PM + BA?

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RobR
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Hey guys,

We all know that in smaller companies some people end up wearing 'multiple hats' - some of these it turns out are actually quite common combinations, some most odd.

I'm a part time project manager with no experience or qualifications in the field, just finding my feet and learning at the moment (learning by doing quite often!) which seems to be going alright (but could be better).

Is a pairing of business analyst and project manager common? Unusual? A terrible idea? The potential for greatness?

I'm not saying it's a possibility, just something I'm curious about really, do the two roles naturally lend themselves to each other and compliment or would it be a nightmare waiting to happen?

Comments/thoughts much appreciated :)
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dhaughey
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Hi Rob

I think the two roles are fine together. I've done both and never found a conflict. The important thing with the Business Analyst role is to take a neutral standpoint when working with your customers. It's important to create requirements that are not unduly influenced by solutions you have knowledge of. When involved in a project, it's easy to start thinking about solutions and not take time to understand the business you are working with and their goals.

As long as you can separate your Business Analysis from Project Management it works well, and they compliment each other. Once the Business Analysis phase is complete you will know exactly what the project will deliver.

Duncan
RobR
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Thanks Duncan, that's some interesting feedback there, we're contemplating a business analyst and we'll need to decide if it's an internal or external position. I think we'd probably be looking for someone with some track record and QA experience too - something I don't have.

Not sure how easy it is to pick up those kind of skills, I suspect we might be better getting someone with them in the first place than having someone try to learn whilst doing.
programme uk
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Hi Rob,

I read your post with interest as it's a question that crops up time and time again from where we sit as recruiters.

I would have to disagree with the last comment and say that the 2 roles have quite distinctly different skill sets and when we are reading CVs we tend to veer away from hybrids.

Yes BAs can assist with the delivery of a project and yes in some cases they have to take the role of PM due to resource / cost constraints...but we always have to focus in on what is the predominant skill set...are you a BA (requirements, 'as is - to be', process, benefits) or are you a PM (delivery to time cost and quality).

The skill set we are asked to supply may differ slightly in the job descriptions from Client to Client - but I have never once been asked to recruit for a hybrid role.

Food for thought?....

Regards
Kate
RobR
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Indeed food for thought Kate, on a slight tangent how common is a hybrid of BA and QA? - i.e. would produce requirements and also testing.
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dhaughey
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Interesting Kate,

I agree with you, ideally you'd have the two roles separate, but I've seen many PMs that also take on the BA role. On a recent BA course a lot of the attendees were PMs looking to polish up their BA skills.

PM and BA are different skill sets, but they could reside in one person. There is nothing stopping a person having both and specialising in one or the other. I guess what I'm saying is one doesn't preclude the other.

Thoughts?

Duncan
RobR
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I think it's probably more likely we combine BA and QA to be honest, I don't think PM, BA and QA would be a sensible combo (based just on workload if nothing else). From what I gather this is a more traditional combo, we'll see...!
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