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What’s The Difference Between Scrum Master and a Business Analyst?

What's The Difference Between Scrum Master and a Business Analyst?

Changing people in many positions is normal, particularly when implementing a new corporate strategy or set of values. Business analyst and scrum master roles are common examples of this.

Often, a firm will designate a single individual to act as the scrum master while implementing agile transformation. The business analyst is frequently promoted to this role on the false assumption that the two sets of abilities required are equivalent.

Although the roles of a business analyst and a scrum master may seem superficially similar, there are important distinctions.

A business analyst’s emphasis is different from that of a scrum master. Regarding productivity, reliability, and progress, it’s the scrum master’s job to ensure the team is always improving. On the other hand, a business analyst takes a more dispassionate view of things like product backlogs, customer wants, marketing tactics, etc., and the firm itself.

How likely would a business analyst fill in for a scrum master or vice versa? If you’re curious about the same thing, stay reading because we’re about to explain everything.

How Does a Business Analyst Differ from a Scrum Master, and What Do They Have in Common?

The responsibilities of a scrum master and business analyst are crucial to the success of any agile project. Similar abilities are commonly called for; however, their expression and use may vary widely. This is the area where people tend to become confused about the differences between them.

Business Analyst vs. Scrum Master

A project’s scrum master ensures that the scrum framework is effectively used. Scrum has become a prominent methodology in the software development business, and this role is rather typical in that setting.


Scrum, on the other hand, is predicated on an agile framework in which issues are solved using methods that foster both teamwork and individual responsibility.

A scrum master’s primary responsibility is to facilitate the successful implementation of the scrum framework. These responsibilities may include coaching, mentoring, or facilitating a process.

On the other hand, business analysts focus on the more technical side of running a company. Their job is to ensure that all of the operational procedures work in tandem to achieve company objectives and boost customer satisfaction.

They commonly collaborate with the technical teams on projects to acquire, assess, and verify requirements.

Duties of a Business Analyst and a Scrum Master

  1. Instruction in the scrum methodology.

The scrum master is responsible for ensuring that everyone in the team has received enough training in the scrum framework and agile methodology.

The team ensures everyone is on the same page about the scrum methodology and principles goal.

Also, they showcase the essential procedures, components, aspects, and strategies stated in the strategies’ plans of action.

  1. Mentoring employees on how to use the Scrum framework.

Scrum masters are responsible for guiding their teams through the steps of applying the scrum framework, which includes tactics and empirical methodologies for finishing complicated projects. More importantly, they ensure that everyone on the team is doing their part and doing it well in terms of efficiency, discipline, and self-management. They also explain the notion of cross-functionality in detail by bringing together a team of experts from several fields to collaborate on a single project.

  1. Facilitating the attainment of high-value outcomes and the identification of performance-based increases for team members.
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Scrum masters provide extensive coaching, particularly at the start of a project’s execution. By doing so, you can be certain that everyone on your team will acquire the know-how to provide high-quality work that propels your project forward. Moreover, scrum masters assist team members in determining the most appropriate increment for task delivery based on the key signs of success.

  1. Facilitating an environment where people feel both comfortable and able to get work done.

A scrum master’s most important responsibility is creating a positive and secure workplace for the team. Anyone in this role should know the value of creating a secure space where team members may share their thoughts without fear of retaliation. The scrum master also ensures that any unnecessary distractions do not slow progress. It helps ensure that scrum practices are implemented without any hiccups

  1. Gets rid of roadblocks that may otherwise get in the way of efficiently implementing agile practices.

Scrum masters maintain order by monitoring both individual and team performance. But also by foreseeing problems that may arise throughout the framework’s implementation and the extent to which they could hinder it.

Tasks Assigned to Business Analysts

  1. Creating an in-depth evaluation of the company.

The business analyst’s major responsibility is to shed light on the present and future of an organization or a certain division. Business analysts need to be well-versed in gathering data (such as surveys, interviews, workshops, and SQL code) and then analyzing that data to draw conclusions and recommend courses of action to help bring the company’s objectives to fruition.

  1. Researching the market.

When releasing new goods or examining the current state of a company, business analysts play a vital role in market research. Customers’ demands and the project’s or company’s progress in meeting those needs are better understood via regular communication between the customer and the scrum team’s customer advocate, who has quickly become an integral component of the scrum team alongside the product owner.

