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.

Project Manager

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

Role of Architect 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.

Role of Business Analyst in Agile
Role of Business Analyst in Agile

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.

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Project Manager, Architect and Business Analyst in Agile

4 thoughts on “Project Manager, Architect and Business Analyst in Agile

  • August 3, 2016 at 9:28 am
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    Hi Amit,
    I have three points:
    1. The role of project manager: If you talk about project managers in Agile then agile doesn’t even recognise any of those roles. The article you share from mountain goat clearly states how the job of a project manager is delegated to different roles defined in Scrum. If Scrum is implemented in its true sense, which most companies don’t do, there is no role for the project managers.
    2. Architects: Architects can never be only chickens. Again none of the agile methodologies talk anything about architects. It’s up to each team to decide how to make the best use of them. For me architects can also be shared resources. If it is big enterprise then we may have a scrum team of enterprise architects.
    3. BAs: BAs having in-depth knowledge about technical things is highly debatable. Almost all the scrum teams I have worked, BA are always domain experts. If the product owner doesn’t understand his domain then it is a big risk in having he/she as a product owner. In scrum we don’t expect written documents. Requirements evolve over a period of time. Again BAs can be helpers, but they cannot take decisions on backlog other than the Product owner. Scrum is very clear on that.

    Reply
    • August 3, 2016 at 11:52 am
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      Hi Sandeep,

      Thanks for detailed and nice feedback.

      You are right from perspective of Agile and I agree with you. The only thing is what is the future of Project Manager, Architect and Business Analyst. As you said still we need Architect at least. Project Manager and Business Analyst skill is not out dated but it has to be acquired by product owner.

      Reply
  • August 3, 2016 at 12:28 pm
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    I believe now businesses want mix of Project Manager and Architect, Business analysis is primarily a role of Sales team now-a-days.

    Reply
  • August 3, 2016 at 12:55 pm
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    Nice Article, Amit. We need Project manager, Architect, Product manager (Business analyst) for product development, but not agile. Agile is not that important except for regular operations. Product development requires pair programming, frequent interactions or brain-storming, research, etc. But, no agile. Those who are using agile for product development are mostly in maintenance mode or just taking care of the operational details.

    Reply

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