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business analysts! can they be an effective replacement for Product Owner?

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  • kevj121
    Would like to ask for opinions and experiences of using business analysts to act as proxy product owner? My personal opinion is this is not a great idea as
    Message 1 of 9 , May 20, 2010
      Would like to ask for opinions and experiences of using business analysts to act as proxy product owner?

      My personal opinion is this is not a great idea as they are not accountable to the business(non IT) and therefore are never really in the position to effectively influence the business. (This is in a scenario where the IT team are a department within a large organisation and develop inhouse solutions as well as purchase off the shelf systems and hire BA's rather than the departments it works for providing that capability).

      Appreciate any thoughts

      regards

      Kevin
    • Steven Janvrin
      We are using a business analyst very effectively as a Product Owner on a project currently in progress. We sent the BA to Product Owner training prior to the
      Message 2 of 9 , May 20, 2010
        We are using a business analyst very effectively as a Product Owner on a project currently in progress.  We sent the BA to Product Owner training prior to the first Sprint.  One key factor in our organization is that the Business Analyst team is part of the "business" group instead of the IT group.  This may or may not be a contributing success factor given the limited amount of experience we have to go on - Scrum is still a fairly new process for us.
         
        I do find (as the Scrum Master) that having a business analyst in the Product Owner role has a positive contribution to the POs ability to work with the developers, as she (the business analyst/PO) has years of experience in that area as part of her "traditional" business analyst role.
         
        Hope this helps.
         
        Steve.
         

        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        From: kevj121@...
        Date: Thu, 20 May 2010 18:00:46 +0000
        Subject: [scrumdevelopment] business analysts! can they be an effective replacement for Product Owner?

         
        Would like to ask for opinions and experiences of using business analysts to act as proxy product owner?

        My personal opinion is this is not a great idea as they are not accountable to the business(non IT) and therefore are never really in the position to effectively influence the business. (This is in a scenario where the IT team are a department within a large organisation and develop inhouse solutions as well as purchase off the shelf systems and hire BA's rather than the departments it works for providing that capability).

        Appreciate any thoughts

        regards

        Kevin




        The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail. Get busy.
      • Dan Rawsthorne
        The Product Owner is defined by his/her accountability to the business for the Team s product. The Product Owner makes priorities that no one can overrule,
        Message 3 of 9 , May 21, 2010
          The Product Owner is defined by his/her accountability to the business
          for the Team's product. The Product Owner makes priorities that no one
          can overrule, even the PO's boss. If the Business Analyst has these
          properties, then the BA is the PO. If not, then the BA is a Team Member
          other than the PO. It's really quite simple... but often misunderstood.
          So, I agree with your opinion, in general.

          Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
          Senior Trainer/Coach, CollabNet
          drawsthorne@..., 425-269-8628



          kevj121 wrote:
          >
          > Would like to ask for opinions and experiences of using business
          > analysts to act as proxy product owner?
          >
          > My personal opinion is this is not a great idea as they are not
          > accountable to the business(non IT) and therefore are never really in
          > the position to effectively influence the business. (This is in a
          > scenario where the IT team are a department within a large
          > organisation and develop inhouse solutions as well as purchase off the
          > shelf systems and hire BA's rather than the departments it works for
          > providing that capability).
          >
          > Appreciate any thoughts
          >
          > regards
          >
          > Kevin
          >
          >
        • Roman Pichler
          Hi Kevin, I agree that proxy product owners are a bad idea: http://bit.ly/dzip0r You can find my views on business analysts in Scrum here: http://bit.ly/cTgBlj
          Message 4 of 9 , May 21, 2010
            Hi Kevin,

            I agree that proxy product owners are a bad idea: http://bit.ly/dzip0r

            You can find my views on business analysts in Scrum here: http://bit.ly/cTgBlj

            Best regards,

            Roman
            romanpichler.com

            *** New book Agile Product Management with Scrum out now! ***

            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "kevj121" <kevj121@...> wrote:
            >
            > Would like to ask for opinions and experiences of using business analysts to act as proxy product owner?
            >
            > My personal opinion is this is not a great idea as they are not accountable to the business(non IT) and therefore are never really in the position to effectively influence the business. (This is in a scenario where the IT team are a department within a large organisation and develop inhouse solutions as well as purchase off the shelf systems and hire BA's rather than the departments it works for providing that capability).
            >
            > Appreciate any thoughts
            >
            > regards
            >
            > Kevin
            >
          • JackM
            As long as the BA has the domain expertise and has the accountability then I don t see why not. BA s often have the right stuff to be PO s. But the buck stops
            Message 5 of 9 , May 21, 2010
              As long as the BA has the domain expertise and has the accountability then I don't see why not. BA's often have the right stuff to be PO's. But the buck stops with the PO so if the BA can handle that then I don't see any red flags honestly

