I'm curious how other teams include the functional role (business analyst, designer, etc.) in iterative development.

I'm working with what is referred to as functional analyst - they are responsible for elaborating user stories in regards to sketches and design, communication with (offsite) stakeholders, description of what needs to be done, verification prior to implementation and verification post-implementation.

Our iterations are 2 weeks long. We usually need sketches and descriptions in place prior to sprint planning in order to know what we are going to implement. So the FA's work on what we expect to come 1-2 sprints in advance. It's a setup that work fairly well. I would however want to migrate the team towards a Scrum-setup and would like some input on how others deal with this, especially in a UI/design-hungry project with quite complex business rules.

  • If it works well now, why change it? What makes you think it could not work exactly the same way in Scrum?
    – nvoigt
    Mar 2, 2020 at 8:37
  • Well, I see some challenges in regards to the scrum guide? If FA is supposed to be 1 or 2 sprints ahead - are they adding value to the sprint they complete a description/sketch? Is there a "FA userstory" that leads to a "dev userstory"? My main intention is to make the flow as good as possible .That's why I would like to hear how others do this, as I assume we're not the only ones dealing with this setup.
    – sonstabo
    Mar 2, 2020 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


Business analysts and Designers in a Scrum team

Business analysts help provide detailed requirements to the dev team. So, in a Scrum team a business analyst can be a part of the Product Owner (PO) team and assist the PO. They can also step in place of the PO, when the PO is unavailable.

However, designers actually do the work of creating a shippable increment. They should be part of the dev team and work very closely with the developers during iterations.

From the Scrum Guide:

The heart of Scrum is a Sprint, a time-box of one month or less during which a "Done", useable, and potentially releasable product Increment is created.

Architecture, design and such other prep-work as well as testing and other after-coding-work are not "potentially releasable". So, Scrum doesn't recommend those as valid user stories. They need to be done alongwith the coding which is "potentially releasable". Ideally, all will be well if the team is fully cross-functional. However, until we get there it is a struggle, but worth working towards.

  • So what do the designers work with in your sprint @ashok? Do they work with design to be implemented in the same sprint, or prepare work for next sprint?
    – sonstabo
    Mar 2, 2020 at 10:51

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