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The Agile Business Analyst (Agile BA) vs. The Traditional Business Analyst

Agile Business Analyst

When an organisation or a team are transforming their way of working from traditional to an Agile approach, traditional roles like Business Analyst, which were a phase of a traditional project, don’t simply cease to exist - they transform into their Agile equivalents.

How does an Agile Business Analyst differ to a traditional Business Analyst? Well, there will be a lot of similarities, but also possibly some stark differences.

Agile BA skills and expertise

An Agile BA, like a traditional BA, will most likely retain the majority of their key skills and expertise. For example:

  • They will remain expert in the the system or product. No one else will have the broad range of system and business knowledge that a BA should have.
  • The BA will continue to challenge the business decisions. Are these the right requirements, have all the business impacts been considered?
  • They will still need to map as-is and to-be processes, process flows, interaction diagrams etc.
  • They still take a big part in communication, helping business stakeholders and developers to communicate.
  • … And, no doubt, many more things too.

The main change for an Agile BA will be in managing Agile Requirements, and the way these requirements are communicated.  

In the traditional process, BAs may be engaged in a project a few months ahead of the delivery team. In this time, the BA will be gathering requirements and documenting them in  a detailed requirements specification document. This requirements document is then handed over like a baton to the the development team.

Agile BAs will create a high-level requirements list using collaborative, face-to-face workshops with the customers, stakeholders and the development team. The Agile BA and the development team will work on the requirements in priority order, refining the next few weeks worth of requirements into enough detail, just in time for the developers to start working on them. Lower priority requirements will remain on the requirements list as options until they are the next priority.

For more information on Agile Requirements see this blog.

Learn more about Agile BAs

Our Agile Business Analysis (Agile BA) course, accredited by APMG-International, is designed to give the Business Analyst the skills needed to successfully gather, analyse, validate and champion the requirements throughout an Agile project. The course will describe the most popular Agile approaches and will use the DSDM® Agile Project Framework to take the Agile Business Analyst through the phases of an Agile project.


Business Analysts need the skills to successfully gather, analyse, validate and champion the requirements throughout an Agile project. This course gives the context to the Agile Business Analyst role beyond the individual project, in relation to organisational mission and strategy, providing additional depth and guidance for business analysis in an Agile context.

Agile BA guidance and training will help individuals and organisations:

  • Lay the foundations for successful Agile projects
  • Explain how the business analyst role and skills fit in an Agile environment
  • Clarify the different ways of working with the Agile BA during the phases of an Agile project
  • Outline the lifecycle of an Agile requirement, and how to write good, effective Agile requirements
  • Provide a comprehensive set of techniques and practices for effective business analysis and collaborative Agile working.

Radtac's Agile BA training is available as private, in-house training. Contact us today for more information.

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Alex Gray

Alex Gray

Alex is a professional, versatile and enthusiastic Lean & Agile Trainer/Coach with 20 year’s experience in varied IT projects and roles. A member of the BCS Agile Expert Panel, and an author of the BCS Foundation in Agile Practices syllabus, examination and course materials. Read more