Project Management and Business Analysis

I was listening to a conversation about the connection or not of Business analysis and Project Management resources and skills and unbelievably i have an opinion on it 🙂

I came up the typical route of being a programmer many years ago (no numbers to be given here !!) on a mainframe and, being told i talked too much, was asked if i wanted to be an Analyst. I did the training courses back then and went into analyze our businesses needs before moving on to other organizations and really beginning to understand business problems and using my own skills and experience in solving them alongside the tools and techniques designing solutions. As i began to rise up the management chain i went into running projects.

I tell you this because it has shaped my opinion which is that i truly believe all good Project Managers have business analysis skills but that doesn’t necessarily mean Business Analysts have Project Management skills.

A Project Manager needs to build a relationship with the project ‘owner’ and, in order to be credible, needs to understand and have analyzed the business. From that they need to understand the problems that are going to be overcome by the project and own the implementation of the solution. The analysis skills help that understanding just as they help the Project Manager analyze and facilitate solutions to issues that potentially disrail many projects. A Project Manager that only faciitates and fails to analyze and understand the problems at hand is just a Project Co-ordinator.

A Business Analyst on the other hand does not need to have the Project Management skills to understand business requirements and help in the design of solutions. They go into more detail than a Project Manager and purely focus on ensuring the right problems are identified and the ultimate solution designed to solve them. That doesnt mean that a Business Analyst my become a Project Manager but it isnt a required skill.

I rest my case 🙂

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About chriscashell

I have been working in IT for most industries during my career and delivering change through solutions combining process re-engineering and software systems. This has involved taking a disparate group of people to form project teams and setting out on a mission to change the business and drive it forward to meet compelling goals. Building and being part of a successful team is a great experience and seeing organizations and individuals embrace change is a rewarding experience. I want to share my insights into those experiences and thoughts and find out what others believe can make change fun and enjoyable.
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