As Agile is gaining in popularity, people are thinking the project manager, architect and business analyst are no longer required. Scrum projects eliminate the role of the project manager, architect and business analyst as per the agile methodology. So what is the future of Project Manager, architect and business analyst?
Let me answer this question one at time.
Project Managers and Agile
Project managers are responsible for managing scope, cost, quality, personnel, communication, risk, procurement and more in traditional or say PMI methodology of project management world.
My answer to this question is simple. Industry still needs good managers, and definitely project managers are not an exception. But you need to be more of a leader as Project Manager than performing a mundane tasks like schedule management and day to day reporting. Agile says that it trust the people and team works. But doesn’t answer the question that who will foster this trust? My answer is the leader. The leader is still require to keep the team motivated. The team still required mentoring so that they speak as and when require and communicate nicely to the scrum master or product owner. Agile assumes that all the team members are mature and carry equivalent skill and maturity so they can work with each other. But my experience says that this is ideology. This can happen only on paper and most agile teams also have team members who are freshers or less experienced. They still need leaders who guide them in their day to day tasks and help solve their problems when they are stuck. Companies require leaders to help these people so that they can contribute effectively in scrum and product delivery.
In short, I would like to say, yes may be the project manager title is not as relevant in Agile development, but in a real sense project managers are nothing but good leaders. And good leaders are always in demand. You can take any role like product owner or scrum master having project management experience in your pocket. Here is a good article on how the project are being managed in Agile.
Role of Architect in Agile
Similarly I see there are lot of misconceptions regarding the role of architect or business analyst. People use to think that this role is also not relevant. I would like to say this is also not true. How can you build good product if you don’t have a good architect who is excellent in designing a product and creating a POC? it requires lots of experience in creating a good product design and architecture. This is not a trivial task that can be taken by any programmer, tester or even product owner. It has to be evaluated by different sets of requirements like scalability, performance, availability and security to name a few. Strong technical expertise is required to select technology and proper architecture for the product. This is a very specialized skill and can not be overlooked while following Agile. With agile you can make a good product once the architecture is finalized and agreed. So yes, role of architecture is still as important as before. The only difference is that we use them as Chicken and not as pig.
Role of Business Analyst in Agile
Business analyst understand both technology and business in its depth. Provide guidance on how to model the business requirement, implement it using technology so that it gives more values to business for longer period of time. He also ensure that impact of future changes are minimal.
Same is true for Business Analyst. We still need a skilled person who can analyse and find the impact of changes in business requirements and how it affects the end product. My experience says that in agile this skill is expected from the product owner or customer or subject mater experts. But they either doesn’t have this much in-depth understanding simultaneously, either technically or domains wise. In my experience, I have worked with the clients and customers who are experts in the domains but they do not have time to put it either on paper or document it so it make sense to the engineers. So in my opinion again, its not possible to build a good product my over looking the role business analyst.
On concluding note, I would like to say that we still need architect, business analyst and leader in Agile.