Does your PM job involve business analysis? It’s not hard to see how business analysis and project management roles often blend in their work on IT and business transformation efforts. We also found that project managers and business analysts naturally assume business analyst responsibilities. This is especially true when one of these roles is not present or weak in an organization. To respond to a previous post, I wrote here: “How to not choke your business analyst?” A reader pointed out that I assumed that PMs understood the role of business analyst. I would like to answer that question directly and offer some clues to project managers to help them discover that they may also be business analysts. What is a business analyst? According to IIBA, a business analyst acts as a liaison between stakeholders to elicit and analyze requirements to change business processes, policies, and information systems. The business analyst analyzes the business and provides solutions to help the organization achieve its goals. “[1] The most common business analyst role involves a subset of the following areas:

  • The requirements planning approach to a project.
  • Enterprise analysis (pre-project analysis that includes a business case and business value statements)
  • Eliminate all requirements from stakeholders
  • Specificing and analysing your requirements
  • Validating that the requirements are correct and complete;
  • Traceability is key to managing requirements
  • Communication of the requirements to the implementation group
  • Accepting the solution requires organizational change management.

This is a lengthy list of possible responsibilities. Some business analysts may not be able to fulfill all aspects of the business analyst role. As a project manager, you’ve likely been asked to perform parts of this role at one time or another. The relationship between project management and business analysis roles. Although they are distinct, these roles are always intertwined. Steve Blais provides the following statement to clarify distinctions between project managers and business analysts in a blog post entitled?The Janus Relationship? ?The business analyst determines what needs to be done in order to solve the business problem presented by the business community. The project manager determines how to solve the problem efficiently and in a timely manner. The project manager acts as a doorkeeper and protects the project team against attention-draining interruptions. The business analyst filters out any changes, issues, and problems that come from the business community. The project manager filters out those issues that the business analyst cannot filter out based on the schedule, budget, and feasibility. ? In a perfect world, project management and business analysis are shared by two people who work together but also balance one another. In reality, the lines between these roles blur and many of us find ourselves taking on additional responsibilities beyond our core roles. I am a project manager …. but also a business analyst. Even if your title says “project manager”, it doesn’t matter. If you are a project manager, you may be doing business analysis.

  • Multiple discussions are occurring with stakeholders about scope.
  • You will need to identify stakeholders and subject matter experts in order to ensure that all perspectives are properly represented in the project’s requirements.
  • You review the project documentation and ask questions to clarify the details. These questions are answered by you.