Product Owners vs Business Analysts – MOSTly different roles?

14 Feb

The MOST acronym (Mission, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics) can be used to describe the main differences between the Product Owner and Business Analyst roles on a project.

Mission

  • This is the vision statement for the product. It should be concise and value driven.
  • This will provide answers to the following questions: What is the intention and long term direction of the product? Who is the user-base/target market? What is the business benefit?
  • Example: “We want to deliver the most popular Sports app in the World – with unparalleled journalist content”
  • Responsibility of the Product Owner.

Objectives

  • These are derived from the product mission. These are targets that will translate the product mission into reality.
  • These will provide answers to the following questions: What goals will lead us to achieve our mission? What will need to be created? What will need to be changed? What will need to be acquired?
  • Example: “We need to deliver live video streaming in the iOS app
  • Responsibility of the Business Analyst.

Strategy

  • This is a description of how success will be achieved. This should describe the features and their prioritisation.
  • This will provide answers to the following questions: How will the product scope be delivered across iterations? What is the Minimum Viable Product for release 1.0/launch? Which features are nice-to-haves?
  • Example: “Pundit analysis, live video & match statistics are required for the first release – personalisation will be delivered in the second release of the app” 
  • Responsibility of the Product Owner.

Tactics

  • These are derived from the product strategy. These are the deliverables that will be provided by the development team.
  • These will provide answers to the following questions: How can we achieve tangible benefits in the next Sprints? What tasks need to be completed? How can work be grouped together logically & in terms of delivery?
  • Example: “Provide live streaming of our CMS videos using Media Player”
  • Responsibility of the Business Analyst.

Summary

Within MOST there are 2 definition activities (Mission and Objectives) and 2 planning activities (Strategy and Tactics).

  • The Mission (high level product definition) is done by the Product Owner.
  • The Objectives (detailed product definition) is done by the Business Analyst.
  • The Strategy (high level product planning) is done by the Product Owner.
  • The Tactics (detailed product planning) is done by the Business Analyst.
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4 Responses to “Product Owners vs Business Analysts – MOSTly different roles?”

  1. global ims media marketing February 14, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me.

    Regardless, I’m definitely pleased I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

  2. SutoCom February 18, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Reblogged this on Sutoprise Avenue, A SutoCom Source.

  3. Jamie April 2, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Great article, thanks!
    For me, the article creates a small bias toward the business analyst being the more important role.

    • rthewitt April 10, 2013 at 7:13 am #

      Thanks Jamie 🙂 I think you’re right. With the Product Owner being explicitly recognised in Scrum and the BA not – the article was also about justifying the BA role – so there was some bias. Glad you enjoyed it though.

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