The answer to this question heavily depends on the squad’s composition. When a new product is launched, the Product Owner may fill the business analyst position.

Additionally, a Product Manager position might be created to steer the product’s future development. Therefore, the Product Owner and the Product Manager would divide the business analyst duties.

Nonetheless, all three jobs may collaborate to complete the project, and we’ll look at where exactly the Business Analyst fits in a little later in the piece.

  1. Clarifying the needs of the company.

The top business stakeholders provide their approval once the business analyst has defined and managed the requirements that the implementation team must follow.

They use methods that include reading through relevant paperwork, seeing an employee in action, conducting interviews, analyzing data, holding seminars, etc.

The business analyst will check that all criteria have been met once any modifications have been made. Business analysts are often called “change agents” by those in the know.

They motivate the company to change its procedures or use new technologies to boost productivity and efficiency.


  1. Analyzing data and doing financial and operational simulations.

Information gathering is not all that business analysts do. But they put in the time and effort to learn about it and use the information they gather to build operational and financial models suited to the business’s desired future condition.

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Their knowledge and experience in business, operations, and information technology are crucial to completing these activities. As a result, there is a lot of teamwork across departments.

  1. Participating constructively in planning and forecasting processes.

Company analysts are crucial in financial planning and creating long-term business and project strategies due to their contributions to budgeting and forecasting.

If you know what needs to be done to reach your company’s goals, you’ll have a better idea of what it could cost and what adjustments you want to make. These findings influence the business’s future technological decisions, operational tweaks, and schedule adjustments.

Qualifications Needed for a Business Analyst or Scrum Master

     There is no set of prerequisites that a Scrum master must meet. Instead, most employers investigate your background and education.

·        Therefore, your chances of being employed increase proportion to the number of projects you’ve managed in the past or the extent to which you’ve been engaged in adopting scrum approaches.

·        Bachelor’s degree required; preferably in Information Technology (IT), Business, or a closely related discipline.


·        The role of the business analyst is one of the most visible in any firm. The responsibilities and authority of the job might vary widely based on the company’s structure and the personalities of its owners and upper management.

·        A master’s degree in business administration is often required for senior and strategic business analysis positions. It may, however, be sufficient to have relevant project experience or certifications. Having direct project experience, technical business analysis skills, and exposure to a certain industry, such as finance, healthcare, or niche manufacturing, is more crucial.

·        The required education level is a bachelor’s degree in business, information technology, or a closely connected profession.

·        Experience as a business analyst for at least five years.

·        Equipped with cutting-edge technological expertise

·        Strong skills and understanding of business analysis and implementation.

·        High level of project management expertise



Is It Possible for a Business Analyst to Also Serve as the Project Manager for a Scrum Team?

Business analysts may serve as scrum masters with the right training and certification. To fill the scrum master role and get the certification, most firms search for candidates with a background in IT or business.

If you’re already in the field as a business analyst and have done your homework, you’ve got a good chance of being hired. Despite your business experience, you may wonder why training and certification are still necessary steps to becoming a scrum master.

Here we see the most significant distinction between a business analyst and a scrum master. Scrum masters oversee groups intending to improve their responsiveness and productivity.

They focus on fostering team cohesion and investigating any internal friction hindering effective communication and cooperation amongst groups. As a scrum master, you must have a firm grasp of agile concepts to carry out your obligations effectively.

Regrettably, these ideas, procedures, and specialized abilities are more broadly applicable after formal training, not merely through prior company experience.

As a business analyst, your focus is on streamlining processes throughout the company and within individual departments; yet, you may not always consider how to improve efficiency within your teams or investigate new methods of working like agile. Guarantee that they internally share work most effectively is not part of your job description. Rather, meeting needs and changing people, technology, and procedures to reach business goals is.

As a result, if you’re a business analyst and you’ve been given the role of scrum master without having the appropriate qualification, there’s a greater chance that you’ll fall short or have trouble carrying it out.



Scrum Master or Business Analyst: Who Gets Paid More?

Scrum masters earn more than business analysts. Scrum masters’ salaries, although surprising, are commensurate with the value they provide to their companies.

