Scrum : Business Analysis Explained

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Scrum : Business Analysis Explained

Scrum is a widely used agile framework for managing complex projects. It was originally developed for software development but has since been applied to other fields including research, sales, marketing, and advanced technologies. Scrum is characterized by its iterative and incremental approach, which allows for flexibility and adaptability in the face of change.

Scrum is not a methodology, but rather a framework that provides structure and guidance for managing projects. It emphasizes teamwork, communication, and speed. The framework is based on the principles and values outlined in the Agile Manifesto, which promotes adaptive planning, early delivery, and continuous improvement.

Scrum Roles

In the Scrum framework, there are three key roles: the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and the Development Team. Each of these roles has a unique set of responsibilities and contributes to the overall success of the project in different ways.

The Product Owner is the person responsible for maximizing the value of the product and the work of the Development Team. They are the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog, which includes clearly expressing Product Backlog items, ordering the items to achieve goals and missions, and ensuring the Development Team understands the items in the Product Backlog.

Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. They help everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values. The Scrum Master serves the Product Owner in several ways including finding techniques for effective Product Backlog management and helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items.

The Scrum Master also serves the Development Team in several ways including coaching the Development Team in self-organization and cross-functionality, helping the Development Team to create high-value products, and removing impediments to the Development Team’s progress.

Development Team

The Development Team consists of professionals who do the work of delivering a potentially releasable Increment of “Done” product at the end of each Sprint. Development Teams are cross-functional, with all the skills necessary to create a product Increment. Scrum recognizes no titles for Development Team members, regardless of the work being performed by the person.

Development Teams are self-organizing. No one tells them how to turn Product Backlog into Increments of potentially releasable functionality. Development Teams are also responsible for conducting the daily Scrum meeting, a 15-minute event for the Development Team to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24 hours.

Scrum Artifacts

Scrum Artifacts are designed to maximize transparency of key information so that everybody has the same understanding of the artifact. These include the Product Backlog, the Sprint Backlog, and the Increment.

The Product Backlog is an ordered list of everything that is known to be needed in the product. It is the single source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product. The Product Owner is responsible for the Product Backlog, including its content, availability, and ordering.

Sprint Backlog

The Sprint Backlog is the set of Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint, plus a plan for delivering the product Increment and realizing the Sprint Goal. The Sprint Backlog is a forecast by the Development Team about what functionality will be in the next Increment and the work needed to deliver that functionality into a “Done” Increment.

The Sprint Backlog makes visible all the work that the Development Team identifies as necessary to meet the Sprint Goal. To ensure continuous improvement, it includes at least one high priority process improvement identified in the previous Retrospective meeting.


The Increment is the sum of all the Product Backlog items completed during a Sprint and the value of the increments of all previous Sprints. At the end of a Sprint, the new Increment must be “Done,” which means it must be in useable condition and meet the Scrum Team’s definition of “Done.”

An increment is a step towards a vision or goal. The increment must be in useable condition regardless of whether the Product Owner decides to release it.

Scrum Events

Prescribed events are used in Scrum to create regularity and to minimize the need for meetings not defined in Scrum. All events are time-boxed, meaning they have a maximum duration. These include the Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective.

The Sprint is the heart of Scrum. It’s a time-box of one month or less during which a “Done”, useable, and potentially releasable product Increment is created. Sprints have consistent durations throughout a development effort. A new Sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous Sprint.

Sprint Planning

Sprint Planning is time-boxed to a maximum of eight hours for a one-month Sprint. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter. The Scrum Master ensures that the event takes place and that attendants understand its purpose. The Scrum Master teaches the Scrum Team to keep it within the time-box.

Sprint Planning answers the following: What can be delivered in the Increment resulting from the upcoming Sprint? How will the work needed to deliver the Increment be achieved?

Daily Scrum

The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Development Team to synchronize activities and create a plan for the next 24 hours. This is done by inspecting the work since the last Daily Scrum and forecasting the work that could be done before the next one.

The Daily Scrum is held at the same time and place each day to reduce complexity. During the meeting, the Development Team members explain what they have done since the last Daily Scrum, what they plan to do before the next one, and any obstacles that may be in their way.

Sprint Review

The Sprint Review is held at the end of the Sprint to inspect the Increment and adapt the Product Backlog if needed. During the Sprint Review, the Scrum Team and stakeholders collaborate about what was done in the Sprint. Based on that and any changes to the Product Backlog during the Sprint, attendees collaborate on the next things that could be done to optimize value.

This is an informal meeting, not a status meeting, and the presentation of the Increment is intended to elicit feedback and foster collaboration. It’s when the Product Owner explains what Product Backlog items have been “Done” and what has not been “Done,” discusses the Product Backlog as it stands, and projects likely target and delivery dates based on progress to date.

Sprint Retrospective

The Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint. The Sprint Retrospective occurs after the Sprint Review and prior to the next Sprint Planning. This is a three-hour time-boxed meeting for one-month Sprints. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter.

The purpose of the Sprint Retrospective is to: Inspect how the last Sprint went with regards to people, relationships, process, and tools; Identify and order the major items that went well and potential improvements; and, Create a plan for implementing improvements to the way the Scrum Team does its work.

Scrum and Business Analysis

Business Analysis in the context of Scrum involves a deep understanding of business needs and ensuring that the Scrum Team works to meet these needs. The Business Analyst often takes on the role of the Product Owner in a Scrum Team. They are responsible for defining and prioritizing the product backlog, ensuring that the team is working on the most valuable features first.

Business Analysis in Scrum also involves facilitating communication between the business stakeholders and the Scrum Team. The Business Analyst needs to ensure that the team understands the business requirements and that the business stakeholders understand the capabilities and limitations of the team.

Requirements Elicitation

In Scrum, requirements elicitation is an ongoing process. The Business Analyst, as the Product Owner, needs to constantly engage with the business stakeholders to understand their needs and priorities. These requirements are then translated into user stories that are added to the product backlog.

Requirements elicitation in Scrum is not a one-time activity. As the team works on the product, new requirements may emerge, and existing requirements may change. The Business Analyst needs to be able to manage these changes effectively to ensure that the product backlog remains up-to-date and relevant.

Requirements Management

Requirements management in Scrum involves maintaining the product backlog. The Business Analyst needs to ensure that the product backlog is always prioritized according to business value. This means that the most valuable features are developed first.

Requirements management also involves regularly reviewing and refining the product backlog. As the team learns more about the product and the business needs, some user stories may need to be split, combined, or re-prioritized. The Business Analyst needs to facilitate these discussions and make the necessary changes to the product backlog.

Stakeholder Communication

Effective stakeholder communication is crucial in Scrum. The Business Analyst needs to ensure that the business stakeholders and the Scrum Team are always on the same page. This involves regularly updating the stakeholders about the progress of the team and getting their feedback on the product.

Stakeholder communication also involves managing expectations. The Business Analyst needs to ensure that the stakeholders understand what the team can deliver in each sprint and that they are aware of any issues or risks that may impact the delivery.


Scrum is a powerful framework for managing complex projects. It emphasizes flexibility, adaptability, and continuous improvement. The roles, artifacts, and events in Scrum all contribute to these principles.

Business Analysis in Scrum involves understanding and communicating business needs, managing requirements, and facilitating communication between the business stakeholders and the Scrum Team. By effectively performing these tasks, the Business Analyst can ensure that the team delivers the most valuable features first and that the product meets the business needs.