Being a business analyst it’s important to understand the different roles of Project Manager (PM) and a Business Analyst (BA) for a project to be successful. I’ll try to explore and present views from my current experiences.
One of the major differences is that a Project Manager has “macroscopic view” while a Business Analyst has more of a “microscopic view” of the project. When it comes to managing requirements, Project manager would know what are the high level requirements which are derived from the scope of the project and also helps BA in identifying them.
Where as BA, he knows what exactly need to be done to gather or elicitate the requirements & in what document requirements need to be documented. When it comes to interacting with the stakeholders or “Business” a PM makes sure that “business” is informed of delays or changes to a project. BA is the person who directly interacts and communicates with business on a regular basis and answers or finds answer to “why these delays or changes are happening”. BA is the person who makes sure that “business” has answers or access to answers that they are seeking.
Project Manager’s role is to see that the product is thoroughly tested but it’s a BA role to define what exactly gets tested, that is review all errors and validations being tested since he is the person who understands the requirements from the business point of view and the from the technical point of view.
So, even though it does seem that PM and BA are doing the same hat but through years of working as a BA I have realized that the responsibilities are very different. Some smaller sized projects are now moving towards combining BA and PM role which works well in cost reduction and reduction of work duplication but in big sized projects the PM and BA roles are difficult to combine. Project co-ordination and management remains a niche and should not be overlapped with BA function.
Hope this helps you guys for your interviews!