When scrum masters do their jobs well, the company benefits in many ways over time. Whether they’re hired for a short period or remain with the organization for many years, Scrum masters are always valuable assets.

They keep the development team’s gears turning smoothly by ensuring that all of the company’s internal processes are in sync with one another, saving time and money. It’s only right that the scrum master’s remuneration reflects part of the cost reductions.

In Scrum, What Role Does a Business Analyst Play?

Business analysts in agile or scrum teams may be expected to groom product backlogs and provide input on their priorities. To some extent, Business Analysts act as go-betweens between clients/business needs and agile development teams.

So, they go beyond just adhering to agile principles and practices and become more innovative or adaptable in their positions. Because of this, they’re now an integral part of the scrum team.

The scrum business analyst’s role in product backlog grooming includes the following responsibilities.

  1. Assess the requirements of your target market.

Business analysts engage in conversations with end users to better understand the problems and requirements of a product or service. The developer and business analyst team will use this information and the identified core issues to create workable solutions.

Depending on their degree of comprehension, they will divide these roles between a Product Owner and a Product Manager. Specifically, a business analyst will be providing that level of information.

  1. Create a user case study.

One of the most important parts of agile software development is the user narrative, which conveys the product’s value to the development team.

Additionally, it helps them achieve their objectives by providing the means to develop a stronger, more user-centric structure. One definition of a user narrative is an informal explanation or description of the software’s most important features written from the end user viewpoint.

The business analyst writes these tales in certain cases in response to specific criteria. The product owner may be the one to sketch the user narrative, while the business analyst is responsible for reviewing the details and making sure they are in line with the business standards.

  1. Talk things over with the people who have a stake in the outcome.

Agile software development aims to eliminate ambiguity between the product owner, the customers, and the scrum team. The business analyst is often responsible for this, at least in terms of the technical components of the company.

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The End of Allowing Yourself to Feel Bad

kalen emsley uQ6ocPD59nU unsplash scaled

When Feeling Bad Is No Longer Allowed

After receiving significant criticism for my post, Embrace Living Paycheck-To-Paycheck To One Day Be Free, I find myself contemplating the existence of a net worth level that brings about serenity and inner peace, prohibiting one from feeling troubled. Is there a financial threshold beyond which emotional turmoil becomes unacceptable?

Despite my attempt to turn a challenging financial situation into a source of motivation, critics vehemently argued that certain emotions like worry, anxiety, and stress should no longer be experienced once a certain net worth is attained.

The contention arose when some insisted that living paycheck-to-paycheck should only be attributed to those facing both cash flow and balance sheet problems. Someone truly in such a dire situation must work multiple jobs and also must feel a level of despair so deep that prohibitive thoughts start entering their minds.

It seems the debate extends beyond the numbers to encompass the nuanced interplay of emotions and financial well-being.

Net Worth Threshold When You Can No Longer Feel Bad

The primary metric we’ll use to assess when negative emotions must stop is the single variable of net worth.

Annual income won’t serve as a determinant, as critics argue that an income problem alone doesn’t qualify as living paycheck-to-paycheck, even though that’s its most pure definition.

Besides, we already know that earning over $500,000 a year brings about supreme happiness. Just look at the chart below. 100% of people who make over $500,000 are “very happy”! I’m surprised the professors haven’t won a Nobel prize yet.

ideal income to be happy

While only using net worth simplifies the evaluation, the challenge lies in navigating the nuanced factors influencing one’s right to feel troubled about their financial situation.

Although this might seem like a strange exercise since we can’t help how we feel, society arbitrarily determines many things, such as who gets preferential treatment in college admissions or who gets hired for the most coveted jobs.

Let’s start the exercise!

Net worth between Negative to $300,000: OK to feel bad all the time

Based on the latest U.S. Survey of Consumer Finances, the median household net worth in America was approximately $192,000 in 2022. If your net worth falls within the range of negative to $300,000, it’s reasonable to experience constant feelings of financial distress.

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You have the green light to publicly vent about all your problems to the world, e.g. the drive through line at McDonald’s is ridiculous, let me talk to the manager! With a negative net worth, you will gain more empathy from people who are willing to listen to your issues and provide advice.

