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What Impact does Business Analysis have in Project Management?
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I am currently conducting a research on the values of Business Analysis in Project management and would welcome comments, and possibly experiences in such.
What is the success rate of projects that had Business Analysts compared to the ones without BA.
At what point in the project should a BA be introduced?
What exactly does the BA do on projects?
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Bola, this is a big question ...

The BA is a vital component of a project. Why, b/c they define, along with the customer, the product to be produced. The BA is the liaison between the customer and the technical team (my experience is IT related). The BA acts as the Product Owner to have a clear understanding of the current and target state so to act on behalf of the customer to see the development of the product through. I cannot tell you the statistics of the success rates with or without, but I would certainly bet in favor of when the BA is involved.

The BA elicits the requirements. This is not always after the Project Charter is signed, b/c quite honestly, there isn't always a charter. The BA helps to work with the Business group to figure out what the intent is, and get enough high level information so to formulate a narrative to determine the depth of the work. It may be very small, and the requirements can be hashed out, and the work can be done. On the flip side, there are times when the narrative is shared with other groups, such as Enterprise Architecture, to leverage existing capabilities within the organization, or determine what solution is best. There are many reasons for this partnership, and is probably another discussion.

During the project lifecycle the BA is instrumental in working in conjunction with the PM to monitor, consult, and ensure there is clear understanding of the product from a technical perspective. The are the voice and reason of the Business.

My opinion may be a bit skewed b/c I work so much as both roles.

Sergio .... : )
...
2 replies by Bola Adesope and Eduard Hernandez
Mar 17, 2017 7:53 AM
Bola Adesope
...
Thank you very much Andrew. This is a very big question and you are right about that. I have been involved in some consulting gigs where we had a tough time convincing the client to hire a BA for a transformation project. I also like the fact that you function in both spaces. Quick follow up question would be, can't the project manager do this as part of scoping?

Looking forward to other comments..
Mar 17, 2017 11:29 AM
Eduard Hernandez
...
Me too, awaiting Sergio's input on this :-)
Network:352



Mar 17, 2017 6:40 AM
Replying to Andrew Craig
...
Bola, this is a big question ...

The BA is a vital component of a project. Why, b/c they define, along with the customer, the product to be produced. The BA is the liaison between the customer and the technical team (my experience is IT related). The BA acts as the Product Owner to have a clear understanding of the current and target state so to act on behalf of the customer to see the development of the product through. I cannot tell you the statistics of the success rates with or without, but I would certainly bet in favor of when the BA is involved.

The BA elicits the requirements. This is not always after the Project Charter is signed, b/c quite honestly, there isn't always a charter. The BA helps to work with the Business group to figure out what the intent is, and get enough high level information so to formulate a narrative to determine the depth of the work. It may be very small, and the requirements can be hashed out, and the work can be done. On the flip side, there are times when the narrative is shared with other groups, such as Enterprise Architecture, to leverage existing capabilities within the organization, or determine what solution is best. There are many reasons for this partnership, and is probably another discussion.

During the project lifecycle the BA is instrumental in working in conjunction with the PM to monitor, consult, and ensure there is clear understanding of the product from a technical perspective. The are the voice and reason of the Business.

My opinion may be a bit skewed b/c I work so much as both roles.

Sergio .... : )
Thank you very much Andrew. This is a very big question and you are right about that. I have been involved in some consulting gigs where we had a tough time convincing the client to hire a BA for a transformation project. I also like the fact that you function in both spaces. Quick follow up question would be, can't the project manager do this as part of scoping?

Looking forward to other comments..
Network:5176



Agree with Andrew whole heartedly. BA's are instrumental in project success and are often overworked and underappreciated on the team. To put it really simply customer says "I want a widget" and the developer says "ok, what type of widget" the BA's job is to magically (nearly) articulate what the customer asked for in a way that the Project Manager, stakeholders and most importantly, the developer can understand. Often they are even savvy enough to be able to tailor their language to the particular developer so it really make sense. They also do a lot of cross communication to ensure the developer and customer are aligned.
Network:12173



Mar 17, 2017 6:40 AM
Replying to Andrew Craig
...
Bola, this is a big question ...

