Those that say that Business Analysis does not have a role in Agile are very, very wrong. Business Analysis in Agile is more important than it is in traditional Waterfall Projects. Agile Business Analysts are highly skilled individuals that play a crucial support role to product owners who often come from customer facing line roles. Although the product owner makes the decisions about prioritisation based on business value, it is often the business analyst who provides the analysis and detail that the product owner uses to make that decision. It is not uncommon for the product owner to a business analyst in their own right.
Traditionally business analysis skills have been focused on specification and delivery of products based on certainty of known outputs and outcomes. This is because the business analyst has been able to access all of the users of the products and determine their needs. The introduction of choice into consumer markets means that it is often not possible to ask all the users directly what their needs are. As a result, Business Analysts have needed to expand their toolkits to include product management skills to enable them to test hypotheses in a safe to fail manner. In layman terms, this means delivering small bit of stuff using agile techniques and then adjusting requirements based on real feedback from real users. This concept is further explores in this video and in this article. <TODO – Need to find article/video on difference between BA and Product Management>
Product Owners and Business Analysts often work with a design team, developers and testers to create the stories that the development team build and turn into a product. This video and article explain how the whole thing is pulled together. The most common way that acceptance criteria in stories are specified is in the Given-When-Then format. This format can be used during the creation of the designs to structure and focus the conversations to ensure that they are precise and accurate.
These articles and videos should be added:
OOPSI – https://skillsmatter.com/skillscasts/9102-death-by-user-stories
And these books:
Gojko Adzic & David Evans – Fifty quick ideas for Stories and Testing / Specification by Example
Kent McDonald – Beyond Requirements
Ellen Gottesdiener – Discover to Deliver
Ferguson Smart – BDD in Action
IIBA – Agile Extension to BABOK
And these videos that I have not watched that are probably useful: