TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Business Analyst: “The accidental Project Manager”A panel presentation October 5th, 2006 5:30pm Registration and Networking 6:00pm Panel Presentation 7:00pm Questions and Discussion Hosted by: Consulting Matters and Solutia Consulting Inc. Please do not distribute this information.
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Panel Agenda • Introduce Panel Participants • Roland Brenny Solution Architect – Northwest Airlines • Mary Detherow Business Analyst / Project Manager – Best Buy • Deb Laxson Project Manager – UnitedHealth Group – Definity Health • Amy McArdle Business Analyst Group Manager – Boston Scientific • Tad Salyards Business Analyst - Target • Panel Participant Experiences • Role of the BA and PM on your projects • Success story • Challenges • Learning Curve for a BA fulfilling the PM role • Other insights • Questions and Discussion
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Panel Bio’s • Roland Brenny Roland is a Solution Architect for Flight Crew Applications at Northwest Airlines. His current position responsibilities include standardizing, integrating and setting technical direction for Flight Operations and InFlight Services applications. Roland has been in IT for 16 years and has played the Developer, Business Analyst and Project Manager roles many times for small (<100 hours) to medium sized (15,000+ hours) projects. • Mary Detherow Mary began in middle management and held a variety of different middle management roles. Eight years ago, while working in one of these management roles in a small alarm company, Mary began working as a subject matter expert on a system integration project. She not only became the BA but also the PM by default. Middle management was no longer appealing. In the past five years, she has worked as BA, PM or BA/PM on over 40 projects. She currently works at Best Buy Corporate Headquarters in Richfield, MN. The opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the presenter and do not reflect the views or opinions of any employer either past or present.
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Panel Bio’s • Deb Laxson Deb currently works at UnitedHealth Group – Definity Health. She has worked in and with the IT industry for 25 years. Deb is a certified project manager filling the program manager role on her current initiative. Deb has worked projects in the following areas: Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Banking / Finance, Operations, IT and Manufacturing. Deb has worked in the following Industries: Manufacturing, Direct Marketing, Mail Order, Banking / Financial Services and Health Care. Deb’s past employers include: Metropolitan Federal, Fingerhut, Bankers Systems, Wells Fargo and United Health Care. • Amy McArdle Amy currently works at Boston Scientific. She has worked in the IT industry for 9 years. She has experiences as the Project Manager, Business Analyst, Quality Assurance Analyst and Software Trainer across numerous projects. She currently is a manager of a team of business analysts. The analysts fulfill various roles within the application development team including fulfilling PM, BA, and Test Analyst tasks on various projects as well as provide day to day support to the business. The opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the presenter and do not reflect the views or opinions of any employer either past or present.
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Panel Bio’s • Tad Salyards Works at Target Technology Services (TTS) in Minneapolis as a Business Analyst in Financial Systems Development. He has 8 years of total IT experience working as a developer, Business Analyst and Project Manager. Tad describes himself as a “project management-oriented Business Analyst” who regularly straddles the divide between BA and PM roles. The opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the presenter and do not reflect the views or opinions of any employer either past or present.
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Roland’s Experiences Role of the BA and PM on your projects
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Roland’s Experiences Role of the BA and PM on your projects
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Roland’s Experiences Successful usage of BA’s in the PM role The Northwest Airlines Flight Crew BA’s are successful. They (along with the developers) managed 40+ applications/processes and completed 2,000+ Projects from 2005/01/01 to 2005/12/31 under 1,000 hours. • PM Skills Required • Financial Management • Task Management
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Roland’s Experiences Challenges with the BA in the PM role • BA Controls the Technical Design • Peer Task Assignment • Offshore Work Direction • Prioritization of Projects • Cross group communication and respect
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Roland’s Experiences Learning Curve for a BA fulfilling the PM role • Acquire the following Management skills: • Financial • Motivation • Risk • Message
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Mary’s Experiences Role of the BA and PM on your projects • Utilizing BAs as PMs or vice versa is the norm • Larger projects have a set PM that also fills the BA role (multiple department/functional teams, medium to large budgets, large pool of resources) • Smaller projects have a set BA that also fills the PM role (within department, little to no budget or resources) • Responsibilities may range from: Define and control scope, create project plan, obtain resources, change management, risk and issue management, requirements gathering and sign-off, usability testing, process documentation, and training development
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Mary’s Experiences Success story on the usage of BA’s in the PM role • Don’t ask the team to do anything you aren’t willing to do yourself • The BA works along with the other project team members. This creates a strong team environment and assists when it is time to be the PM and hold resources accountable • Know where to cut “the fat”: • As BA and PM on a project, it helps determine what is truly a necessity to “get to done” and what is just paperwork • Documentation & Organization • The two most important skills to successfully perform both roles at the same time? Documentation and Organization! • Understanding PM methodology = Success • In order to be successful, a BA needs to have just as much understanding of the PM methodology as any PM.
