Back to blogs

Project Manager or Business Analyst - Who Do I Really Need?

When looking to hire a project manager or business analyst, it can be difficult to know who you really need. Getting your organisational structure in check can make a huge difference to the overall smooth running of a project and subsequent customer satisfaction.

Many organisations have tried (and failed) to create a hybrid of the two roles, often placing the role of data analyst onto their PM. However, this takes away time for them to do their jobs effectively. Therefore, determining whether you need a Business Analyst or Project Manager is crucial.

One reason why so many business analysts are thrown into project management roles is the expanding talent gap surrounding both roles.

Here at Pareto, we understand the soaring demand for talented and knowledgeable Business Analysts and Project Management candidates. That’s why we have launched our brand new training service,  Pareto Innovate, which aims to bridge this skills gap with robust assessment processes and bespoke training and coaching programmes. 

Is Hiring A Project Manager The Right Move For My Business?

Of course, your executive teams will communicate effectively throughout a project and attempt to manage its organisational needs alongside their daily role. However, this can often lead to project overload resulting in lack of clarity and sometimes, teams can churn needlessly thinking that they are making progress. Assigning a project manager to a project establishes a single point of communication and overall accountability.

Moreover, executive teams can sometimes overlook certain project needs in order to make the costs fit the budget, or make inaccurate assumptions about the project’s complexity due to a limited level of project management knowledge. Underestimating the amount of project management required to deliver a project could be a major mistake.

This is reflective industry wide as experts believe there will be a demand for over 52.4 million project management jobs by 2021 - not to mention that this demand had already reached 65.9 million by 2017. Certainly, project managers are a necessity for the smooth operation and client satisfaction during a project. 

Further reasons to consider hiring a project manager include:

  • Effective communication with stakeholders
  • Increase project efficiency 
  • Control the scope of the project
  • Delegate workload
  • Deal with potential risks
  • Close the project

Why Are Business Analysts So Crucial For Project Success?

Alongside an experienced project manager, a good business analyst can make or break a project. While your project manager may lead formal, weekly meetings with your team and client, business analysts take a more informal leadership of the project team.

The hidden gem in your executive team, BA’s provide day-to-day management and oversight of the tech project team. This means that daily interaction with the customer is mostly going to happen with your business analyst.

Why? While your project manager may lead the overall project, it is the business analyst who will be reviewing detailed business processes and meeting with the project customer to fully understand those processes. 

They also work with the wider project team and customer to turn these business requirements into functional design specifications, leading the project team into the technical design phase of the project. 

Furthermore, while a good project manager may hold a tech background, your tech team will need guidance on a daily basis. This direction, alongside any ad hoc decision making, could cause delay if it always had to go through the project manager. It makes sense for the business analyst to be responsible for this and thus, keep the project moving forward through thoughtful, experienced, and proactive action and decision making.

With Pareto Innovate, our pre-assessed graduates undertake an intensive technical training programme, covering five courses and resulting in nine industry certifications. We set out to equip our candidates with all of the tools they need to be effective within your business change and transformation environment. This is supported by a structured soft skills training programme, and monthly technical and business coaching sessions to make sure every Pareto graduate has the latest technological know-how and market insights. 

The Value Of PM’s And BA’s Are Equal, Your Business Need Is The Deciding Factor 

Without a doubt, there are marked differences between managing a project and analysing business elements and requirements. Project managers are responsible for delivering solutions to problems, while business analysts are responsible for discovering problems and determining potential solutions. However, these roles do often combine. In some organisations, business analysts are often asked to take the lead when implementing their suggested solutions, unwittingly becoming project managers.

However, Esta Lessing of Business Analysis Excellence explained why this hybrid role could pose a risk to the organisational structure of your projects: “If you don’t have clear project roles and responsibilities in a larger scale environment you end up having people not knowing where to start or what they are responsible to deliver”.

But, while some skills overlap, it is important to remember that these are two different roles that require different tasks. For example, if your team spends a large part of their day analysing options and reviewing data, then hiring a business analyst may be the best option for your business.

For further information or to learn more about our services and how we can help you find the next generation of talent for your business, please speak to a member of our expert team today.


Get in Touch