Project Management: Why an Agile Business Analyst is Crucial

Jul 24, 2017 11:16:27 AM | By Caroline Paver

Arguably, the most crucial time for setting the course for project success is in the initial phases - where the foundations are laid and business intentions are set. 

Throughout the project, the whole team needs to be guided always to the customer’s product vision, and kept informed when this vision changes – much like a compass needle jumping around but always leading us back in the right direction.

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Our Designertech Project Services vision is to “Provide confidence in project delivery, through exceptional analysis, management and quality assurance”.  

A normal PMO (Project Management Office) would not usually incorporate the analysis part, but our aim is to be exceptional, and that is why our team, along with PMs, coordinators and testers, includes that rare and precious species – the agile Business Analyst. 

The professional BA often plays the part of client relationship manager, but they also need be prepared to jump in as designer, user, and product owner where needed – it is a key role that demands flexibility, exceptional communication skills, and a voracious drive to ask the hard questions.  In an agile environment, the BA must be equipped to empower stakeholders and assist developers by creating a shared understanding of what the product is supposed to do. 

The BA is tasked with continual analysis and refresh of requirements, being responsive to changes, whilst maintaining clarity of the business end goal.

"The criteria for IT project success is not just ‘on time and on budget’, but ‘to specification’ as well."

tIt needs to be a balanced triangle – the clearer the specification and vision, the less likely scope creep and rework are to occur and impact cost and schedule. 

In the formation of the Project Services group, we have recognised the importance of balancing the five phases with the right people and the right tools, for the most effective Project Management. Considering the high rate of project failures according to the Innotas, Project and Portfolio report published in 2015, it is crucial that our structure is robust and sustainable.  

The involvement of professional Business Analysts during each phase, allows the rest of the team to progress the project energetically, safe in the knowledge that our compass will keep us aligned with our customer’s needs. 

This is the true foundation for project success.  

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Caroline Paver

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline Paver

Caroline has a broad range of experience across different industries and countries. Since 2005 she has held varied project support and management roles in Australia and England. She studied a Bachelor of Environmental Science before directing her career into project management. She has been developing her career within the healthcare, engineering, IT and telecommunications industries.

  

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