21 February 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Business Analyst vs. Project Manager

Whats the difference between a BA and a PM?

BA and PM roles can often be quite similar and cross over (particularly Business PMs vs Senior/Lead BA roles).  Both help projects succeed because they help the business define objectives, requirements, resources, critical success factors and benefits.  Both require similar skill sets such as forward thinking, facilitating, planning and stakeholder management.

It’s not always the case, particularly in the larger corporates where their job roles are more mature and clearly defined, but even then the roles are defined slightly differently everywhere you look.

Role of a project manager

The Project Manager is ultimately responsible for ensuring the objectives of a project are met and that the outputs are  delivered on time, to cost and to quality.

Role of business analyst

The Business Analyst is responsible for ensuring the project’s outputs meet the requirements of the business and that they are fit for purpose.

Do you need both a BA and a PM?

Well, I guess a project can’t succeed without someone managing it… however good or bad they do the job.  But could it succeed without a BA?

Where do they work?

IT or the business.  For me, it most certainly should the business – as that’s who is ultimately accountable for delivering the organisation’s strategy.  Put them in IT and they are systems analysts or IT project managers.   The closer you stick a BA or PM to the business, the clearer their understanding of what the business really needs.

But what do I know…?
Other role definitions to tackle someday…
  • Business system analyst
  • Business project manager
  • Change manager
  • Change agent
  • Product manager
  • Business process analyst
  • Project consultant
  • Project analyst
  • Change analyst


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