People often interchange both the terms, but there is a fine line between a scrum master and a business analyst.
These two are pretty serious roles in a team that works on an agile project. Both scrum master and business analyst require similar skillset but are not the same. And it is quite challenging for one to distinguish the exact difference between a BA and a Scrum master.
But, the moment you learn the key difference between these two professions, you will be able to determine who is what pretty easily.
A scrum master looks after the team’s efficiency and continuous development and focuses on consistency. While a business analyst is all about focusing on the business needs, objectives and handling things like customer needs, product backlogs, or even frame marketing strategies.
Now, let us take a quick look at the differences between a scrum master and a business analyst.
The Role of a Scrum Master
A scrum master is an initiator who leads his team through a project implementing agile project management techniques. This individual facilitates collaborations and communication between the leaders and other team members, ensuring a successful outcome.
The roles of a scrum master include:
#1 Coaching Team Members
The scrum master in a team ensures that all members working in the team understand the principle of agile processes and are well trained. The professional also ensures that all its members are aware of their roles, follow the process, that the teams are self-managed, and that the members have a sense of project ownership.
#2 Host Regular Meetings
The scrum master hosts regular meetings daily or 15 to 20 minutes stand meetings. The meetings allow the team members to answer questions like –
- “What will you do today?”
- “What’s impeding your progress?”
- “What did you do yesterday?”
The scrum masters may ask the team members how much time they need to complete a specific task. The scrum master hosts such meetings to keep track of the team’s progress and identify any barriers faced by the team members that keep them from completing the project or tasks.
Furthermore, the scrum master also ensures that all team members, including those who work the slightest bit, can attend the regular scrum meetings.
#3 Assisting Product Owner with Product Backlog
The product owner is responsible for creating and keeping up the product backlog. A product backlog is simply a list of tasks or works the team needs to complete.
Here, the scrum master assists the product owner in refining and maintaining the product backlog by utilizing the information he gained from hosting daily scrum or stand-up meetings.
This product backlog is a live document that changes from time to time based on development needs and the current status of the tasks.
#4 Remove Barriers or Roadblocks
The scrum master plays an important role in helping the team stay focused on the tasks or work they need to complete during each iteration.
Here, the scrum master looks for certain barriers, roadblocks, or distractions that can potentially impede or delay progress.
For instance, if the team members are into too many unnecessary and unimportant meetings, the scrum master can work with the meeting organizers to determine who needs to attend.
Or, if one team member is drawn into multiple directions and is assigned to work in multiple teams, the scrum master works with the stakeholders and product owners to redistribute or delegate the workload.
#5 Teach Scrum Principles and Practices
The role of a scrum master also includes the need to ensure that the work should continue at a decent pace and not slow down. The key role of a scrum master is like a teacher or a mentor that gets all the new members and employees’ team members smoothly onboard.
Yes, the scrum master also acts as a teacher to all the freshers and helps them understand the vision and scope of a product. Not just this, the scrum master also ensures that each member understand the principles and theory of Scrum and adheres to its rules, practices, and way of conduct. Again, the scrum master also teaches how to stay self-organized and focused.
It is vital to note that the scrum master is not specialized in people management and is not held accountable for the project’s outcome. The scrum team was held responsible for the project outcomes.
The Role of a Business Analyst
As you can guess from the term “Business Analyst,” they are specialized in business analysis. A BA utilizes data to gain business insights and recommends necessary organizational changes. A BA helps in maximizing the effectiveness of the business through analyzing data.
Here is what you need to know regarding the roles played by a business analyst –
#1 Identifying Business Needs
Being a business analyst, it is your job to identify the needs of the business. Yes, a BA needs to understand the stakeholders’ need and later pass it on to the developers. A BA needs to convey the expectation of the developers to the stakeholders.
#2 Presenting the Company and Its Details
Long story cut short, you can call a business analyst the “face of the business” as he puts forward or presents the business’s thoughts and objectives to the stakeholders.
And as you know, when a project comes, it brings hundreds and thousands of little details that people overlook. But, a business analyst is an individual who elaborates the scope of the project along with the teeny-tiny loopholes.
#3 Conduct Meetings
Like the scrum master often hosts meetings to know the project’s current status from their teammates; a business analyst also hosts meetings with stakeholders and the team of developers. This facilitates proper client feedback and the ability to resolve issues whenever the developer’s team encounters a problem or implements some features.
#4 Problem Solving and Decision Making
When it comes to the responsibilities of a business analyst, it can potentially range from developing documents to making the right call in the most stringent and typical circumstances.
#5 Team Building
Another key role of business analysts is team building. A business analyst is responsible for building a team with certain people who can handle the project. Making a united and skillful team can be pretty challenging. However, it is a fact that the better the team, the better the results.
It does not matter how much human resources, funds, or energy you spend on a project; if the maintenance part is poor, it will not be successful.
If the resources are not maintained well enough, all the hard work your team, has been doing will drain. A business analyst can help maintain and organize resources and ensure that the quality of the products is maintained.
The role of a business analyst does not simply end here; there is more! For instance, once the product is ready, the next possible step is that the product needs to go for testing to determine its quality and working capacity.
Here, the BA examines the prototype and its interface by sending it to clients and collecting their feedback on the product. As the BA receives the feedback, he tries to improve the product by introducing changes.
A BA conducts a User Acceptance Test to check whether the product is ready to launch.
The Differences Between the scrum master role and Business Analyst role
If you are eager to know the differences that separate these two professions, here is what you need to know!
The following table can help you understand the key differences in the roles of business analysts and scrum masters.
|Role of Business Analyst||Role of Scrum Master|
|Making a detailed analysis of the business||Providing theoretical and practical knowledge of Scrum principles and processes.|
|Conducting thorough market research||Keeping the organization aware of the applications of the scrum framework.|
|Identifying major and necessary business needs||Assisting all the team members obtain high-value results and identifying the chances of increment according to the performance.|
|Performs financial, analysis, and operation modeling,||Creating an atmosphere where team members feel psychologically safe and can be productive.|
|It takes up an integral part in forecasting and budgeting,||helps remove all sorts of barriers that can slow the progress of a project, and ensures smooth functioning of the scrum procedures.|
Both scrum masters and business analysts perform quite differently in their field; however, both are considered prominent for an agile development team.
Honestly, business analysts pay much more attention to the technical elements of the process, while scrum masters are focused on maintaining the team’s pace and efficiency.