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The Great BA / PM Debate

The Great BA / PM Debate

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The Great BA / PM Debate

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  1. The Great BA / PM Debate Presented by: Cathy Banks Professional Business Analysis from A-Z This event is sponsored by: 27 August 2009, DVT, Cape Town

  2. Agenda Logistics Catering for tonight will be light snacks and refreshments Restrooms are located at past the kitchen Copies of slideshow available on the web PROGRAMME 2

  3. Guest Speaker Introduction The Great BA / PM Debate Cathy Banks Joint MD Analyze Speaker photo here Cathy is a senior BA. She is highly experienced and has many years of business and IT project experience across various roles including business analysis, project management, systems testing, change management, consulting and mentoring. She is equally comfortable working at a strategic, "blue sky" level and a detailed functional requirements level. She has a special interest in requirements analysis and mentoring business analysts. 3

  4. Agenda • Introductions • Positioning & acknowledgements • Key focus of the • Business Analyst • Project Manager • What the BABOK has to say • Playing both roles on the same project? • Criteria for success • Get the balance right • Tips • Summary • Discussion

  5. Introduction • Background • 15 plus years project experience • Various roles • Often multiple roles • Analyze • Focused on business analysis • Work with clients from problem definition through to solution implementation • Value proposition for clients and BAs is in a team who are passionate about analysis – understanding the problem before finding a solution

  6. Positioning and Acknowledgements • Largely opinion based on personal experience and input from peers in industry • Objective is to encourage discussion – please participate!

  7. The Great BA / PM Debate Can a BA play both roles simultaneously?

  8. Key focus of a BA • Listener, investigator, communicator, collaborator, innovator, organizer… • “A business analyst works as a liaison among stakeholders in order to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies and systems. The business analyst understands business problems and opportunities in the context of the requirements and recommends solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.” Source:

  9. Key focus of a PM • Plan, organize, control, communicate, direct… • Manages all activities that are necessary to plan, execute, control and evaluate the project within the project management areas (integration, scope, time, cost, quality, communication, human resources, risk, and procurement) in order to meet or exceed stockholder's needs and expectations. Source:

  10. What the BABOK has to say… • By definition, the business analyst is a stakeholder in all business analysis activities. The BABOK® Guide is written with the presumption that the business analysis is responsible and accountable for the execution of these activities. In some cases, the business analyst may also be responsible for the performance of activities that fall under another stakeholder role. The most common roles to be assigned to business analysts, in addition to the business analysis role, are the Domain Subject Matter Expert, Implementation Subject Matter Expert, Project Manager, and Tester. Guidance on performing these additional roles falls outside the scope of the BABOK® Guide, as these roles are not part of the discipline of business analysis.

  11. Relationship between PM & BA responsibilities

  12. Playing both roles … on the same project Often called for when • In investigative stages of SDLC – define the problem • Project is too small to justify a PM & BA • Limited budget Can work when the project is • Small enough • Starting up Beware when • Project is mission critical • High level of risk

  13. Criteria for Success Individuals playing a dual BA / PM role • Must be experienced in one of the disciplines • Must have had exposure to both roles being done separately by experienced users in a project • Must have a good understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and able to ask for help where needed • Must be willing to work outside of their comfort zone • Must be able to switch roles seamlessly but retain clear boundaries between the roles.

  14. You’re doing too much BA work when… Project team members are not fully utilised don’t know what tasks they should be working on the next milestone, deliverable is not known The sponsor asks how the project is going You haven’t seen/spoken to the team recently Your research is coming across more interesting information and nice to haves You have a temptation to increase the scope Get the balance right

  15. You’re doing too much PM work when… The objectives keep on changing Team members are still not clear on what the real problem is what the end goal looks like (in some detail) the value of the project cannot be clearly articulated The milestones achieved don’t seem to be that great You’ve been constantly busy but have not been effective You’ve not had more than one hour quiet time to focus on one thing Get the balance right

  16. Tips • Start and end every meeting as a PM – worth remembering even when you’re not playing the PM role • Explain to members what hat you’re wearing when • Start with small projects or when the project team is small • Understand that the weighting of each role changes during the SDLC • Get support when needed • Educate yourself about the other role – a good PM understands BA work and visa versa • Know when to hand over one of the roles

  17. Summary Being both BA and PM on a project • Can work, in some cases • Must be actively managed • Not a long term solution • Not for the feint hearted

  18. Sources With thanks to • Milton Sakalis, Debbie Bryson, Reyer Meihuizen References • BABOK • Managing Information Technology projects – McLeod & Smith

  19. Discussion • Any questions? • Share your stories

  20. Closing administration Tonight’s speaker was Cathy Banks,, Tonight’s event was sponsored by DVT Tonight’s event was organised by Western Cape Event’s Committee Our next event is Last Thursday in September Reminder Change to membership rules IIBA Elections – paid up members eligible to vote 20