              Jack
              www.agilebuddy.com
              twitter.com/agilebuddy
              blog.agilebuddy.com

              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "kevj121" <kevj121@...> wrote:
              >
              > Would like to ask for opinions and experiences of using business analysts to act as proxy product owner?
              >
              > My personal opinion is this is not a great idea as they are not accountable to the business(non IT) and therefore are never really in the position to effectively influence the business. (This is in a scenario where the IT team are a department within a large organisation and develop inhouse solutions as well as purchase off the shelf systems and hire BA's rather than the departments it works for providing that capability).
              >
              > Appreciate any thoughts
              >
              > regards
              >
              > Kevin
              >
            • Sriram
              I second Kevin. It is a good to have BAs as POs. But, this depends on how the organization is structured. Usually, the BAs are part of Technology organization
              Message 6 of 9 , May 23, 2010
                I second Kevin. It is a good to have BAs as POs. But, this depends on how the organization is structured. Usually, the BAs are part of Technology organization and doesn't report Business organization. In a larger organization, there is a separate unit called Business Technolgy services wherein BAs are part of the them. These team works with Business very closely and have full authority in changing the priorities. In those aspect, BA can called as POs.

                Sriram

                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "JackM" <jack@...> wrote:
                >
                > As long as the BA has the domain expertise and has the accountability then I don't see why not. BA's often have the right stuff to be PO's. But the buck stops with the PO so if the BA can handle that then I don't see any red flags honestly
                >
                > Jack
                > www.agilebuddy.com
                > twitter.com/agilebuddy
                > blog.agilebuddy.com
                >
                > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "kevj121" <kevj121@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Would like to ask for opinions and experiences of using business analysts to act as proxy product owner?
                > >
                > > My personal opinion is this is not a great idea as they are not accountable to the business(non IT) and therefore are never really in the position to effectively influence the business. (This is in a scenario where the IT team are a department within a large organisation and develop inhouse solutions as well as purchase off the shelf systems and hire BA's rather than the departments it works for providing that capability).
                > >
                > > Appreciate any thoughts
                > >
                > > regards
                > >
                > > Kevin
                > >
                >
              • Jablonski, John E.
                I work in the legal industry and develop applications for internal use. We have used our BA s, who are part of IT but not reporting to the Applications
                Message 7 of 9 , May 24, 2010

                  I work in the legal industry and develop applications for internal use.  We have used our BA’s, who are part of IT but not reporting to the Applications Development Manager but into our PMO, to act as “Proxy PO’s”.  So we have a formal PO from the business, but our BA performs functional analysis (authoring user stories) and can act on the PO’s behalf in many instances, usually attending the Scrum every day.  The formal PO does have the final word, and this is definitely not PO by committee.  The formal PO is the leader of a kind of PO team.  Our BA’s often also play a few roles more aligned with their membership in the team: as testers, as interface to our trainers and as our first line of user support when a product is getting rolled-out.  As a product roll-out completes, this user support role is transferred to one or more Application Analysts in a dedicated team of these professionals for ongoing support through the rest of the life-cycle.

                   

                  -- John

                   

                  From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sriram
                  Sent: Sunday, May 23, 2010 10:02 AM
                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: business analysts! can they be an effective replacement for Product Owner?

                   

                   

                  I second Kevin. It is a good to have BAs as POs. But, this depends on how the organization is structured. Usually, the BAs are part of Technology organization and doesn't report Business organization. In a larger organization, there is a separate unit called Business Technolgy services wherein BAs are part of the them. These team works with Business very closely and have full authority in changing the priorities. In those aspect, BA can called as POs.

                  Sriram

                  --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "JackM" <jack@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > As long as the BA has the domain expertise and has the accountability then I don't see why not. BA's often have the right stuff to be PO's. But the buck stops with the PO so if the BA can handle that then I don't see any red flags honestly
                  >
                  > Jack
                  > www.agilebuddy.com
                  > twitter.com/agilebuddy
                  > blog.agilebuddy.com
                  >
                  > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "kevj121" <kevj121@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Would like to ask for opinions and experiences of using business analysts to act as proxy product owner?
                  > >
                  > > My personal opinion is this is not a great idea as they are not accountable to the business(non IT) and therefore are never really in the position to effectively influence the business. (This is in a scenario where the IT team are a department within a large organisation and develop inhouse solutions as well as purchase off the shelf systems and hire BA's rather than the departments it works for providing that capability).
                  > >
                  > > Appreciate any thoughts
                  > >
                  > > regards
                  > >
                  > > Kevin
                  > >
                  >



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                • donnaareed
                  Ditto ! Analysts can are great PO s if and only if they are given the authority to prioritize the features/requirements for the customer. If they are just
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 24, 2010
                    Ditto ! Analysts can are great PO's "if and only if" they are given the authority to prioritize the features/requirements for the customer.

