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Project Manager/Business Analyst friction and how to overcome it by Penny Pullan


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Project Manager/Business Analyst friction and how to overcome it by Penny Pullan, Director of Making Projects Work Ltd.

This was a presentation for the IIBA UK Chapter in London on 28th May 2015, based on research presented at the PMI Global Congress earlier in the month.

It looks at the friction that exists between project managers and business analysts, explores why this is so and looks at how to overcome the issues.

Published in: Business
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Project Manager/Business Analyst friction and how to overcome it by Penny Pullan

  1. 1. Business Analyst/Project Manager Friction, and How to Overcome It. With Dr Penny Pullan IIBA UK Chapter, 19th June 2014, London.
  2. 2. Small groups: discuss Explore BA/PM friction and how to overcome it. Roles Survey Causes of tension 7:30 Start 8:15 Finish ?: timekeeper Everyone - participants Ask burning questions; One conversation; Respect others; Let’s learn and develop. What next? Penny: facilitator Top Tips PP: provide PMI paper to those who give their e-mail address.
  3. 3. Our plan todayOur plan today
  4. 4. Learning ObjectivesLearning Objectives 1. Understand the different but complementary role of the business analyst and project manager. 2. Understand how the project manager’s different perspective can cause friction with the business analyst. 3. To plan for successful delivery of your project, meeting the needs of the project stakeholders plus wider organization, in collaboration with your project manager. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  5. 5. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  6. 6. A plea for help! Virtual working picture drawn by Vanessa Randle.
  7. 7. ‘the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements’ (From PMI PMBOK v5)
  8. 8. ‘Business analysis is the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders. Business analysis enables an enterprise to articulate needs and the rationale for change, and to design and describe solutions that can deliver value.’ (From IIBA BABOK v3)
  9. 9. ‘Business analysis is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to: •Determine problems and identify business needs; •Identify and recommend viable solutions to meet those needs; •Elicit, document and manage stakeholder requirements in order to meet the business and project objectives; •Facilitate the successful implementation of the project, service or end result of the project or program. In short, business analysis is the set of activities performed to identify business needs and recommend relevant solutions; and to elicit, document and manage requirements.’
  10. 10. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  11. 11. Picture adapted from Suzanne Robertson’s chapter ‘Working with the Project Manager’ in ‘Business Analysis and Leadership’. Drawn by Vanessa Randle.
  12. 12. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  13. 13. How would you rate the relationship between project managers and business analysts in your current or last project? •Very good - they work productively together, building on one another's strengths. •OK - it could be better, but on the whole they get the job done. •Poor - there are real problems in the relationship that affect the work done •Awful - they don't work together effectively. •I don't know ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  14. 14. The survey results: ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  15. 15. The survey results: ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  16. 16. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  17. 17. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  18. 18. “In my organization, PMs are mere administrators with little insight about the intricacies of what is required. I have spent literally hours trying to explain my PM the why of something for him to respond: 'But this will be done by tomorrow, right?' Thus I do not bother now. I use passive-aggressive techniques & yoga to counteract the frustration.”
  19. 19. “The PM is under pressure to get the project finished on time. The BA (me!) can see opportunities for delivery of significant organizational efficiencies being missed by an overly ambitious timeline. The PM has very narrow view, whereas focus of BA is probably more enterprise-wide. ”
  20. 20. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  21. 21. “As a PM I often had the experience that BAs stay at an academic level and are not always in touch with the real world.” “BAs have an agenda, which is not aligned to the project. They get upset when they have to work within given constraints.”
  22. 22. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  23. 23. 25©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  24. 24. 26 Let’s look on the bright side… ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  25. 25. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  26. 26. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  27. 27. Top Tips for BAsTop Tips for BAs working with PMsworking with PMs ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  28. 28. #1 Be a Leader too…
  29. 29. #2 Use a common language – develop a common understanding ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  30. 30. #3 Work together from the start: Build on each other’s strengths and develop a good working relationship. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  31. 31. #4 The organization matters… ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  32. 32. #5: Iterate and learn as you go. ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  33. 33. What will you do differently now?What will you do differently now? ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  34. 34. Who said this?Who said this? “For me, it's not about project success, it's about business success. I'd rather can a bad project than drive it to an ‘on budget, on scope, on time’ delivery of negligible benefit.”
  35. 35. What questions do you have?What questions do you have? ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  36. 36. Dr Penny Pullan +44 (0) 1509 821691 @pennypullan Contact InformationContact Information ©2015 Making Projects Work Ltd.
  37. 37. Don’t forget! Virtual working picture drawn by Vanessa Randle.