Product Owner vs Business Analyst- How Are They Different

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Feb 22, 2023

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Due to the rapid pace at which agile projects must be completed, a dedicated team, strong backing from upper management, and a nimble, adaptive culture are essential for a project to be considered a success. The Product Owner (PO) and the Business Analyst are the two mainstays of every thriving Agile project.

The role of the Product Owner is similar to that of a film director in that they must imagine both the broad strokes and the finer points of the product. The Business Analyst is responsible for overseeing the specifics of the epics and stories, as well as ensuring their timely and efficient completion throughout the sprint. A PO is in charge of increasing the value of a product and managing the backlog. They own the product and must guarantee that all of its technical elements and features match user expectations. Communication and participation with the agile team are essential components of the product owner's daily routine.

A product owner ensures that each product provides the most value to the consumer. A product owner is crucial to any product development cycle. They monitor the backlog based on the project's developing demands and prioritize the project's needs and requirements. They are also in charge of finding critical areas for improvement and assisting with the product design sprint. In addition to establishing the product vision and strategy, they serve as a business strategist, project manager, and development team leaders.

Let us look up the difference between product owners and business analysts in this article.

Role of product Owner in the team

This position is indeed novel, and it is being put to use in software development, especially in agile endeavours. As more businesses transition to an agile methodology, additional employment opportunities arise. The software development team's leader, the product owner, is accountable for enhancing the quality of the product being built. Following is a list of some of the responsibilities that fall within their purview:

Vision teller

The product owner serves as a liaison between the stakeholders and the product development team. The product owner understands the many scopes and visions for the product, and the final product is produced with the assistance of the project's development team. They establish the team's objective and product quality expectations and then work with the team to realize that vision while also keeping them engaged.

Regulating the product backlog

This is undoubtedly one of the most crucial responsibilities of the product owner. Clearing the product backlog, which is essentially the project's development team's work items, is the product owner's responsibility. The product owner keeps the list of things to perform up to current on a constant basis and makes sure that results follow. For the development team to work on, the tasks are being prioritized.

Regularly assessing the results

Since the project is using the agile and scrum framework, there will be iterations. The product owner's job is to evaluate each iteration and make sure that the development process is going well. The person in charge of the product will make sure the team is on the right track. He also decides how well the team is doing and whether or not the team needs more resources. In general, he keeps the process going and makes sure that things are done quickly and well.

Works with the client's requirements

The product owner looks after the demands and expectations of the customer in addition to collaborating with the team to work on the project's product. They understand the market, and by using their communication abilities, they can foresee what the customer will require and how the team can ensure that it will be delivered on time. They are aware of their needs and ensure that the rest of the team is in agreement.

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Responsibility of product owner in scrum team:

  • Let's take a quick look at the tasks and duties that come with being a scrum product owner:
  • A clear vision is crucial, and the PO works to achieve this. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, they explain the objectives and visions of the product to the team, business partners, and other stakeholders.
  • The product owner is in charge of prioritizing the product backlog in addition to periodically reviewing how the project is progressing.
  • It is crucial to evaluate the product while it is being developed. As a result, the owner also sees to it that there is good communication between the teams.
  • The certified scrum product owner also sees to it that the client's requirements are fulfilled. To make sure that the team is moving in the correct way, they have back-and-forth meetings with them.

Product owner skills

To do well at work, a product owner needs to have both technical and soft skills. As technology changes, so do the skills a product owner needs to be successful, so it is important to keep updating their skill set to keep up with the latest trends and events.

Here is a list of the skills that every product owner needs to have.

Analytical skills

The product owner has to look at problems carefully and quickly come up with possible solutions. Backlog management, for example, needs analytical skills because the PO has to figure out which items in the backlog are most important. Analytical skills are needed to figure out how to rank items in the backlog based on how important they are, how relevant they are, and how they connect to other items.

Project management skills

A product owner is not a project manager, but they do need to know how to run a project. Since a PO has to lead and manage the agile development team, they need to know how to manage projects. Project management is the ability to use knowledge, skills, techniques, and tools to effectively achieve project goals and meet project requirements.

Technical skills

The role of the product owner is technical. You can't be a great PO if you don't know everything there is to know about development, design, agile framework, software development, scrum approach, and IT infrastructure. Technical skill is a specialised skill that is used to do a specific task, like writing code or making software.

A product owner needs to know about the user interface and also have the following technical skills:

  • Scrum and agile software development methodologies.
  • Software development
  • Coding and designing.
  • product development architecture.
  • UX knowledge and principles
  • Product backlog understanding and management
  • User story knowledge
  • ability to use tools and apps


The product owner is in charge of making decisions. The PO, who is in charge of and accountable for the product, must make a number of decisions every day, including which items to add to the product backlog, how to prioritize them, and how to best convey these decisions to the scrum team.

Role of the Business analyst in the team

Business analysts are professionals that act as a liaison between IT specialists and customers of various departments. Business analysts collaborate with executives from different departments to identify business difficulties and suggest technical solutions. Aside from that, business analysts monitor current firm operations, implement organizational changes, and create software solutions. Following are the critical responsibilities of the business analyst:

Managing user stories

A business analyst is responsible for managing user stories which mainly includes prioritizing the user stories and clearing the impediments.

He or she is also responsible for describing the requirements in accordance with the wants and demands of the stakeholders which include the following tasks:

    • Requirements elicitation
    • Business rules and Modeling
    • Requirements walkthroughs
    • Requirements workshops
    • Acceptance criteria

A business analyst needs to clarify all the details of the particular requirements with stakeholders. After that, he needs to coordinate with the development team to get the stories developed. He or she also provides day-to-day support in requirements clarifications and business rules between stakeholders and the development team.

Business analysts also look after the impact analysis which includes maintaining the traceability matrix and dependencies and Components mapping.

Business analysts work closely with the PO on the sprint execution. He or she works as a PO representative who assists the agile team in elucidating concerns and inquiries. He or she also assists the PO with sprint and product backlog management.

Product Owner vs. Business Analyst

Simply said, the business analyst behaves more like a spokesperson of the development team whereas the PO speaks for the client. A Product Owner, as the name suggests, functions as the product's owner, planning almost every aspect of the product and how to get it ready for the market. The business analyst, on the other hand, provides the vision colour and turns it into reality. But sometimes, the boundaries get a little hazy.

While the BA is often more tactical and project-focused, the PO is more business- and customer-focused. However, given their education and experience, most BAs are also capable of doing certain PO duties. Most backlog management tasks are included in this, as well as splitting up big stories into smaller ones, modelling processes and data, defining business rules, and addressing non-functional needs. Because of this, these two responsibilities often overlap.

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As we saw, there is some overlap between the two jobs in terms of skills and responsibilities. As the name suggests, a Product owner works like the product's owner, thinking about almost every detail of the product and how to get it ready for the market. On the other hand, the BA gives the vision color and makes it happen. But sometimes the lines aren't so clear.

However, this article makes the difference between a product owner and a business analyst very clear. If you want to know which one is better, the answer is both. They both know what their part is in the project and how they should act. They are very important to the success of a project, and their presence will help the team do its best work. If you also want to make a career out of this and are trying to decide between these two roles, you should think about your goals, your current role, and how you want to move forward.

You can come across the best training for certified scrum product owner certification from Staragile, where you will not only receive academic information about project management but also practical expertise from the top practitioners in the area.

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