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Mary’s Experiences Challenges with the BA in the PM role- • Ability to switch hats on the fly • BA’s need to be “in the weeds”. PM’s need to be able to manage all aspects of the project. To be successful as a BA in a PM role, the BA needs to know the appropriate times to be “in the weeds” and when not to be. • Different skill sets • The BA and PM have different skill sets. Successful BA/PMs have a majority of both skill sets needed in each role. • Playing the corporate political field • Since BA’s tend to focus on the tasks, they don’t usually have time to get involved in the politics and relationships. By being in the PM role, the BA must have the time and skill for both. • Note: It is just as hard to be a PM filling a BA role as it is to be a BA filling a PM role.
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Mary’s Experiences Learning Curve for a BA fulfilling the PM role • Don’t Assume • Not all BAs can be successful PMs. It is hard enough being a good BA or a good PM. To be good in both roles is very difficult. • Take every opportunity to learn • Networking, classes, forums, certifications, mentorships, current projects,…Any knowledge you gain will not only help you in fulfilling the PM role but will also help you with being a better BA. • Start somewhere and be willing to fail! • Start with smaller projects and don’t be afraid to ask questions or for help.
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Deb’s ExperiencesProject Management Defined • PMI definition • temporary endeavor with a beginning and an end • Creates a unique project, service or result • What is management in relation to Project Management? • Project Management skills are a subset of general management skills (Quality Software Project Management, Futrell, Shafer, Shafer, pg 12) • Management Skills – project management skills apply management skills to the achievement of project objectives. Those skills include planning, organizing, scheduling, directing, controlling, and tracking. (Quality Software Project Management, Futrell, Shafer, Shafer, pg 12) • Primary distinction between ‘line’ manager and project manager is “temporal” in nature combined with “uniqueness of deliverables”
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Deb’s ExperiencesWhat a PM Does • Identifies, tracks, manages and resolves project issues • Proactively disseminates project information to all stakeholders • Identifies, manages and mitigates project risk • Ensures that the solution is of acceptable quality • Proactively manages scope to ensure that only what was agreed to is delivered, unless changes are approved through scope management • Defines and collects metrics to give a sense for how the project is progressing and whether the deliverables produced are acceptable • Manages the overall workplan to ensure work is assigned and completed on time and within budget Lifecycle Step, Project Lifecycle Process. Base Methodology, TenStep, Inc www.tenstep.com
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Deb’s ExperiencesPM Skills • is well organized, • has great follow-up skills, • is process oriented, • is able to multi-task, • has a logical thought process, • is able to determine root causes, • has good analytical ability, • is a good estimator and budget manager, and • has good self-discipline. Lifecycle Step, Project Lifecycle Process. Base Methodology, TenStep, Inc www.tenstep.com
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Deb’s Experiences PM People Responsibilities • Have the discipline and general management skills to make sure that people follow the standard processes and procedures • Establish leadership skills to get the team to willingly follow your direction. Leadership is about communicating a vision and getting the team to accept it and strive to get there with you • Set reasonable, challenging and clear expectations for people, and hold them accountable for meeting the expectations. This includes providing good performance feedback to team members • Possess team building skills so that the people work together well and feel motivated to work hard for the sake of the project and their other team members. The larger your team and the longer the project, the more important it is to have good team-building skills • Possess proactive verbal and written communication skills, including good, active listening skills Lifecycle Step, Project Lifecycle Process. Base Methodology, TenStep, Inc www.tenstep.com
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Deb’s Experiences What a BA Does • Analyzes and understands the current state processes to ensure that the context and implications of change are understood by the clients and the project team • Develops an understanding of how present and future business needs will impact the solution • Identifies the sources of requirements and understands how roles help determine the relative validity of requirements • Develops a Requirements Management Plan and disseminates the Plan to all stakeholders • Identifies and documents all business, technical, product and process requirements • Works with the client to prioritize and rationalize the requirements • Helps to define acceptance criteria for completion of the solution Lifecycle Step, Project Lifecycle Process. Base Methodology, TenStep, Inc www.tenstep.com
