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How BA and PM's alliance can turn every project successful

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Joys K.J,Project Manager

In today's professional world, we all need successful projects. Enterprises are looking for Projects that produce outstanding business benefits that can be delivered on time with high quality and less budget. As a project manager, you will be working with hybrid team members that can offer you multiple skills and contribute their best for completing your project successfully. One of the most important team players, whom you need to choose wisely for registering your project success is the ‘Business Analyst’. For any project, Business Analysts and Project Managers need to collaborate together for getting more successful results and favorable business outcomes.

A project manager is accountable for the planning, execution, controlling, and accomplishment of the project. But the business analyst handles requirements that focus on building the right solution. They should also define the boundary conditions of the business opportunity. The key for project success is to let the business analyst focus on the product (“What”) and the project manager on the production process (“How”). As for every project, the BA can start their work even before the project is officially launched. BA will be considered as the core responsible person for the Project documentation and requirements gatherings. Once the document is shared with the concerned stakeholders - they will be acting as a link between the Sponsor and the Organization.

There have been infinite debates on the advantages of having Project Managers and Business Analysts on the same team. Some argue that a Project Manager is what all you need for a successful project. Others state that, if there is a BA in your team, the Project Manager is an avoidable evil.

According to BABOK®, below are some of the main business analysis tasks:

  1. Plan Business Analysis Activities

  2. Plan Requirements Management

  3. Manage Business Analysis Performance

  4. Manage Business Analysis Performance

  5. Plan Requirements Management Process

  6. Elicitation: Prepare, Conduct, Document, Confirm

  7. Manage Requirements Traceability

  8. Requirements Documentation

  9. Define Solution Scope

  10. Manage Solution Scope

  11. Define Solution Scope

  12. Validate Solution

  13. Evaluate Solution Performance

  14. Conduct Stakeholder Analysis

  15. Plan Business Analysis Communication

  16. Communicate Requirements

  17. Manage Business Analysis Performance

According to PMBOK®, some of the common Project Manager tasks are as follows:

  1. Develop Project Management Plan

  2. Develop Project Management Plan

  3. Monitor and Control Project Work

  4. Collect Requirements

  5. Define Scope

  6. Define Solution Scope

  7. Create WBS

  8. Verify Scope

  9. Identify Stakeholders

  10. Plan Communications

  11. Distribute Information

  12. Report Performance

It depends on person to person whether he can perform all these tasks parallely.

In small-scale companies, one can be tasked with performing both the role of  BA and PM. One drawback of this model is that the activities related to one role may receive a more leading priority than those of the other.

Below are the Different Ways in which Project Managers can collaborate with Business Analysts to help create Successful Projects.

#1: Clearly Define Project Scope to Minimize the Scope Creep:- In order to analyze the detailed requirements, the business analyst needs to understand what exactly the business problem is. The information must be documented in the business case or project scope document. A business analyst must naturally ask a variety of questions about the scope and future expectations of the project. Getting answers will enable the team to manage the scope creep, prioritize detailed requirements, and generally keep the requirements effort on track. A business analyst can help the Sponsor discover the underlying market problem, consider alternate solutions, and decide on the best approach before making a commitment to specific project scope.

#2: Identify Right Stakeholders to Save Time:- One of the main reasons for project failures is the diversity in requirements and not identifying the correct stakeholders. A common mistake we all see in the execution of the project is that BA's or PM's are not allowed to communicate directly with the sponsor or other high-level stakeholders. This will, in turn, slow down the project or force the team to make unnecessary assumptions. If anyone of the two (BA or PM) has access to critical stakeholders, this must be shared mutually which will help in saving time and move the project more smoothly without working on the waste requirements.

#3. Prepare a good communication plan and Stay Informed:- In every project, escalations are common whether the outcome is a success or a failure. The major responsibility of the BA or PM is to prepare a perfect communication plan for the clients as well as for the internal stakeholders so that detailed information will be shared throughout the project. This will help the team to identify the actual completion date of the project or whether there is any scope creep. This can also help in tracking the skill sets and hurdles faced by the resources internally.

#4 Upselling and Cross-selling:- For any project, BA and PM are the most prominent personalities who know in and out of each story. By analyzing the market strategies, they can suggest new ideas or identify the existing problems and suggest an improvement plan. This will, in turn, help Companies as well as Sponsors to showcase their innovative answers to the world.

#5: Work on Plans and Schedules to Investigate the Features Needed for Early Release.

When a skilled business analyst evaluates a project context, they will have valuable thoughts on the features which need to be released sequentially based on the market strategy and the client's requirements. This will help Project managers and other stakeholders to get a view of the priority tasks and thus finish the project successfully.

Project Managers act as a shield between Projects and its scope creeps. They usually want to control changes to the project, so that it does not exceed the deadline or exhaust the resources. This is where the Business Analyst acts as the best team player. They can manage changes to requirements, minimizing the time it takes to elicit requirements and identifying any issues or constraints that pose a risk to the success of the project.

Get in touch with our team of PMs and BAs and see how well, timely and efficiently your project can be delivered.

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