Project Management

Business Systems Analysis: It's All About the Business (Part 2)

Sri Nagarajan, PMP

In our experience in both the sell-side and buy-side of technology services, we have seen the role of business systems analysis play out in one or more of the following ways:


Dual Hats. Project managers play the role of business analysts. An advantage is that project managers are typically responsible for client-facing expectation-setting and management. The BA functions align well in these circumstances, leading to a single voice and point of contact for the customer. However, such a model is feasible only for small- to medium-scale projects that involve low- to niche-level of complexity. Scale the size a few notches, and the PM hat will come under pressure. Likewise scale the complexity by a few levels, and the BA hat will come under pressure.


Final word: This may be a good option if project managers are trained in the specialist business analysis skills and have the necessary organizational and team support to play dual roles for appropriately sized projects.


Pointed Hats. Take a technology associate (including specialists like database modelers, architects, etc) and have them play the role of business systems analysts. The innate benefit in an IT project is the core understanding of technology that the BA brings to the table. However, one needs to note that these advantages could easily be overshadowed by the lack of business context and sensitivities, and …

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