a business analyst is to have an agile mindset. However, if you are an existing business analyst who is setting foot in the agile environment, then here are some points/tips that can consider building your career as an agile business analyst.

  • Get an in-depth understanding of agile methodologies and how they function.
  • You can follow in the steps of a product owner for the projects in the beginning in order to learn the roles of a product owner in an agile team.
  • Focus on the skills necessary to become an agile business analyst such as your communication skills, and your ability to be flexible and adaptable to changing requirements and needs.
  • Think with regard to user stories.
  • Opt for training courses in agile business analysis.

Why should you become an Agile Business Analyst?

Here are some reasons why you should become an Agile Business Analyst:

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, employment of management analysts, including business analysts, is expected to grow 14% between 2018 and 2028.
  • According to the 14th Annual State of Agile Report, an Agile BA is able to accelerate software delivery by 71%, increases the ability to manage changing priorities by 63%, Increases the productivity by 51%, Improves Business /IT Alignment 41%, and enhances Software quality by 42%

Overall, becoming an Agile Business Analyst can be a highly rewarding career choice, providing you with the opportunity to work on exciting projects, collaborate with cross-functional teams, and make a tangible difference to the businesses you work for.


The agile business analyst is a vital part of any agile team, with a unique skill set that combines both business and technical expertise to ensure that the software meets the needs of the business and delivers value to stakeholders.

Do you want to showcase your expertise and be recognized globally as an Agile Certified Business Analyst? If yes, then the IIBA AAC certification training course offered by Techcanvass is the perfect opportunity for you.

The course includes interactive sessions, practical examples, and case studies to help you understand the concepts better. You also get access to a wealth of study material, including recorded sessions, e-books, and practice tests, to help you prepare for the exam. The program also provides dedicated support for clearing your doubts and queries.


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