                    If they are just a liason between the Product Manager and the Team, then they can certainly add value in helping the team understand the specific features to dev, test, ...

                    Unfortunately I've recently dealt with a client that named the BA to be the PO, but would not give them authority to prioritize the backlog. When that happens they become a delay and a sort of impediment to the process. They can't make decisions w/o talking to the Product Manager. So the ProdMgr is really the PO. We need to help management understand the role and benefits of the PO and that it directly affects the teams productivity and effectiveness if the BA is not given the authority needed to play the role.

                    Donna Reed - The Agilista PM
                    www.AgilistaPM.com




                    --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Sriram" <sriram2843@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I second Kevin. It is a good to have BAs as POs. But, this depends on how the organization is structured. Usually, the BAs are part of Technology organization and doesn't report Business organization. In a larger organization, there is a separate unit called Business Technolgy services wherein BAs are part of the them. These team works with Business very closely and have full authority in changing the priorities. In those aspect, BA can called as POs.
                    >
                    > Sriram
                    >
                    > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "JackM" <jack@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > As long as the BA has the domain expertise and has the accountability then I don't see why not. BA's often have the right stuff to be PO's. But the buck stops with the PO so if the BA can handle that then I don't see any red flags honestly
                    > >
                    > > Jack
                    > > www.agilebuddy.com
                    > > twitter.com/agilebuddy
                    > > blog.agilebuddy.com
                    > >
                    > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "kevj121" <kevj121@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Would like to ask for opinions and experiences of using business analysts to act as proxy product owner?
                    > > >
                    > > > My personal opinion is this is not a great idea as they are not accountable to the business(non IT) and therefore are never really in the position to effectively influence the business. (This is in a scenario where the IT team are a department within a large organisation and develop inhouse solutions as well as purchase off the shelf systems and hire BA's rather than the departments it works for providing that capability).
                    > > >
                    > > > Appreciate any thoughts
                    > > >
                    > > > regards
                    > > >
                    > > > Kevin
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • Kevin
                    To everyone who replied to my post, Thanks for all your opinions and experiences this will be really useful in helping me realise my goal of constructing an
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jun 1, 2010
                      To everyone who replied to my post,

                      Thanks for all your opinions and experiences this will be really useful in helping me realise my goal of constructing an effective Scrum team..I will keep you posted of how things turn out

                      Again big thanks, keep the responses and great posts going as this is a brilliant resource to move on the cause of the Agile learning to the sceptics.

                      Regards

                      Kevin Johnston
                      Software Developer, CSM

                      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "donnaareed" <donna@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Ditto ! Analysts can are great PO's "if and only if" they are given the authority to prioritize the features/requirements for the customer.
                      >
                      > If they are just a liason between the Product Manager and the Team, then they can certainly add value in helping the team understand the specific features to dev, test, ...
                      >
                      > Unfortunately I've recently dealt with a client that named the BA to be the PO, but would not give them authority to prioritize the backlog. When that happens they become a delay and a sort of impediment to the process. They can't make decisions w/o talking to the Product Manager. So the ProdMgr is really the PO. We need to help management understand the role and benefits of the PO and that it directly affects the teams productivity and effectiveness if the BA is not given the authority needed to play the role.
                      >
                      > Donna Reed - The Agilista PM
                      > www.AgilistaPM.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Sriram" <sriram2843@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > I second Kevin. It is a good to have BAs as POs. But, this depends on how the organization is structured. Usually, the BAs are part of Technology organization and doesn't report Business organization. In a larger organization, there is a separate unit called Business Technolgy services wherein BAs are part of the them. These team works with Business very closely and have full authority in changing the priorities. In those aspect, BA can called as POs.
                      > >
                      > > Sriram
                      > >
                      > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "JackM" <jack@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > As long as the BA has the domain expertise and has the accountability then I don't see why not. BA's often have the right stuff to be PO's. But the buck stops with the PO so if the BA can handle that then I don't see any red flags honestly
                      > > >
                      > > > Jack
                      > > > www.agilebuddy.com
                      > > > twitter.com/agilebuddy
                      > > > blog.agilebuddy.com
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "kevj121" <kevj121@> wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Would like to ask for opinions and experiences of using business analysts to act as proxy product owner?
                      > > > >
                      > > > > My personal opinion is this is not a great idea as they are not accountable to the business(non IT) and therefore are never really in the position to effectively influence the business. (This is in a scenario where the IT team are a department within a large organisation and develop inhouse solutions as well as purchase off the shelf systems and hire BA's rather than the departments it works for providing that capability).
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Appreciate any thoughts
                      > > > >
                      > > > > regards
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Kevin
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
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