Software development projects can get out of hand quickly if your team lacks the required experience. It is really easy to go over your predetermined budget and spend way too much time developing features you might not even need in the first place. The solution is to hire a skilled business analyst and project manager to manage the project.
Let’s dive into the roles of BA and PM to find out why they might be the key to your project’s success.
The Role of the Business Analyst
Unlike other jobs in IT, the role of the business analyst has no clear definition. In the broadest terms, the BA is responsible for bridging the gap between IT and the business itself.
A BA must understand what it is that the client needs and translate that information to the development staff. On top of that, he or she validates the solutions from the perspective of financial, functional, and technological feasibility.
The role of the BA is bridging the gap between IT and the business itself
Essential BA Skills and Expertise
Apart from the obvious need for soft skills, several hard skills are required for a successful BA. They must be able to identify, analyze, and present data trends, apply that information to the business, and communicate the process to the technical staff.
An IT background is important, because understanding how the software companies and the software itself work allows the business analyst to better understand the product, discuss solutions to problems with developers, and present those solutions to the client.
Here are the most essential skills BAs must have, as described by IIBA:
- Oral and written communication skills
- Interpersonal and consultative skills
- Facilitation skills
- Analytical thinking and problem solving
- Being detail-oriented and capable of delivering a high level of accuracy
- Organizational skills
- Knowledge of the business structure
- Stakeholder analysis
- Requirements engineering
- Costs benefit analysis
- Processes modeling
- Understanding of networks, databases, and other technology
Why Business Analyst is Important to Software Development
The BA is an essential part of a well-functioning business. Here are several benefits that you can take advantage of if you have a BA on the project:
- BAs make digital transformation easier. Turns out, it’s not that easy to make a business go digital. According to Smart Insights, around 35% of companies went through a complete digital transformation in 2019. It is obvious that more businesses will make digital transformation a top priority, considering the shift in the type of services customers prefer. They tend to gravitate towards a recommendation-driven shopping experience, with customer service being available within the shortest time.
More than of third of surveyed companies went through a digital transformation in 2019
A specialist with solid business analysis skills can make that transition easier for companies. With such a drastic change in the way a company handles its processes, information and analysis is key. The specialist will be able to find a solution that allows the business to extract the most benefit, correctly articulate the needs to the development team, and make sure that the company does not overspend.
- Translate complex processes during development. With each and every new project it is important to understand what that product is, what it means to both the client and the contractor, and how it differs from similar products.
A full understanding of the project goals allows for the correct execution of the development process. Corporate leaders are not always great at explaining their goals to technical staff, and that’s where the business analyst’s expertise helps a lot.
Helping developers understand the intricacies of a particular business will allow them to approach the process more competently and deliver a better product as a result.
- Drive change management. Typically, businesses that fail to adopt changes do so because staff members don’t understand them or are not prepared for them. Here the business analyst is needed not only to facilitate solutions to problems and generate a strategy around those solutions, but also to help prepare staff for the changes and reinforce this process.
- Reduce operating costs. Business analysts are equipped with the knowledge to find solutions that not only best accommodate the company but also keep the solutions from becoming a financial burden.
The benefits that Business Analyst brings to business
The Role of the Project Manager
Apart from business analyst, the role of the project manager should not be overlooked when hiring a development team. Software development is a complex process that means keeping tabs on many things at once, which will definitely become tiresome if you try to juggle too many tasks. Managing all those tasks is a full-time job.
Hiring a project manager will help you take most of the management burden off your shoulders. A project manager drives the project from beginning to end, handling the following tasks:
- Managing the scope of work. The project manager determines the objectives of the project and the amount of work required to reach those objectives.
- Managing resources required for the project. The PM has to predict what resources will be needed to reach the project objective and make sure that team members stay within the determined amount so they don’t overwork and the company doesn’t overspend.
- Assigning tasks. Another role of the PM is to create and manage a project schedule and work plan. On top of that, it’s important to control the execution of the tasks.
- Monitoring progress. The project manager also has to monitor project performance, identify areas for improvement, keep spending in check, and report the stages of the project to the client.
Porject Manager drives the software development process from beginning to end
Essential PM Skills and Expertise
It is essential to choose a project manager who has relevant business and management skills. A decent IT background is also required, since the PM is deeply involved in the development process.
Essential skills for a project manager include:
- Risk management
- Cost management
- Critical thinking
- Task management
- Quality management
- Technical background
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Why Project Manager is Important to Software Development
The most notable difference between taking on the project management role yourself and having an experienced PM do the job lies in the approach to the process. A PM handles the development of the product with deeper expertise. It makes sense to hire a project manager who:
- Realizes broader ambitions and business goals. A highly-skilled PM will not only deliver the project within the timeframe and agreed budget but may go above and beyond that approach to help you achieve your business goals.
- Saves time and focus. The project manager focuses on the project, taking complete control over it, so you can dedicate your effort to other more important tasks.
- Saves money. Just like a BA, a PM makes sure that you spend your budget in the most optimal way, with no overspending.
- Manages risk. A mindful project manager knows what to look out for when developing a software product and always plans for resolving problems that might crop up during the process.
- Prevents scope creep. A professional PM keeps tabs on the scope of work to make sure that the software development team is focused and not taken off track with new changes and additions.
The value that the Project Manager bring to the software project
The business analyst and the project manager are the members of the team who will know your product better than anyone. The specialists will be diving deep into all of the details to make sure that the project works out in the best way possible, leaving you able to focus on your own work.
To sum up, hiring a BA and a PM for your software development project will help you in:
- Checking the financial feasibility of your project idea;
- Estimating the required resources for the project;
- Breaking the project down into tasks;
- Managing the technical staff’s work;
- Keeping the work going within the budget and timeframe.
If you need to hire a Dedicated Team with a business analyst and project manager included, drop us a line. We provide experienced Dedicated Teams to tackle projects of any complexity and from any domain.
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