Project Management

3 Reasons Why the Business Analyst-Project Manager Hybrid Role Is So Difficult

A hybrid of business analyst (BA) and project manager (PM) is like a double major in science and humanities—it’s possible, but difficult. But this hybrid role is looking increasingly attractive to businesses that want to make interactions leaner. In an article for Project Times, Tiauna Ross highlights the top three reasons why this hybrid role can be difficult:

  1. It requires expertise in both disciplines.
  2. It only works well with small changes.
  3. It may not be well-defined or adequately supported.

It’s Hard to Connect Two Ends of a Stick

The BA/PM role requires working knowledge of both disciplines, but the problem is that while you can do both, your actions will likely reflect the area in which you are most experienced. For instance, if your background in project management is stronger, you might finish the project perfectly yet not reap the project’s full benefits (because your eye for analysis in crafting the project was not as strong). This is also why under many circumstances, a BA/PM hybrid is an advantage but only in low-complexity situations. If an organization is undergoing organizational restructuring for example, having only one person to manage different responsibilities may introduce greater risks to the company, such as the cost of failure and the loss of value.

Further complicating things, many people become BA/PM hybrids out of necessity to the job at hand, rather than it being a formally recognized role. In such cases, organizations are responsible for redefining clearly the essence of the hybrid role, and making sure it does not read like two job descriptions were just stacked together. After all, even as a standard BA or PM you might feel at times that you are not being fully supported, so imagine that lack of support at twice the scale! A better understanding of what the hybrid role will and will not do must be established.

Ross concludes with this:

To ensure that the BA/PM role is successful, organizations must pay attention to the role and what is needed to increase the odds of success. It is not enough to merely assign additional responsibilities to an existing role. Organizations must take the time to define the role considering the value they expect to receive and the inherent limitations of the role. Once the job is defined, there must be a concerted effort to keep assignments within the size and complexity that will best enable success and have mechanisms in place to measure that.

You can view the original article here:

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