Business Analysis and the Project Manager

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Kweku Essel, Project Manager at Old Mutual personal Finance, talks about the golden thread of business analysis in solution delivery with Charlene Seini, in business analysis and the project manager.

Job titles don’t always necessarily reflect responsibilities. Please tell us what you do and what your role entails

As a project manager, my role entails managing a capability (be it a group of people, process, data, systems, etc.) with the goal of articulating business problems that are identified and solving them through the mechanism of a project.

In what way does business analysis interface, support and / or enable your accountabilities and responsibilities?

To solve a problem, one needs to articulate the problem, measure the extent of the problem, determine the root cause, improve the current state of affairs and monitor the solution to ensure it is sustainable. These activities are key aspects of business analysis, and without business analysis, it becomes very challenging to solve business problems efficiently, effectively and economically.

In what way does poor quality business analysis impact and / or limit your ability to deliver effectively?

The success of any project is enhanced significantly when the outputs of the business analysis exercise are of the appropriate quality, as the outcomes can then be implemented to meet the objectives initially set out in the project.

Poor business analysis may lead one to solve the wrong problem, when the problem is not articulated correctly and the root cause is not identified.

It may also lead one to implement the incorrect solution for the problem. This impacts the project as a delivery mechanism, since the objectives and benefits of the project will not be realised to their full potential.

How could business analysts optimally focus and deliver to better support your capability?

In any project, a key part that enables the project to work coherently towards an end goal is developing an approach to solving the problem at hand. Basically, a picture that shows how the puzzle pieces come together. This should include a process of how to eat the elephant: artefacts to be produced, engagement models, etc. Business analysts have a significant role to play in crafting this approach, and I believe this adds great value to each project.

Business analysis is not exclusive to business analysts; it is a discipline performed throughout the business change. What business analysis activities do you perform as part of your role?

I particularly enjoy being involved in crafting the approach, the pieces of the puzzle and articulating the problem that needs to be solved. I also ensure I am up to date with and perform review functions for other artefacts being produced by the business analysis team in the following streams: measuring the extent of the problem, determining the root cause, improving the current state of affairs and monitoring the solution to ensure it is sustainable.

‘Business Analysis And The Project Manager with Kweku Essel‘ was first published in the 2016 Inter-View Report. You can learn more about business analysis and the project manager by chatting on Twitter with @CharleneSeini.

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