Rock Crusher Frequently Asked Questions


Category: Roles

The “rock crusher village” deconstructs the role of the product owner into the seven roles required to own and manage a backlog

In this village, the role of the “analyst” is defined as:

An individual who is responsible for transforming the sometimes competing wants, hopes, interests, and aspirations of the Customer, Stake holder, the Initiative Owner, the Product Manager, and the contributions of the Subject Matter Expert into a shared clear understanding of precisely what to build.  Is responsible for progressively creating a better understanding of precisely what to build – the solution.

The Rock Crusher

In short, they have to hold this village together and ensure the village has a shared clear vision of what the solution is and what is truly valuable versus just a good idea.

The role of analyst is often very much what is referred as a “boundary spanner” where an individual listens and shares information across the enterprise to create a shared clear vision of what is valuable. Numerous studies correlate boundary spanning with successful technology deployment[1].

Often the individual(s) playing the Analyst role is also a Subject Matter Expert (SME) with deep product domain knowledge.

[1]Levina, N., & Vaast, E. (2005). The Emergence of Boundary Spanning Competence in Practice:

Implications for Implementation and Use of Information Systems. MIS Quarterly, 29(2),


Category: Roles

The IIBA’s Business Analyst Book of Knowledge (BABOK) lists a number of underlying competencies a Business Analyst should have:

Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills : Business analysts must be effective in generating new ideas for approaches to problem solving and in generating alternative solutions.

Credibility: A business analyst must be able to behave ethically in order to earn the trust and respect of stakeholders and be able to recognize when a proposed solution or requirement may present ethical difficulties.

Communication Skills : Oral communication skills enable business analysts to effectively express ideas in ways that are appropriate to the target audience

Facilitation: Business analysts facilitate interactions between stakeholders in order to help them resolve disagreements regarding the priority and nature of requirements.

In the Rock Crusher we speak of the Analyst (e.g. a Business Analysts) as serving as a “boundary spanner” actively sharing information across the enterprise to drive alignment on what is truly valuable. Five common attributes of a boundary spanner are:

  • They are relatively experienced individuals, usually with at least 5 years of industry experience and at least 2 years within the organization. They either understood the system (“technical knowledge”) or understood how things were done (“organizational knowledge”). They tended to have the respect of their peers and were considered thought leaders.
  •  They were strong communicators, able to communicate issues to others in a manner they could understand.
  •  They had a broad picture of their work – not necessarily the complete big picture, but they understood how they and others fitted into a broader scope as opposed to only understanding their job role.
  •  They had the personal strength to reach out when they believed they discovered a perspective mismatch.
  •  They strongly believed it was part of their job to play this role and the organization gave them the flexibility to play it by not overburdening them with production work.