Differences Between Business Analysis and Project Manager

Why Business Analysts and Project Managers should never do each other’s job

Organisations are continually adapting to new business challenges and evolving landscapes. Now more than ever, employees are expected to be nimble and adaptable in their roles. 

But for Business Analysts and Project Managers, the requirements of their positions become even more challenging, especially when their functions are perceived to be interchangeable.

The Differences a Business Analyst and Project Manager – Yes There is one!

The role confusion between Business Analysts and Project Managers is commonplace. Although these roles complement each other, their core functions are vastly different, along with their expertise and aptitudes. So, let’s delve into each role and their primary specializations.

What does a Business Analyst do?

A Business Analyst identifies key information about a need, problem or opportunity and prepares a robust business case for the feasibility of that initiative. Most commonly, the role of a Business Analyst is essential before a project is initiated. Their core skill set involves communicating with stakeholders, gathering information and making assessments about the data in order to solve a business problem.

What does a Project Manager do?

A Project Manager is responsible for end-to-end delivery of a project. This involves defining the project, organizing resourcing, managing budgets, monitoring and mitigating risks, and reporting of project progress against their plan. With every project being unique, Project Managers must be nimble and easily able to adapt to change.
You can see more successful project manager in the other post.
The problem at hand

When Project Managers and Business Analysts are asked to do each other’s jobs, problems inevitably arise. Why? 
By giving data-driven project tasks to a Project Manager, instead of a Business Analyst, the organisation is exposing itself to potential risks (via skill-gaps) that can negatively influence the successful scoping, completion and performance outcomes of the project at hand. In turn, by giving project management tasks to a Business Analyst, certain activities may be overlooked, done inadequately or communicated poorly, thus negatively impacting on effective stakeholder management and project completion.

Organisations must respect and understand the highly specialised nature of both roles and realise they are rarely cross-compatible.

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