Power of the business analyst/project manager combo

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Each job role in a software project has its natural rhythms; that is to say, there are busy times and there are slow times. For a PM, classically the busiest times are prior to a project’s actually beginning, when project plans are being formulated, resources are being identified, and funding is being finalized. Then, certainly the PM is busy throughout the project, but gets extremely busy again toward the end of the project to assure all the loose ends are finalized and deadlines are met. Classically for a Business Analyst, the busiest time is when the project begins because the BA is the one collecting, defining, and documenting the users’ requirements (For the Agile purists in the group, yes, I’m assuming a waterfall type methodology. Sorry, next time I’ll use an Agile type example). The BA analyst then continues to be busy during the knowledge transfer of the collected requirements to the programmers, testers, and trainers. Because the BA and the PM busy-times are somewhat different, there is value from a resource perspective to have the same person do both.

All this said, if you can do both, namely act as a BA and PM, this flexibility makes you desirable to hire, more flexible while employed, and less likely to lose your job during a layoff because you can perform multiple functions.

From a credential perspective and assuming you like this idea, if you are a PM by profession, work toward your PMP, it’s a great credential. If you are a BA, work toward a certification in Business Analysis. These certifications will make you more marketable in your primary chosen field. If you already have one of these certifications, work toward the other.

The idea behind having both of these certifications is twofold. First, they are great to have on your resume. Second, and more important in the long run, is that they help provide you with the information and practical knowledge to succeed in the workplace.

If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at
eric@ManagerMechanics.com
or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.

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