Net worth up to $1.5 million: OK to feel bad most of the time

The Consumer Finance Survey also notes the average household net worth in America was $1.06 million in 2022. Considering a ~50% buffer, it’s acceptable to occasionally feel down about your finances with a net worth of about $1.5 million and under.

Given most people are average, nobody hates on average people or those slightly above average. In fact, there’s a great sense of comfort being part of the majority. As a majority, you can take credit for what a minority came up with because you simply got them outnumbered.

Net worth between $1.51 – $3 million: Can only feel bad sometimes

Surpassing the $1.5 million net worth threshold places you in the mass affluent class in America. With a net worth exceeding $1.5 million, you outrank over 80% of the population. Empathy from the majority diminishes, making it acceptable for you to commiserate only on occasion.

To avoid appearing ungrateful or entitled, you can only feel troubled once every six months. If you dare display any more than one negative emotion semi-annually, you might get on a secret list of entitled complainers.

Net worth above $3 million: Can no longer feel bad if you live in a non-coastal city

Reaching a net worth of $3 million marks the onset of true millionaire status due to inflation. At this level of wealth, few people will empathize with your problems. If you reside in a non-coastal city, crossing the $3 million threshold implies you must endure challenges in silence, as your experiences may be difficult for others to relate to.

If you live in a non-coastal city, once your net worth breaches $3 million, you are not allowed to feel any pain or suffering. There is an expectation that you manage your struggles privately.

Have a disloyal wife who provides no emotional support? Divorce her, you can afford it. Have to work 60 hours a week under constant stress? You’re lucky to make so much money and have so much responsibility. You kids got bullied by the cool kids? Tell them to suck it up!

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If you live in an expensive coastal city like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Seattle, you are still allowed to feel bad once every six months given the cost of living is so much higher. However, anymore and you risk being ostracized by your community.

On your social media channels or when you’re talking to others publicly, you must always display a positive face and share how good everything is. Never show any weakness or negative emotion or else the piranhas will begin to bite.

Net worth above $13 million: Not allowed to feel bad anymore

Surpassing the $13+ million net worth threshold in 2024, a top 1% net worth, eliminates the right to feel troubled. Regardless of health, marital, or family problems, possessing wealth greater than 99% of the population implies a capacity to address all issues with money.

Given we live in an ultra-competitive society, nobody will give two licks about your suffering. They assume struggles at this level are self-inflicted, and blame rests solely on the individual.

Finnish people aren’t allowed to feel sad given Finland consistently ranks as one of the happiest countries in the world. Can you imagine getting angry at paying for a bland Karelian hot pot when joy is all around?

Happiest countries in the world
Source: World Happiness Report

Reduce Sharing Your Troubles Publicly

If you share publicly that you’re doing well, people will tear you down. If you share publicly that you’re struggling, people will call you an idiot or worse. Therefore, if you want to minimize emotional fatigue, you had best keep silent about most of the things you’re doing and feeling.

If you have a high net worth and want more “credits” to be able to acknowledge the troubles you are feeling, then share them privately, preferably with people of your same socioeconomic class. Envy is a human condition.

There Will Always Be Challenges No Matter How Wealthy You Are

Sadly, money won’t solve all your problems. On the contrary, the more money you have, the more problems may occur. People may come out of the woodwork and start wanting something from you. With more money, you might end up buying more things you don’t need, which end up weighing you down. You might also have a more complicated estate with a lot more headaches the wealthier you get.

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But until you accumulate more wealth, I’m not sure you’ll believe me.

Related posts:

The Rise Of Stealth Wealth

How To Convince People You Are Middle Class When You’re Not

Reader Questions And Suggestions

At what levels of net worth should a person no longer be able to feel troubled? Put it differently, how poor do you have to be to never be judged or criticized for your situation or actions? When do you think you’ll feel net worth serenity? What are some other arbitrary rules we can create to dictate who gets to feel and do what?

If you want to better track your net worth and spending, check out Empower, the best free wealth management tool today. I’ve used Empower since 2012 to track everything to tremendous benefit.

Listen and subscribe to The Financial Samurai podcast on Apple or Spotify. I interview experts in their respective fields and discuss some of the most interesting topics on this site. Your reviews are appreciated.

For more nuanced personal finance content, join 60,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter. Financial Samurai is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites that started in 2009. 

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