Have you considered the role of a business analyst or project manager? Sometimes the line between the two positions isn’t clear. Many organizations will place the responsibilities of both jobs under a single person. Ideally, this should not happen. Business analyst responsibilities and those of a project manager are unique. This is because their end goals come from different motivations.
The Goal of the Analyst:
An analyst concerns themselves with the requirements. They look at what the client, stakeholders, or company wants to achieve. This gets translated into a project by defining the requirements that will ultimately achieve an end product. Satisfying all these requirements will always be the chief concern of the business analyst.
The Goal of the Manager:
With the project managers, their primary concern with always be the execution of a project. This means they place more focus on doing whatever it takes to reach the goal. Building a strong team, leadership and being able to adapt along the way are critical aspects of the manager. The role often looks past what is required, and considers what is feasible.
Do these Roles Interact?
Both positions will often be working on the same project together. Overall, this is a good thing despite areas of conflict that might arise.
This works well because it stimulates growth and development in the project. The manager will push for deadlines, budgets, and any actions needed to finish. The analyst often will recommend changes that will interfere with the project manager’s vision.
Each perspective brings value and helps find the right balance a project should reach. Does it matter if we miss our target date? Should we go over budget? Are these enhanced features desired by the customer worth the investment? These are the kind of questions the project manager and the business analyst will answer together.
Business Analyst/Project Manager the Overlap:
There is some important overlap in the two roles. First, both individuals are involved in the planning of the project. Understanding the scope, metrics, and activities is essential in either position.
Second, communication and enforcement of the requirements. The manager and analyst will work together to establish the requirements, and how they will play out in the project.
Finally, a variety of basic skills are necessary for both roles. This includes teamwork, ethics, critical thinking, industry knowledge, and much more.
In some cases, you may find yourself taking on both roles. This is more common at smaller organizations. Also, whenever the project is low risk and requires less individual attention.
Job Outlook for these Positions:
Both positions show steady job growth in the coming years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 7% growth through the year 2024.
They have also reported solid average salaries. Analysts and managers are earning over $75,000 a year. At senior level positions they have the potential to each earn up to $100,000 or more.
The outlook for a business analyst or project manager looks good with steady growth and high salaries. Between the two, the manager positions earned a bit more on average than an analyst. There is tremendous opportunity for both careers. Aspiring professionals should consider the differences and similarities carefully before deciding which role to take on.