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July 08, 2016

Can a Business Analyst be a ScrumMaster?

1 min read

When teams are new to Agile, they identify who can fill the ScrumMaster role. Often, teams ask the Business Analyst to assume the role in addition to his or her analyst role.

Why This Is Common

The Business Analyst and ScrumMaster roles share qualities which leads people to think the roles can be shared by one person.

Both roles require good verbal and non-verbal communication skills. They involve uncovering motives and needs as well as strengthening communication between people.

For both roles, facilitation skills are key. Whether a stakeholder requirements session or a team retrospective, the facilitator enables the group to achieve the desired objective.

You may lead negotiation of priority features for a backlog or how much work the team can tackle. Both the Business Analyst and ScrumMaster need to use negotiation skills to achieve product success.

No, You Cannot Be The Business Analyst and ScrumMaster.

The ScrumMaster focuses on the team and how to continuously improve.

The Business Analyst focuses on product backlog, stakeholders, and customer needs.

Despite these shared skills, it is difficult for one person to assume both roles successfully.

It is an issue of bandwidth, focus, and domain knowledge. In a new team, a large project, or a team less experienced in Agile practices, these two roles are large and distinct. In a very small team of experienced Agilists with management support, these two roles are small.

Bottom line – Balance the needs of your team with the roles required to complete the work.

Interested in learning more about Agile Requirements? Join us on September 28 for an Agile Requirements Workshop in Arlington, VA .

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