What are actually the responsibilities of a Product Owner. Roman Pichler has a great overview on his blog of which I have an own little sketch jsut below. She has ownership of vision roadmap and budget. She is also responsible for values like business model, const structures and the market feedback. As by this, she takes care of user stories in the product backlog and makes sure that the order (and therefore priority) is set properly. And finally, she should make sure that teams collaborate with stakeholders. And to make it even harder, the PO needs to be someone who is empowered to make decisions. Only if she is able to sometimes say now and make constant collaboration happen, customer value can be generated.
Business Analyst = Product Owner?
Would a Business Analyst could do this job? By the BABOK, the
Business analysts should always work to ensure that requirements are aligned with organizational goals and objectives and that all stakeholders have a shared understanding of those goals, objectives, and requirements. They must also work to manage risks and validate that the requirements, if delivered, will create real value for stakeholders.
So yes, BA’s care about Vision, Collaboration and Customer Value.
But no, BA’s are normally focused on details but can’t so good focus on the big picture and just-in-time documentation at the same time. Also BA’s are not so good in delegating requirement maintenance. And can BA’s really prioritize stakeholders requests or plan releases?
So the conclusion is that normally BA’s tend to be Proxy-PO’s and need to get in touch with the real decision makers to prioritize backlogs.
But that’s okay and Business Analysts are key contributors to project success! Stay close to the team and use your analytical and social skill-set to solve the complex problems.