We have a software development team of 5 people. All of them are developers and one is also a scrum master.

Our line management has need to fulfill a business analyst position in our company. They argue that the selected person has to come from our own company. In addition, only place the person can be taken is our development team, because we are the only people who know somehow also the business side of the system that is developed.

Nobody from our team want to be transferred to this business analyst position, because they all want to be developers. Our management has said that we must choose somebody from our team by ourselves to fulfill this business analyst position.

Why the management delegates this kind of decision making to SW development team?

  • recommended reading: How do I explain ${something} to ${someone}?
    – gnat
    Nov 5, 2014 at 8:00
  • 1
    This question doesn't seem to be specific for programmers, but a wider workplace issue. For that reason, it might be better suited for The Workplace. Nov 5, 2014 at 8:48
  • 1
    I edited the text a bit and now it has only one question "Why the management delegates this kind of decision making to our team?". Hopefully this question is more straightforward and clear now. Nov 5, 2014 at 9:38
  • In a situation like this I see management forcing someone to change, followed by the team imploding as they seek new employment. The project fails, and they have to hire from the outside anyway. I smell a future TDWTF
    – user16626
    Nov 5, 2014 at 14:21
  • Kid, sometimes people don't get what they want and have either to do what the boss says, or quit. Life is not always fair. And you are lucky, you are still allowed to discuss who may bite the bullet and change to the new position - your boss could have just ordered one of your team, without discussion.
    – Doc Brown
    Nov 5, 2014 at 20:16

2 Answers 2


Turn the question around. How would you feel if management had made the decision without consulting the team? At least you have a voice in the decision. It sounds to me like they're saying "This stinks, but there's no way around it ... you folks work it out."
The business decision (the BA requirement) has already been made; they're delegating the execution to the team, and that's not a bad thing.

All that being said ...

On a small team, if you're doing scrum -- or really following any kind of agile process -- the product owner and developers typically fulfill the role traditionally performed by a business analyst. Sometimes the product owner takes the lead in the analysis process, sometimes it's the developers. A BA can certainly add value -- especially if you're starting to get serious about acceptance testing -- but for small teams and especially early in the process a BA is typically perceived as overkill.
So one possible argument is that, in the process you're trying to follow, you can perform that function with the people/roles you already have. Building on @gbjbaanb's answer, you could potentially rotate the BA responsibilities between team members; it certainly can't hurt to ask if that would be acceptable. You never know, one of the devs might decide they like the BA work ... but even if not that approach of shared responsibility and cross-training is (IMHO) consistent with the spirit of agile.

Has management explained / justified the need for a BA? (You don't specify.) It may be due to some external constraint e.g. a customer is demanding it.

Or maybe the BA is supposed to be assigned to a different project. (You don't specify.) Maybe management feels you're overstaffed -- I'm not saying that's true, but it's not uncommon for a team to spend, say, 25% of its time on support activity without anyone outside of the team being aware of it.
All you can do here is attempt to quantify the impact of "taking away" a developer e.g. "that would delay the implementation of the data feed to payroll by a month, and the feed to accounts receivable by two months".

It does sound like knowledge is highly compartmentalized within your organization. IMHO that's a problem in and of itself, because of the bus factor risk. But it's going to make it difficult to do agile effectively.

My suggestion: communicate, communicate, communicate. Find out where the BA requirement comes from. Explain the impact it will have on your team's productivity. Explain the bus factor risk. Have the team suggest/discuss alternative solutions; anything the team would be willing to live with, propose that to management.


You answer your own question - why does the management delegate this issue to the team?

Becuase: They "has need to fulfill a business analyst position in our company" and "only place the person can be taken is our development team, because we are the only people who know somehow also the business side of the system that is developed."

That's why. Now, you could argue that they need ot recruit a new team member, but maybe there is no money available to hire a new staff member. That means, if none of the devs want this position, then one will have to made redundant to make space for a BA to be hired. I doubt you want that either.

So perhaps the best option is to get someone working part-time in the BA role, or to get your line manager to take the role on while one of the devs takes on more line management responsibilities. Communicate these issues but understand the reasoning why this change has to occur. Complaining that you all want to be devs and life is unfair isn't going to help you.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .