An organization can have both a business analyst and a project manager separately. But depending on the size of the organization, the same person can also play both roles. If you are among those who are evaluating career paths these days, then you may be confused between a business analyst and a project manager. It’s a point at which most people get confused and are also not aware of the responsibilities of both.
A Business Analyst
is one who works in all the possible ways of improving the services of the business through data analysis. Not just the services, but it also works to maintain the processes, products, and software. The business analysts improve efficiency by making a bridge to link the information technology department and the business.
Responsibilities of a Business Analyst
The business analysts work by creating new models to support the business by interacting with the information technology teams. A business analyst must have wide experience in forecasting and budgeting. Plus, he should know regulatory and reporting requirements.
His job description includes,
- Creating business analysis
- Defining the business requirements
Skills A Business Analyst Must Have
A business analyst must have both soft and hard skills. If one doesn’t have an IT background, no worries. He must know about the working of systems and tools. Here are some of the main skills that a business analyst must have,
- Interpersonal Skills
- Consultative Skills
- Oral And Written Communication
- Organizational Skills
- Facilitation Skills
- Information About Business Structure
- Process Modelling
- Stakeholder Analysis
- Costs Benefit Analysis
- Knowledge About Databases And Networks
- Analytical Thinking
A Project Manager
A project manager is one who plans, monitors, executes, and controls the whole project. They play the main role in monitoring the project scope, resources, and team. And most importantly, the success or failure of the project. Moreover, a project manager makes the goals of the project and uses skills to inspire the team by sharing the purpose and goal of the project.
Responsibilities Of A Project Manager
Creating the initiation document of the project is the main point about the responsibilities of a project manager. In the initiation document, the project manager has to cover the risks, business objectives, scope, and assumptions related to that project. Moreover, the project manager creates and updates all the project activities. Reporting the project health and status regularly to the committee members is also included in the responsibilities of the project manager.
If there comes any kind of challenge or risk related to a project, then solving that issue is also the responsibility of the manager handling the project. The project manager has to keep an eye on the team to check that they are working together or not. Plus, he also supports the team members in stakeholder engagement activities related to specific expertise.
Here are some other responsibilities,
- Coordinating Staff
- Leading Project Planning Sessions
- Ensuring the Project meet deadlines
- Designing the Risk Mitigation Plan
- Managing the Large Teams
- Optimizing the Overall Approach
- Managing Relationships With Clients
- Overseeing all the Incoming as well as Outgoing Project Documentation
Skills A Project Manager Must Have
Apart from the responsibilities, here we have mentioned some of the skills which a project manager must have to work professionally. Have a look at these skills.
- Policy Knowledge
- Budget Management
- Technical Writing
- Team Management
- Risk Management
- Conflict Management
- Project Management Methodologies
- Interpersonal Skills
- Research Skills
Why Does It Matters Much If Roles Of These Two Are Defined In A Project Or Not?
In most of the projects, the roles and the boundaries are not specified thus a confusion remains between these two. But why must there be clarification between these two? Why is clarifying the roles of these two necessary?
After having a detailed note on the responsibilities and roles of a business analyst along with a project manager, you must know why does it matter if the roles of these two are fully defined or not.
One of the main reasons to define project roles is project productivity. At a small level, a small business may work fully well without clearly defining the responsibilities of a project manager and a business analyst. But when you have moved your business to a large scale then you won’t get a successful outcome without clearly defining the roles and responsibilities. So clarifying the roles and responsibilities matter much in getting better productivity.
Professionalism Of Your Work
Another important reason to clearly define the role of the business analyst and business manager is professionalism. When the roles are defined, the business analyst and project managers will pay keen interest in their tasks thus, they will attain professionalism in their respective work. So better define their roles to make them fully professional.
What Makes Project Managers and Business Analysts Appear So Related To Each Other?
By reading all the above points about project managers and business analysts, one may feel some similarities between the two. But still, there are many main differential points between them. Both play a role in the growth of their organization. The project managers are those who play the main role in the context of already assigned projects from their organization. And the business analysts play a role as individual contributors.
Here are a few factors which favor that at some places the role of both needed to get mixed,
- The project is small but the budget is limited
- The project assigned is small with an experienced team to work but individuals are capable of performing different roles
- The risks which are associated with the assigned project are low
Apart from the main differential responsibilities, there are many other roles due to which the main difference between both the project manager and business analyst gets blurred. So once you have an understanding of the differences between the two, you can never mix up the responsibilities of these two.