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A day in the life of – agile scrum business analyst

One of the joys of working in business analysis, product management or user research is the variety! No day is the same and the mix of activities constantly changes. Welcome to the ‘day in the life’ series where we profile different roles and what they are up to in an average day. Next up is an agile scrum business analyst.

As mentioned in ‘what is business analysis‘, the methodology a BA follows changes from project to project. This role uses the Scrum methodology of working with their development team to develop a product.

9am – starting the day with some user stories

My team is working remotely at the moment – as are most people! We were previously partly distributed so not too much of a shift for us. It does mean I need to make sure my user stories are as clear as possible as it can be harder to ask questions.

I log into Jira and start writing some user stories. I planned these out the day before based on discussions for a new feature. With my referenced notes, I check wire frames and cross reference the existing product and our design library.

As a scrum business analyst it is my job to make sure all user stories are created with enough detail for a developer or tester to use. It can be tricky to keep all my user stories organised so I check through the epics. I add some tags to be able to filter on these stories for review with my product owner later today.

10.30am – joining the stand up as a scrum business analyst

Our stand ups are a little later as people are working different hours at the moment. I jump on the stand up and listen to what my team of developers and testers have been working on. I also update them on my activities yesterday and what we plan on doing this afternoon.

A couple of them flag some questions with the stories they are currently working on. We stay on after the stand up has finished and discuss their queries. I was able to answer most of them and put a comment on the story to keep an audit trail.

11am – sitting in on a user research session

We have a user researcher who is regularly testing new features with users to see how they are enjoying it. At the moment they are remotely run so I dial into the session and listen in to the interview.

It’s fascinating to understand how a user sees the different features we’ve built and how they navigate. Often something we quickly overlook catches the users out and impedes their journey.

I know my user researcher will do a full write up but I note a couple of quick wins and add them to the backlog to discuss later this afternoon.

1pm – triaging bugs

After a break for lunch, I see from the UAT testing team that there are a couple of bugs in a recent release. I review the tickets they have created and watch videos of their actions. I can see in a couple that there has been a user error, so I contact the tester to update their scripts. One is a bug which needs to be fixed though, I add further detail on the fix into a comment on the ticket and add into the backlog for planning.

2.30pm – time for sprint planning

We are coming up to a new sprint and have a lot of tickets in a backlog which are ‘ready for sprint’ and have been estimated previously in a refinement session. It’s time to get together with the product owner, development team, scrum master and BA’s. We review the product roadmap and what we need to deliver, then discuss which stories will be brought into sprint by the team.

There is a story point amount which we aim for, so we pick stories which will work towards the feature and will reach the amount we need. A couple of stories have dependencies on other teams, I write a note to follow up with the other team to make sure that they know we are working on it.

4pm – debrief and planning with my product owner

I work really closely with my product owner, and catch up with them almost every day! We discuss the planning and what we think we need to work on for the upcoming sprints. We know we have a new feature on the horizon and discuss how we can start doing some work on that feature to prepare for it.

5.00pm – emails and prep for another day as a scrum business analyst

Phew it has been a busy day! I finally get off the phone and clean up my emails, responding to a few questions which have come in from others on the programme. Time to tick through my to-do list and check my calendar for tomorrow. I note down a few things that I want to finish up on and eventually log off.

What next?

Have a read of our other day in life articles – ‘day in the life of a GDS user researcher‘.

Is there another day in the life of you want to see next?

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