The role of Business Analyst and Project Manager have been considered to be interchangeable terms in the past due to the overlapping responsibilities.
However, more recently, companies have differentiated the scope and responsibilities of each role. The scope can vary within each individual company.
Some companies still use Business Analysts as Project Managers due to budgetary reasons. We are unable to draw a firm line between these two roles within certain companies. Many Business Analysts who have years of experience within their role desire to change their career and become out and out Project Managers.
They may feel overqualified in their role, or they may want to learn and earn more in another challenging role. To those people, a Project Manager role is often considered the next logical step in their career progression. Let’s look at the overlapping qualities and responsibilities of a Business Analyst and a Project Manager.
Business Analysts serve an important purpose in an organization. They are responsible for identifying problems, analysis of said issues, evaluating the solutions, sharing their insights with the cross-functional teams, recommending suitable solutions and presenting it to the relevant departments and stakeholders of the company.
Business Analysts need strong analytical and communication skills, as well as interpersonal experience. A competent Business Analyst must have extensive problem-solving familiarity and a vast industry knowledge. Through their diverse skills, they must ensure that their solutions are implemented with the correct approach going forward.
Their scope of responsibilities go well beyond a particular project and they have to ensure that business runs without any disruption.
Project Managers, on the other hand, are responsible for initiating the project, planning it perfectly for successful completion, executing the plan and overseeing it, and then finally closing the project.
Their responsibilities are restricted only to the project but the process which they go through to finish a project requires responsibilities that are similar to a Business Analyst.
In order to complete a project, Project Managers need to build a team, recruit suitable human resources, assign tasks to each of them and make these tasks achievable. Further to this, they have to monitor and evaluate the completed tasks on a regular basis to reduce the risk of errors.
They are expected to lead and influence the team without authority. The decisions and solutions they make should be rooted in deep analysis of a project.
Now that we know the roles and responsibilities of a Business Analyst and a Project Manager, let us look at some of the skill sets that overlap with each other.
- Analytical skills – both the roles require analytical skill to identify the problems and provide suitable solution
- Communication skills – communication is essential for the two roles, as both have to interact with the concerned teams and relevant departments.
- Managing and presenting to stakeholders – Business Analysts and Project Managers have to meet up with the stakeholders of a company, and effectively put forth their idea to complete the tasks successfully.
In conclusion, Project Managers have to gauge the progress and ensure that the objectives of the project suit the overall business objectives.
Business Analysts focus on improvements to business and on strategy development. A Business Analyst can manage various aspects of a project, but they would need to upgrade their skills and should look to get a proper certification in Project Management to take on this role.