April 24, 2012, 9:21 AM —
Looking for a job and/or future job security? The Business Analyst (BA) / Project Manager (PM) combination is a great one-two punch. Yes, these jobs are very different, but they require many of the same skills. You don’t believe me? Then read on!
Let’s begin by listing some of the skills that are needed by both BAs and PMs.
1. Ability to speak eloquently to business users about technical topics
2. Ability to speak eloquently to technical people about business related topics
3. Formalize user needs into a structured format
4. Work simultaneously with people from multiple professional disciplines
5. Ability to present your work to others
6. Ability to define, move toward, and meet project deadlines
There are also a couple of additional BA strengths that would be of value to a PM. They include:
• Ability to understand user needs
• The ability to explain user needs to techies, testers, trainers, and others
On the other side of the coin, these are also a couple of key PM skills that would be of value to BAs.
• Ability to define all aspects of a project’s scope and size
• Ability to conceptualize all aspects of project plan in regard to needed resources, needed skill sets, and overall structure
The reason that having the ability to act as both a BA and a PM is professionally advantageous is because it makes you more versatile to your company. Speaking for myself as a manager, I always looked for people who could be used in multiple ways. The reason is that it made it easier for me to efficiently schedule and deploy my group. For example, if I had a small project that didn’t require a full time BA and a full time PM, it was great to have the flexibility to use one person on the project full time, rather than two people on the project half time.