The BA is a vital component of a project. Why, b/c they define, along with the customer, the product to be produced. The BA is the liaison between the customer and the technical team (my experience is IT related). The BA acts as the Product Owner to have a clear understanding of the current and target state so to act on behalf of the customer to see the development of the product through. I cannot tell you the statistics of the success rates with or without, but I would certainly bet in favor of when the BA is involved.

The BA elicits the requirements. This is not always after the Project Charter is signed, b/c quite honestly, there isn't always a charter. The BA helps to work with the Business group to figure out what the intent is, and get enough high level information so to formulate a narrative to determine the depth of the work. It may be very small, and the requirements can be hashed out, and the work can be done. On the flip side, there are times when the narrative is shared with other groups, such as Enterprise Architecture, to leverage existing capabilities within the organization, or determine what solution is best. There are many reasons for this partnership, and is probably another discussion.

During the project lifecycle the BA is instrumental in working in conjunction with the PM to monitor, consult, and ensure there is clear understanding of the product from a technical perspective. The are the voice and reason of the Business.

My opinion may be a bit skewed b/c I work so much as both roles.

Sergio .... : )
Me too, awaiting Sergio's input on this :-)
Network:851



Bola, with regards to your follow up question, "can't the project manager do this as part of scoping?" The short answer is that the PM can, with caveats.

* What is the PMs understanding of requirements management?
* How big is the project?
* How many other projects does the PM have?
...to name a few...

Having spent the first 7 years of my PM career in the dual role of BA/PM, I can tell you that they are separate disciplines that require distinct skillsets. If you have both skillsets you "can" do both. Whether or not you would want to is a different matter. On a large project, BA work can be a full time job all by itself. If you are a PM running multiple projects, filling the BA role on a small project can put your schedule over the top. When you fill both roles, you introduce the risk of not doing one or both as well as you could. Filling both roles can actually make the project take longer. Having one person do two jobs does not make the work take less time.

When you fill both roles, you can have a better understanding of the requirements and the impact of scope change. This is a definite plus, but it also increase the potential for you to be the source of scope creep.

There's nothing wrong with filling both roles. Just make sure you understand the impact and the risk.
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Sergio, where are you? :D
Network:1835



JAJAJAJA, Here I am. I have the opportunity to work from the genesis of business analysis because my job inside one of the five US Companies thar started all the stuff. First with the IIBA now with the PMI. And not only in "academic" way. I worked on implement business analysis as part of organizational strategy. My best adavice is reading the actual PMI`s documentation mainly the guide that is in process to review right now. But here some key points: 1-BA is not related to project. A project will exists thanks BA work. That mean, BA work starts before a project exists performing tasks to create the business case and performing all related to get (or not) the business case agrrement, remain along the project to assist the assigned project manager, continue after the project ends to evaluate if the stated benefit has been achieved. BA focus is helping the organization to define the product/service/result as the mean to solve the business problem that arrives when needs transformation arrives (systemic thinking). PM focus is to create the product/service/result exactly as defined. BA scope of work is boarder than PM scope of work.
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I really love and appreciate this thread. It has explained plainly what I needed to hear about Business Analysis and Project Management
Network:5390



Bola,

Andrew’s definition that the BA is the “liaison between the customer and the technical team” is the perfect functional description. Having dedicated BA’s on a project is the best option, but is not always practical as they are often members of Competency Centers or Business Process Reengineering groups where they have production roles as well.

The BA should be part of the project from the beginning, and when you have off-shore or off-site development teams, you should also have the concept of “embedded BA’s”. Even with the perfectly defined structured project or the best managed agile or hybrid project, you will still have problems related to the translation of requirements (functional, user stories, etc.). If you do not have an embedded BA who is immediately available to deal with developer’s questions, then you will have lots of delays and rework in the project’s future.

Great question!
Network:334



requirements elicitation
drive project team to solution options and decision making
support benefits management and value management
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