Role of a Product Owner vs Business Analyst
Agile projects require substantial leadership support, a collaborative team due to the short delivery cycles, and agile and robust culture to be in place to be called as working and successful. The two essential pillars of the Agile project are the Product Owner and Business Analyst. Read the article to see product owner vs business analyst details that will help you to understand the key responsibilities of both roles.
The Product Owner is just like the director of a movie, keeping eye on the macro and the micro-level product details. On the other hand, Business Analysts make sure the smooth execution of sprint and manage stories and epic details.
Every agile development project has its unique set of requirements and challenges. Sometimes in the beginning the scope is not clearly defined. While in other conditions the right team members are not available to handle the project efficiently. And so many times the timeline is challenging while sometimes there are all three situations.
The Product Owner (PO) has a clear vision of the product that keeps the industry/domain and the market requirements. Their key responsibility is to ensure that the product fulfills the market and stakeholder requirements. Such as PO’s conduct market analysis that is followed by an enterprise SWOT analysis to bring up the product vision.
The Product Owner also handles the go-to-market strategy for the products. The product owner makes an effort to leverage their experience in the domain, the need of the industry, domain or market, business’s market position, and the expectations of the customers with the product.
A product owner is considered pivotal to the overall success of the project. PO works directly with the business and has complete product-related knowledge and provides the justification and functions of the features.
Critical Responsibilities for Product Owner
- Analysis of market need/demand
- Availability of similar products in the market
- Underserved customer needs
- Potential trends in synergy with current offerings
- SWOT analysis
- Due diligence on the market opportunity
- Product offering decision based on the due diligence report
Product Vision and Roadmap
- Providing product vision keeping the need analysis in mind
- Product roadmap with high-level features and timeline
Go to Market Strategy
- Go to market strategy
- Marketing messaging/communications
- Channels of marketing
- Modes of advertising
Managing Product Features
- Managing stakeholder expectations and prioritizing needs
- Prioritization of the epics, stories, and features based on criticality and ROI involved
Managing Product Backlog
- Prioritization of user stories
- Reprioritization based on stakeholders’ needs
- Epics planning
Managing Overall Iteration Progress
- Sprint progress review
- Reprioritization of sprints and epics if needed
- Sprint retrospectives with Business Analyst
Furthermore, the PO works closely with the stakeholders and the Business Analyst is involved in providing complete details about the product.
As we know that the Business Analysts are the problem-solvers, change-makers, facilitators, questioners, act as the bridge between the users/stakeholders and the Agile team members. They are responsible to question requirements and assumptions, finding gaps, assessing the needs, and working closely with the stakeholders/SMEs to discuss the requirements in detail. Business Analysts work closely with the product owners to manage all the stories and epic details.
- Requirements modeling and elicitation
- Data flow diagrams
- Business rules
- Smooth execution of the sprints
- Requirements clarification to the team
- Dependency mapping
- Maintaining the dependency map and the traceability matrix.
- Facilitation support for users in UAT
Moreover, the Business Analysts supports the product owner in providing complete and detailed artifacts. Sometimes the business analyst is considered as the Proxy Product Owner that allows the agile team to have more access to the perspectives of the product owner. Business Analysts work as a bridge between the business and the technical team and keep an on eye what the agile team is producing.
Critical Responsibilities for Business Analysts
Managing User Stories
- Prioritizing the user stories
- Clearing the impediments if any
Detailing the Requirements as per the Stakeholders’ Needs and Expectations
- Requirements elicitation
- Business rules
- Requirements walkthroughs
- Requirements workshops
- Acceptance criteria
Clarifying the details of requirements with stakeholders
- Coordinating with the development team to get the stories developed
- Day to day support in requirements clarifications and business rules
- SPOC for the agile team for all requirements related queries
Impact Analysis for Changes
- Maintaining the traceability matrix and dependencies.
- Components mapping
- Impact analysis for changes
Work closely with the PO on the Sprint Execution
- A representative of the PO in the Agile team in clarifying questions and issues.
- Assists the PO in managing the sprint and the product backlog
- Take a lead role in the sprint retrospectives
Product Owner vs Business Analyst
We can say that the Product Owner is the voice of the customers while the business analyst is the representative of the development team. But there is no complete black and white distinction between the two, both are focusing on products enhancement.
The product owner is business and customer-centered while the Business Analyst is more tactical and focused on the product formation. But in the typical training and skills of a Business Analyst, there are some of the tasks of product owner are also included. Such as breaking larger stories into smaller ones, backlog management functions, defining the business rules, modeling data and workflows, and addressing the non-functional needs. Because of these reasons, PO and BA roles often overlap.
In the end, having an experienced Product Owner will certainly benefit an agile team. PO will not have the complete domain knowledge while BA has the complete domain details. Both are an essential part of the business and sometimes their skills and responsibilities may overlap. That’s why we have written product owner vs business analyst to help you to understand the responsibilities of both. In simple words, the Product Owner has the vision of the project while the Business Analyst is ready to color the vision of PO.
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