In a recent ProjectTimes article, Kiron Bondale described the oft-seen misalignment between Project Managers and Business Analysts.
In his article, he lists some comments made by each about the other…
From the business analysts, common complaints about project managers include:
- Appear to be focused solely on cost or schedule constraints without also embracing the criticality of having good quality requirements
- Demonstrate an unwillingness or inability to provide assistance in ensuring that stakeholders are attending and contributing to requirements gathering or review sessions
- Don’t bother to read or understand high-level project requirements documents
- Support or initiate scope change decisions without proactively engaging the business analyst
On the other side, I’ve frequently met project managers who complain about business analysts who:
- Appear to have no sense of time or cost constraints when producing their deliverables or appear unable or unwilling to provide effort or duration estimates for their work
- Produce requirements documents which are unusable by other project team members or which don’t address the customer’s stated and unstated needs
- Appear to forget that the second word in their job title actually implies the task of analyzing, distilling and refining requirements as opposed to just parroting what’s been received from stakeholders
- Become unavailable for the remainder of the project’s lifetime as soon as their requirements documents have been signed off
A lot of these comments see very familiar to me. As a Business Analyst, I have often felt that the interests of the Project Manager weren’t always in the interest of the customer. More or less exactly what the comments above describe.
I guess because, often, the BA is the one that is talking with the various stakeholders (from Management level through to the people performing the business tasks each day), that it the BA feels that they “really understand” what the real users want, as well as understanding their pain points.
As a professional, also, the BA wants to ensure that they have correctly, and thoroughly captured the users needs, and business/technical requirements, so that these are reflected in the final outcome. This sometimes takes more effort than planned for, or expected. And this can cause issues with the PM’s expectations who, while also wanting to provide a good solution, is also concerned with things such as costs, ongoing impact, etc.
Does this “misalignment” occur because PMs are from Mars, and BAs from Venus? That because they come from different “worlds”, they have different views on reality? If so, realising that the PM is the one that is “in charge” of the project, would it mean that a BA with a better appreciation of the world/ideology/background of the PM be of more value to the project?
And … does this mean that the BA certification offering from the Project Manager Institute, is going to play a bigger part in projects in the future?
Your thoughts … ?
Why earn your PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)? (Project Manager Institute)
The PMI’S Professional Business Analyst Certification: Competition or Collaboration? (BusinessAnalystTimes)