Has Scrum Killed the Business Analyst?

Has Scrum killed the business analyst?
Submitted by Yuliya Mijuk on 10/07/2014

At 22.-24 September my colleagues and I were together at the Global Scrum Gathering in Berlin. It was my first Global Scrum Gathering and it was a great, very inspiring event.

The third conference day was an Open Space day. There were crazy sessions as for example „Leave the hotel“, the participants of that session left the conference to make a sightseeing tour till the lunch break. Alongside with that there were by all means enough serious open space topics. One of the sessions, I picked out for me, was called "Has Scrum Killed the Business Analyst?".

Alongside with that there were by all means enough serious open space topics. One of the sessions, I picked out for me, was called "Has Scrum Killed the Business Analyst?". The participants of this session made an investigation on whether Scrum made the role of a Business Analyst disappear or not.

As compared to the other open space sessions, I visited that day, the session was really proficiently elaborated by Dot Tuder, who was assisted by Iain McKenna. Thanks to their facilitation the session flow can be taken as a tool to solve similar criminal cases as „Has Scrum Killed the Project Coordinator?“, „Has Scrum Killed the Team Leader“, „Has Scrum Killed the Project Manager?“.....

To facilitate such an investigation one needs a lot of Post-its and 4 flip charts. If you only have about 30 minutes to solve the case you should use Post-its to gather thoughts and ideas to the following 4 discussion points:

  1. The victim
    • What skills?
    • What jobs?
    • Aliases
  2. The evidence
    • In favour
    • Against
    • General
  3. The motive
  4. The verdict
    • Yes
    • It depends on ....
    • No

Depending on the number of Scrum detectives you should probably form several discussion groups. Each group has about 5 minutes for each of the above listed points  to discuss them in sequence. And you will have 10 minutes left for sticking the Post-its and for closing the investigation session. During the discussion all the ideas should be written down on Post-its. Before switching to the next descussion point, Post-its should be stuck to the corresponding flip chart. The facilitator acts as a time keeper and gives a sign for switching between the discussion points and fixing the sticky notes.

And was the business analyst actually killed? Most Scrum detectives of the Open Space session came to the conclusion that the analyst is still alive, but he possibly hides under a different role. His skills are still in demand and used, though not in every project and not every company that works with Scrum.

More thoughts on the subject can be found on the website of the Scrum Alliance: „Has Scrum Killed the Business Analyst“

Yuliya Mijuk

About the author

Yuliya Mijuk

Yuliya’s professional life started with Scrum. She is a Certified Scrum Professional and received her certification as ScrumMasters in 2006. She studied Computational Linguistics at the LMU in Munich. After the graduation in 2004 she came to WEB.DE where the transition to Scrum was taking place. Later on Yuliya worked as a ScrumMaster and Scrum Coach at SPRiNT iT and billiger.de (solute GmbH).