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Deb’s Experiences BA Skills • Possess good verbal and written communication skills, including active listening skills • Well-organized and knowing good processes to complete the work needed for the project • Able to build effective relationships with clients to develop a joint vision for the project • Assist the project manager by managing client expectations through careful and proactive communications regarding requirements and changes • Possess negotiating skills to build a final consensus on a common set of requirements from all clients and stakeholders • Ensure that stakeholders know the implications of their decisions, and providing options and alternatives when necessary Lifecycle Step, Project Lifecycle Process. Base Methodology, TenStep, Inc www.tenstep.com
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Deb’s ExperiencesPM/BA Skill Comparison • PM SKILLS: • be well organized, • have great follow-up skills, • be process oriented, • be able to multi-task, • have a logical thought process, • be able to determine root causes, • have good analytical ability, • be a good estimator and budget manager, and • have good self-discipline, • people and client management, • general management. • BA SKILLS: • be well organized, • have great follow-up skills, • be process oriented, • be able to multi-task, • have a logical thought process, • be able to determine root causes, • have good analytical ability, • be a good estimator, and • have good self-discipline • client management. Similar skills, applied differently – PM to project lifecycle, BA to requirements lifecycle
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Deb’s ExperiencesTitle vs Role • TITLE • Determines salary, grade, and perks • Printed on your business card • Determined when you are hired or promoted • Officially changes only when HR is involved in some manner • ROLE • Position you fill on a team • May not be the same as your title • Determines what artifacts you produce • Frequently confused with your title • May evolve over the life of the project • Frequently evolves to cover skill gaps on a team • May be formally and informally misunderstood • sometimes not clarified until you do something “wrong”
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Deb’s Experiences Role of BA / PM • Do the BAs in your organization have to also fill PM roles? Does the size or type of project impact whether they fill both roles? • yes • When and why is this model used? • smaller projects • lead role in complex program • sometimes BA will be assigned prior to a PM, such as during product ideation (pre-project) • Define the roles and responsibilities by project phase. • PM – all phases • BA – depends on the functions assigned to the BA (e.g., UAT, User Doc) • Do they have to fill the PM role throughout the whole project or just the initiation and definition phases? • All phases or until a PM formally assigned
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Deb’s Experiences Success Story • How successful are your BAs in filling the PM role? • varied success, usually dependent on skill / experience level of BA • What PM skills does a BA need to be successful in filling the PM role? • people management • Are there any specific PM skills that you think BAs normally do not have? • people management • financial management
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Deb’s ExperiencesChallenges BA/PM • What are the challenges or shortcomings when a BA is also filling a PM Role? • lack of previous people management roles • lack of previous financial management roles • natural tendencies help or hinder: • individual contributor versus team leader • strategic versus tactical • bring structure or use structure? (infrastructure not data structure) • How have you addressed these? • try to only assign multi-skilled, experienced BA’s as PM / BA • Tips or lessons learned? • rarely assign a junior level BA to function as a PM / BA
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Amy’s Experiences Role of the BA and PM on projects • PM Responsibilities • Once project has been approved, a PM role is assigned to the project and responsible for: • Developing and updating the project plan throughout all phases of the project • Tracking project status to ensure deliverables are being met • Managing scope • Project status communication
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Amy’s Experiences Role of the BA and PM on projects • BA Responsibilities • Typically responsible for developing proposal document with assistance from development and QA if project resources have not been defined • Responsible for estimating the definition phase effort • Once into definition phase, responsible for leading requirements analysis and documentation, working with development on conceptual design, and conducting requirements reviews with the customer • Throughout project, BA’s are responsible for ensuring any requirement clarifications or changes are being completed, answering any business related questions, and assisting in the testing or UAT effort if needed • BA filling the PM role, When and Why? • Smaller or lower risk projects • Resource constraints • Skill set
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Amy’s Experiences Success story on the usage of BA’s in the PM role • How successful are BA’s filling the PM Role? • Talented team members that have been successful in filling this role despite challenges • Less successful when having to fulfill both the PM and BA role within the same project • More successful when acting as a PM on a project where that is their sole role • Skills that the BA needs to be successful in filling the PM role • Communication • The BA’s have strong communication skills which enables greater success on projects • Problem solver • These are skills that may be need to be improved upon • Less technical experience which limits some ability to solve problems
