If given a choice, who would you choose for your Team? A Project Manager or a Business Analyst? What if both the responsibilities will be pursued by a sole individual? Won’t this be super instrumental, keeping the project overall resources occupancy and budget in mind, or when in dire need these two roles can be specified/ hired separately.
Several questions come across when this sorting through the roles has to be done. Like, encompassing product management, project management, and business analysis.
This article will bring up the areas where a Project Manager’s and Business Analyst’s responsibilities could possibly get their wires crossed and can lead to major confusion.
While the BA is mainly responsible for requirement gathering and documenting them accordingly for the developers to understand the actual needs, the project manager is the one who plays a leadership role and oversees the entire project from start to end. No doubt, both the roles fulfill different gaps and have their own significance individually hence, clearing the fog between them is important.
Let’s start with this frequently asked question:
Are these two roles “Business Analyst & Project Manager” interchangeable?
A Business Analyst and a Project Manager have many similarities in their roles and responsibilities. Roles, be it, collecting requirements, planning business analysis/market potential, request for proposals (RFP), defining the scope, gathering customer requirements, and defining business needs are common or can say it overlaps!
Utilising a single resource for handling such plentiful responsibilities could be an onus, however, in a few scenarios like limited budget and project scope, one could go for a single role. Let me frameline some more points:
Factors when both the roles can be combined
- Small project
- Meagre Budget/ Resources
- Risks associated with the projects are low.
- Small team-multiple roles
- Business model of the company does not support the separation of the roles.
If the boundary is one full-time person, I shall consider to have a contract project manager then a contract business analyst. On the other hand, one might hire a business analyst for full time and then add a contract manager for project as they’re more readily available than a contract business analyst.
When is it not feasible for one person to play both the roles?
Factors that favor separating the PM and BA roles
- Big Project
- Impact on many system and business interfaces
- Many stakeholders involved and impacted
- Project will have many versions/releases
- Requirements incomplete, unclear or changing
One altercation/dispute between business analysts and project managers is often the issue of change.
Business Analyst & Project Manager, the roles are different, so what causes the confusion?
There are a few key areas where there is a high possibility for the Project Manager and the Business Analyst to get their ‘wires crossed’.
Let’s look at the two most typical areas where this could happen in a project:
Stakeholder Engagements – Many a times, it could be possible that the stakeholders have requirements related discussion with the PM, where he could provide new requirements to which the PM agrees in absence of BA and the same could happen vice-versa, where the timeline delivery related discussions are done with the BA. So. it’s the PM/BA roles to formally educate the stakeholder that this has to be intimated to either of them so that there would be no harder scenarios as in what was decided. This could be better explained via the Responsibility (RACI) Matrix, which could be another subject to shed light on…
|Project Manager||Business Analyst|
|Defines Project Scope||Defines Business Scope|
|Estimate Resources Required||Models Business (As-Is) & Requirements (To-Be)|
|Develops Project Plan||Develops Requirements Work Plan|
|Manages the Project Risks||Manages Requirements|
|Performs Project Closeout||Supports Testing|