The dynamic duo of project management

Better than Batman and Robin, more melodious than Simon & Garfunkel… what dynamic duo could we possibly be talking about?

The combo of project manager and business analyst, of course.

Although they probably can’t defeat the Joker or write 60’s hits (if you have two that can, hold on to them!), a project manager (PM) and a business analyst (BA) can be the greatest guarantee of success on a project.

Unfortunately, many organizations don’t realize the purpose of having both work on a project together. In these cases either a PM is doing the job of a BA in addition to his own duties (and vice versa) or the BA is only used at the very beginning of a project and is removed once project execution begins. Both of these are the wrong approach.

Of course upper management doesn’t do this on purpose. The problem is most companies don’t understand the differing roles between PM’s and BA’s. The majority of people and organizations have a basic understanding of the role of a project manager. For basic clarification, we will describe the project manager as:

– First person assigned to a project

– Person responsible for all aspects of project execution

– Manager of the team, including conflict resolution and team assembly

– Manager of money, schedule, scope, and risks

– Chief communicator of good or bad news

The outlook of business analysts is a little different. Most people and organizations aren’t exactly sure what a business analyst does. Some key things to know are that the BA:

– Is usually assigned after the project has begun

– Is responsible for ensuring project requirements are communicated to the IT team

– Has to have a high level understanding of the business

– Often has varying views as to their role and responsibilities across industries

More important than their individual roles is how they perform their duties together. Both the PM and the BA possess unique skills that, when used together, can lead to a successfully executed project. Although the project manager is the head of a project, with the business analyst reporting to him/her, the BA often manages the project stakeholders.

With both the PM and BA working together that frees up each of them from the other’s duties, allowing them to more effectively and efficiently perform their own duties.

Now you know why your projects need a “Batman & Robin – Simon & Garfunkel.” But, maybe you don’t have a “Robin,” or a “Garfunkel” as it may be; perhaps it’s time for you to create one. Visit PQC International at http://www.pqcinternational.com to see the great courses available for business analysts.

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