I have been talking about the importance of having a PM and a BA on a project for 10 years. Although I still would prefer this arrangement I recognize that few teams have the luxury of pure roles. So everyone needs to have a basic knowledge of project management and business analysis. Even if you have clear roles, it helps when you understand something about what your co-worker is doing. This multi-disciplinary approach really helps if you are moving to a more agile style work also.
Since the publication of “Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep, Ninth Edition” back in January, we have been getting a number of questions asking why the book does not cover Agile Process. These readers note that A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, discusses Agile through out and is shipped in a package set with the “Agile Practice Guide.” Seeing what they consider an obvious disconnect they reasonably ask whether RMC is suggesting that there will be no Agile questions on the PMP exam.
I’m reading “Leadership and the One Minute Manager,” by Ken Blanchard. The book discusses “situational leadership,” which essentially means that a manager’s leadership style must vary depending on the competency of the person being managed. As I was reading the book I realized that these management styles, while probably relevant, would not initially apply to most project managers.
A PMP® and a Scrum Master® were having lunch together on a park bench debating the relative merits of Agile as opposed to traditional waterfall project management. They were making the arguments one would normally expect. At one point, the traditional PMP felt the need to prove his devotion to his profession by pulling out his wallet to show the Scrum Master his PMI membership card. As luck would have it, a thief was passing by and, seeing his opportunity, snatched the wallet and ran off.
Talk about overused expressions! This one has certainly run its course over the last 5-10 years. As much as I tire of hearing the phrase “Think out of the box”, I have to wonder about the use of the “box” metaphor.
Maybe there is a physical reason? Back in the late 20th century, we found ourselves with the need to employ many knowledge workers. So, in the interest of efficiently utilizing floor space and affording them the privacy they needed to do their work, we put them all in these 3′ x 5′ boxes that were 5′ high on three sides. Of course, it is now the 21st century and we now know that rather than make them productive, it made them feel physically and emotionally isolated.
Notes on PMI’s New Business Analysis Track
I’ve been to PMI® Global Congress a few times in the past and always felt like an outsider. As a full-time business analyst (BA), I rarely found sessions that really hit on tips and techniques that would help me improve my work. And to be honest, although I am a PMP® and sometimes manage projects, I just don’t get excited about talking about project management for three days.
I think I speak for most business analysts when I say, we love business analysis work, we love being part of a project team, and we love the fact that YOU are running the project! We don’t want to take your job away from you.
I am writing this letter because some project managers feel threatened by the growing business analysis profession, and I want to put your fears to rest. We are not interested in taking over your role.
I want to introduce myself in my first blog on Converging 360. As leader of the Project Management Area of practice for RMC Learning Solutions, I wear many hats within our organization. In addition to being a trainer, I am a speaker and presenter, subject matter expert, and curriculum developer. And as of today … I am also a Converging 360 blogger!
First of all, let me say that I am truly blessed. I was hired and mentored by Rita Mulcahy, and had the honor of working with her for 18 months.
Over the first (and last) 20 years of my primarily marketing-related career, I have seen a slow but steady convergence—more along the lines of a merging—of the marketing and IT functions. Of course not all of it has been smooth sailing, as illustrated by an article titled CIOs and CMOs: Feuding in the C-Suite in CIO magazine’s December issue. But at the same time the transition has been a necessary one in many respects, and in my view the vast majority of organizations are more responsive, more agile, and more profitable as a result.
Several people have asked me what I think about the upcoming business analysis certification program being offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). For those of you who have not heard, PMI has applied for a trademark for PMI-PBA (Professional in Business Analysis) and is planning to offer a certification program later this year. I don’t yet know any details about the program, so I can’t comment on its quality or validity. But I can give you my thoughts about what it will mean for the International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA) and the business analysis profession.