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Amy’s Experiences Challenges with the BA in the PM role • Difficult to change ‘hats’ to focus on the areas that need the most attention for each role • Time constraints • Management support • Management has traditionally placed more importance on the BA tasks • Management needs to allow additional time for each task if one person is performing both sets of tasks • Skill set • Lack of formal PM training
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Amy’s Experiences Learning Curve for a BA fulfilling the PM role • How should the BA best prepare? • Ensure expectations are set and how these will be managed • Get management support • Training or mentoring
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Tad’s Experiences Role of the BA and PM on your projects • “Project Managers” at TTS (Target Technology Services) have direct reports and are in charge of hiring, firing and employee reviews. • BAs perform the bulk of project management tasks including project scheduling, change control, stakeholder communication, status reports, risk/issue management and escalation. • Project Managers generally retain control of budgeting and manage the overall financial portfolio of his/her group. • Project Managers function as primary escalation point for BAs and are not overly involved in day-to-day project management…as long at the project is going well. • Project Manager is ultimately responsible for the delivery of a successful implementation, but the PM is the BA’s manager and accountable. • Project Managers are most involved at the beginning of the project during the “Project Definition” phase. • Larger projects may involve multiple Project Managers and Business Analysts, but the BA still performs the majority of project management tasks.
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Tad’s Experiences Success story on the usage of BA’s in the PM role • Individuals who can fill both roles are highly flexible and can plug almost any gap in a project. • BAs, who are traditionally focused on details and tactical issues, are also comfortable with abstraction and staying focused on the “big picture.” • Becoming fixated on the differences between the two roles detracts from the fact that BAs and PMs are the same kind of person but with a different focus. • BAs may define the role of a particular BA as that of a more traditional PM if needed. • In short, Target has successfully embraced and challenged the concept that there is a meaningful difference between BAs and PMs. • “That’s not my job” isn’t a valid excuse. It’s all your job!
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Tad’s Experiences Challenges with the BA in the PM role • Business Systems Analysts and other systems-oriented roles may not be comfortable leading others and managing projects. • The workload can be staggering. • It can be difficult to switch between the tactical and strategic so frequently. • “Should I be fighting the battle today or winning the war?” • Many BAs will shine better in one of the two roles and will need help to be successful in the other. • Job can be daunting for Junior BAs and those lacking the experience of managing people and projects.
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Tad’s Experiences Learning Curve for BA fulfilling the PM role • Learning to “let go” of a requirements-centric view of the world can be challenging. • BAs are used to tightly managing a small part of the larger project; one has to get used to delegating authority to others. • Becoming comfortable with not possessing a full understanding of the nuts and bolts of the entire project is imperative. • The world of the PM is less about documentation/process and more about people and leadership; if you lean too far in one direction or the other problems arise. • BAs can become overwhelmed with the PM role if they incorrectly assume that they can execute the same level of control with the entire project as he/she is used to in the requirements domain. • Get comfortable with the fact that deliverables and scope will change while the due dates do not.
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Appendices: • Stage Gate & RUP Workflow Diagrams • Books / References
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Stage Gate
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community Stage Gate / Project
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community RUP Workflows
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community PM Resources • Book references or Training options? • PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy, www.rmcproject.com • MS Project class by International Institute for Learning (IIL), www.iil.com • Project Management Institute, www.pmi.org • Quality Software Project Management, Robert Futrell, Donald Shafer, Linda Shafer • The Rational Unified Process An Introduction 2nd edition, Philippe Krucher • TenStep, Inc, www.tenstep.com
TCBAC Twin Cities Business Analyst Community QUESTIONS?For TCBAC information or feedback please contact TCBAC@solutiaconsulting.comFuture TCBAC Meetings:2007 schedule TBD