This is a guest post by Laura Brandenburg.
We all want more successful projects – projects that deliver their intended business value and are delivered on time and on budget. As a project manager, you work with a variety of different team members that offer up different skill sets and contribute to your project’s success. One of those team members is often a business analyst.
But what exactly is the business analyst supposed to do? How can you leverage their skills and competencies to create more successful projects?
Business analysis helps ensure your project delivers the intended business value and that business needs, requirements, and processes are well-understood, leading to a more streamlined implementation process.
A skillful business analyst can ease a lot of project turmoil and be one of your best partners. And there is a lot you can do as a project manager to help create the environment in which they can do their best work.
In this article, we’ll look at five specific ways you can collaborate with business analysts to help create more successful projects.
#1: Collaborate on project scope to minimize scope creep
In order to thoroughly analyze the detailed requirements and help manage scope creep, the business analyst needs to understand the business problem being solved and the over-arching “why” behind the project. Typically this information is documented in the business case or project scope document.
A business analyst will naturally have a lot of questions about the project scope. Questions can be frustrating, especially when they come in after the project scope is considered approved, but answering them now will enable the business analyst to help you manage scope creep, prioritize detailed requirements, and generally keep the requirements effort on track.
An easier approach is to get the business analyst involved in creating these documents in the first place, as then their questions can be addressed at a more appropriate time. A business analyst can help the business sponsor discover the underlying business problem, consider alternate solutions, and decide on the best approach before making a commitment to a specific project scope. This practice leads to a scope document that’s a steadfast compass for the entire project team and can shortcut scope creep before it even starts.
But understanding scope requires that the right stakeholders are involved on the project. Let’s look next at how project managers and business analysts can collaborate when working with stakeholders. [click to continue…]