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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Business Analyst Vs Project Manager

Well as much as the title suggest that I am going to talk about who is important over the other, let me settle this before I talk more, the answer is very simple (and you know it) "Both". Now that it is settled I can relax and continue, BA and PM and like two side of coins, depending upon which angle you are looking from, one may seem more important than other, but in reality the only way to guarantee success of any project (big or small) is to have a very experienced PM and experienced BA.

In a project BA manges business stakeholders and PM manages resources (hardware, people, cost), it is very crucial for the success of a project that both role are clearly defined and planned for (unfortunately sometime BA are expected to do both ... but that is a different story).

In the beginning of the project both roles will overlap to define and agree scope, mission, objective, risk (along with mitigation plan) of the project (sometime called "Terms of Reference"), but as the project moves on the roles gets it real shape and each focus on their particular responsibilities and tasks.

It is very crucial for the success of the project that both role are working towards an agreed goal and never lose in touch with the business stakeholders and business users.

Some of the tasks performed by BA are as follows

  • Bridge between business users and technical teams.
  • Knows (or in the process of) the business in and out.
  • Regularly feeds progress back to business stakeholders.
  • Resolve conflicts and implement change management process.

Some of the tasks performed by PM are as follows

  • Manage resource (people, computer and much more)
  • Create a proper (detailed) plan of the project.
  • Motivate the team members and resolve any conflict as arises.
  • Document change request.
  • Keep an eye on the risk and take timely approach to resolve it.

Now as you must have guess that sometimes it seems that BA and PM have conflicting goals, for PM it’s more important to deliver project on time and within budget, for BA it is more important that the business outcomes are achieved, I personally like that kind of tension and that’s where experience comes in.

Bye for now...

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