Date: 20 Sep 2018
Where: Edinburgh

How BAs add value in an Agile world - a panel discussion


Hear from BAs from 4 different organisations on how they’ve added value in an Agile world. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, learn from their experience and compare with your own in a panel discussion after 4 short presentations


Lisa Poulter

Lisa is a Lead Business Analyst at Royal London. Originally from Cardiff she has worked as a Business Analyst at Royal London for 13 years after graduating from the University of Bristol with a BSc Honours Degree in Mathematics. She was first introduced to the concept of Agile about 10 years ago and adopted some of its principles and practices over this time. In the last two years she has been part of a large programme where agile has been fully adopted and has worked in two different scrum teams during this time.


Alasdair McLean

Alasdair McLean is an Agile BA working at Lloyds Banking Group, having spent the past 13 years in various roles around the group. Properly starting his banking career in BoS Libor loan operations (back when both Bank of Scotland and Libor were respected names in banking), he moved into ops change implementation and continuous improvement, but it was the merger of HBOS and Lloyds TSB that gave him his first taste of business analysis. Joining a migration project as an SME, he left as a BA, initially working in waterfall change, delivering loans, rectifications and regulatory change projects.

In January 2016, he began his Agile journey, moving into a customer journey transformation in London and quickly transitioning towards delivery by Scrum. October saw a move into the Corporate Pensions domain (and back to Edinburgh), where he continues to ask difficult questions, talk a lot about Agile, and use industrial quantities of Post-It notes.

Outside of work, Alasdair chairs a local charity, applying his skills from the workplace to ensuring the charity can plan and grow its service to adults with disabilities. He also cycles a lot, hence the only known photo of him in a suit (wedding photos notwithstanding) also features a bike.


Linda Parker

Linda has been a successful Business Analyst for nearly 30 years and the role never grows old. This is driven by a keen interest in other people and an eagerness to learn and improve. 

Linda’s 30 years of experience offers a valuable insight into the world of Business Analysis and the challenges we face every day when trying to maintain the BA identity and add value in a developer’s world. At every opportunity Linda has championed the cause and necessity of the BA within the changing development environments. 

These challenges are even more apparent in the Agile world where the traditional boundaries between roles within teams have become even more blurred.

Take Agile/Scrum teams, which are described as a Scrum Master, Product Owner and a development team. No BAs mentioned here, and yet the best teams still know the value in understanding the ‘voice of the customer’.


Alan Thomson

I started my working life as a geologist for an oil services company. Coming home from work I saw an advert on the tube offering a free 3-month course in computer programming. That was the starting point for my IT career.

I’ve worked across a few industries – from mobile phone billing systems, to local government applications for processing housing benefit and student loans. Currently working for Standard Life on ‘Lifelens’ an application which bundles flexible benefit provision with pension servicing. 

I’ve worked with agile teams for the last five or six years. I enjoy the satisfaction of moving quickly from concept to implementation but have become increasingly aware of some of the pitfalls of the agile approach.

In my spare time I’m interested in photography and the outdoors. I also have an allotment where I grow opium poppies and strange fruit.


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