By Sanjay Khatnani, Managing Partner, J2 Solutions

There are several areas where the job of a Project Manager and a Business Analyst can blur.  Still, it is crucial that the project have both roles assigned regardless of your team size and resources – for the sake of both the project and the business.

Project Managers are the team leaders who are in charge of the strategy and time-line of a project. They manage all aspects of the project to make sure the it comes in on time and within budget. To excel at this position, a person must be organized, intuitive, and able to stay in front of people. If they sense a roadblock ahead, they have to be willing roll up their sleeves to ensure the project progresses smoothly with minimal interference and deal with pushback if needed.

A great Business Analyst is someone who recommends solutions for problems that arise within a company or organization. They analyze data and extract information to find different insights that will drive business impacts. They use data to inform and drive decisions to help their client achieve their goal. Collaborating with the Project Manager, they also facilitate conversations between the business and the team to ensure that there are clear project requirements defined.

PM’s and BA’s are equally essential to bringing a project to completion. They share responsibilities relating to the projects scope, management and the end product. This is why PM’s and BA’s must have great communication skills. They must remain fluid and flexible throughout the project, while paying close attention to detail. Without communication and clarity, there can be many pitfalls. However, the collaboration of a great PM and BA is what can help avoid those pitfalls all together.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes, depending on the project size or company resources, some projects might fall onto one person. My advice for companies who don’t have the capacity or resources to have both a PM and BA collaborate on a project is to look internally and assign the role to a high-performing team member who can act as both roles if absolutely necessary. However, without both people, there is a lack of checks and balances. With costs, timelines and changing scope, the trajectory of the project may veer off course.

So next time your assembling a team for your project, make sure you have both Business Analyst and Project Manager positions filled and communicating effectively.  This way the strategic execution of the project is timely, cost-effective and successful.

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