The BA’s role in different development methodologies

by | Oct 12, 2022

The roles of a business analyst vary according to the project’s software development methodology. It is important to understand how these methodologies affect business analysts’ work to ensure a common understanding between all stakeholders. 

A Software Development Methodology is a workflow for delivering and maintaining an information technology solution. Characteristically, it comprises a collection of activities, tasks, or steps that create one or more needed deliverables or artefacts e.g., a requirements document. The ultimate deliverable of a methodology is a deployed solution that its intended target audience can use. 

Agile and waterfall are two distinctive process methodologies to complete projects or work items. Agile is an iterative methodology that incorporates a cyclic and collaborative process, whereas waterfall is a sequential methodology that can also be collaborative, but tasks are generally handled in a more linear approach. 

As a  business analyst, you are a critical player in defining the solution. Therefore, you must understand how the methodology influences your requirements elicitation, specification, and documentation. Every software development methodology handles changes in the requirements over the life of the project differently. Business Analysts must adapt to the new process and understand not just the template of the artefacts that need to be produced (Epics and User Stories) but the spirit of the methodology. This will help the team dynamics and will help avoid user stories being written like functional requirements. 

How do the different methodologies affect your requirements definition efforts? As the individual responsible for deciphering business needs into requirements at numerous levels of detail, you will be involved in specific aspects of the project at different times and levels of intensity. The major differences involve the level of detail of the requirements, the timing of the requirements analysis and specification activities, and the form in which you document the requirements. 

The type of methodologies being focused on is the Waterfall and Agile approach. 

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About the author.

Haadiya is a recent UCT Honours graduate in Information Systems. She joined JustSolve as an intern and quickly grew into a Junior Business Analyst role. She is passionate about the consulting industry and has a keen interest in automating and improving processes. Haadiya enjoys quiet days at home watching Netflix and is obsessed with her 2 cats.  

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