The BA’s relationship with the Project Manager is one rooted in collaboration and communication. They must work closely together to manage solution scope, risks, and stakeholders.
Let’s take a look at what makes this relationship most effective:
A Project Manager’s primary concerns are scope, schedule and cost. PMs rely on BAs to provide timely information about anything that might impact these 3 project strongholds.
BAs, positioned in the midst of the project, see details that the PM may not—connections between people, processes, products, and timelines. The BA often acts as the PM’s eyes and ears once a project is set in motion.
Just as the BA is expected to communicate scope, schedule, and cost concerns to the PM, the PM needs to communicate context and details with the BA. The BA needs to collaborate with the PM and champion scope changes where the value of the solution is at risk, while ensuring that scope changes that do not add value are kept at bay.
From the PM’s point of view, exceptional BAs do more than present a problem. They will present the issue and an approach. BAs that keep the PM informed, ask for help when they need it, stay connected to other project teams, build great relationships with stakeholders, and ease users into changes are invaluable to a project team and a project’s success.
Excellent BAs know how to best use the PM’s time. These are the BAs who come prepared to meetings with a list of questions, concerns, and strategies—all of which address to the PM’s top three concerns: scope, schedule, and cost.
As a Business Analyst, the primary things you need from the PM are support and information. In order to excel in your role, you need to understand the expectations and priorities of the larger project team and the organization. The PM is your key to understanding the structure you’re working within and its expectations.
The PM also offers support and backup for the BA, often in the capacity of protecting scope and timeline. PMs can help the BA get key stakeholders to participate and help establish an escalation point so the BA can resolve issues that are impeding the project’s progress.
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