The Project Manager, The Business Analyst And The Business Analyst Activities

To be clear, I don't not feel that any seasoned business analyst needs to collaborate with the project manager on a high level for business analyst activities. This often opens the door to problems down the road where the project manager is constantly second guessing the business analyst. In a RACI matrix regarding BA tasks, the project manager barely qualifies for a "C", they will think they qualify for an "A" and most of the time you need to treat them more like an "I".

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That sounds harsh and I suppose that it is. However, a professional business analyst shouldn't be harsh in protecting their domain. It can and must be done professionally. The business analyst must NOT be overly sensitive, always open for feedback, incorporate course correction as needed, openly admit mistakes AND continue to OWN the business analyst domain.

Additionally, I feel the business analyst needs to be ...

• transparent, pursue growth & learning

• respectful, trustworthy & supportive

• craft open and honest business relationships

• promote teamwork & collaboration

• make commitments, provide regular status updates and meet commitments

• and the list can go on ...

The thing is that sharing ownership of BA activities instead of owning them can often hurt your chances of fulfilling that list above and support the project. It is a tricky juggling act and there will be days that you come up short. Once you surrender control over what you know you need to do, you may never get back to owning your own work. You are the expert, be a good BA by embracing positive values AND own your small slice of the BA related project ecosystem. 

In the collaborative spirit, you would think that it would be best if the project manager and the business analyst collaborate on building the list of BA activities, prioritizing them and sequencing them. I assure you that any seasoned project manager will NEVER feel this form of collaboration will be needed for their activities. I would like to say that, "if you don't believe me, try it sometime". However, do not try it. The project manager needs to own their domain as much as you need to own yours. Even coming close to challenging a project manager on their turf can seriously hurt your relationship with them and you might loose a finger. (kidding ... kind of)

BTW: You may have noticed that I've used the word "seasoned" a couple times. This is because high levels of supportive collaboration are always recommended when working with someone fresh to the company, project or their profession.

©2015 Dwayne Wright