This article is based on the work of Bhavini Sapra, a Certified Scrum Master, Product Owner, and author for Analysts Corner on www.medium.com. It provides a comprehensive overview of the typical workflow for a Business Analyst (BA) in an Agile/Scrum project. The article highlights key stages such as kick-off calls, elicitation, creation of product backlog, release planning, design and refinement, sprint planning, sprint execution, daily scrum, review and retrospective meetings, testing and demo sessions, and the iterative nature of the process. By following this workflow, BAs can effectively contribute to project success.
The original article can be found here.
Table of Contents
Workflow for Business Analysts in Agile/Scrum Projects
1. Kick-off Call:
The kick-off call marks the official initiation of the project. BAs should actively listen and strive to understand the business problem being discussed. Observing stakeholders closely and noting details for future elicitation sessions is important.
During this stage, BAs plan and conduct requirement-gathering sessions. Initially, high-level requirements are collected, which then form the features of the product or solution. Subsequently, in-depth discussions are held to refine each identified feature. The timing of these sessions depends on effective planning and stakeholder availability. Involving a representative from the development team can help identify technical challenges early on.
3. Creation of Product Backlog:
As requirements are gathered, BAs collaborate with the Project Manager (PM) or Product Owner (PO) to simultaneously create the product backlog. All requirements are documented as epics, features, or user stories, which will guide the development process.
4. Release Planning:
In this stage, BAs identify the features listed in the product backlog and prioritize them for different release buckets. Release planning occurs before sprint planning, typically when establishing a new release timeline. Revising the initial release plan as the project progresses may be necessary.
5. Design & Refinement:
Once the features for each release are determined, BAs collaborate with designers to create screens or sketches that convey the desired functionality. Concurrently, user stories are refined with acceptance criteria to prepare for the upcoming sprints.
6. Sprint Planning:
During sprint planning, the dev team selects user stories from the product backlog based on the planned release. The team determines what tasks to add to the sprint backlog, guided by the timeline and prioritization.
7. Sprint Execution:
The development team begins coding based on the user stories and designs provided by the BAs. A sprint may be implemented to establish the backbone and architecture of the product/solution.
8. Daily Scrum:
Every day, the team participates in a 15-minute call led by the Scrum Master. Each member provides an update on their progress towards the sprint goal. Any issues or impediments are briefly discussed within the allotted time.
9. Review & Retro Meeting:
Towards the end of each sprint, a review and retrospective meeting is scheduled. BAs and PM/PO review the work completed during the sprint to ensure it aligns with the user stories and designs. The team also discusses what went well and areas for improvement in the previous sprint, identifying action items for resolution.
10. Testing & Demo Sessions:
Functional user stories undergo testing after the review. BAs may collaborate with testers to ensure a proper understanding of the requirements for effective testing. In some cases, additional release demo sessions may be planned to showcase the solution to external stakeholders.
11. Repeat, Repeat & Repeat:
The above process is repeated until the product/solution is launched. After the launch, BAs focus on maintaining and updating the solution. They may also work on the Repeat, Repeat & Repeat: The above process is repeated until the product/solution is launched. After the launch, BAs focus on maintaining and updating the solution. They may also work on the next version of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) by following the same process iteratively.
This article, based on the work of Bhavini Sapra offers insight into the role of BAs in Agile/Scrum projects. The workflow presented covers essential stages, from project initiation to product launch and maintenance. It emphasizes the iterative nature of the process and highlights the importance of active participation and continuous improvement.