How to Move from Project Manager to Business Analyst

A project manager is responsible for overseeing the project from concept through to delivery. In reality, there is a lot of overlap between business analysis and project management roles, and many project managers are doing a lot of business analysis, especially if there is no formal business analyst assigned to the project team.

how-to-move-from-project-manager-to-business-analysis(By the way, this article is one piece of a multi-part series titled, “How to Leverage Your Career Experience to Get Started in Business Analysis” where we explore the specific transferable skills professionals in various career backgrounds bring to business analysis and what opportunities they have to grow their business analysis experience.)

Project managers tend to be strong communicators and have a lot of experience building stakeholder relationships with everyone from senior-level project sponsors to direct end users. Project managers also often have experience scoping projects and doing some analysis.

To grow into a business analyst role, project managers need to explore the following types of opportunities:

  • Invest more time on the business problem to be solved and business value to be realized by the project, instead of moving swiftly into planning, budgeting, and implementation.
  • Helping stakeholders discover, analyze, and prioritize new requirements by getting into more of the details of what the business process and software solution requirements will be.
  • Practice creating detailed requirements documentation, which you might currently be delegating to the subject matter experts or technical leads on your project team.

In general, as a project management professional you need to learn to focus more energy on the problem and solution, and less energy on planning out how the solution will be created and delivered.

To further explore how the transition from project management to business analysis works, check out these career transition success stories:

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