Two Business Analysts Are Not Necessarily Better Than One is it Right

Two pizzas are always better than one. More cake – or any dessert for that matter. More lobster, more steak, more money, more cars, more speed, more knowledge…

In many cases – at least on the surface and in general – more is better. Unless your a crazy cat lady. One more cat might be the one that gets you locked up or evicted. But I don’t like cats much anyway.

What about business analysts on a project. Two business analysts on the same project just means more work gets done faster, right? Business analysts out there… is this true? Do you agree? Have you ever been on a project where you were one of two or more business analysts on the same project? Save your thoughts and tell me about it at the end… would really like to hear your experience and especially why there was more than one of you on the same project.

I did have two business analysts on two projects and it wasn’t all that I expected it to be. It actually caused more problems than it solved or avoided so by choice alone I would never do it again unless it was forced on me. And it essentially was those two times. Let’s discuss reasons why this could be bad – and the list does include things that happened to me and my projects when I had multiple business analysts working together or whatever you might call it (against each other ? ) as well as things I have witnessed on other projects….

Customer Concerns Over Who’s Really In Charge.

Ok, the project manager is in charge. But on many projects, the business analyst is often a primary point of contact for the point person the customer side – especially once the real project starts post kickoff. Management and oversight and primary communication and status comes from the project manager, but in the trenches type information and communication may likely come from the business analyst. With two business analysts, the customer could be concerned or confused over who the main business analyst contact is. I didn’t really experience this, because on both of my situations it was obvious – and discussed early on – which one was senior and which one was junior… which leads to my next potential problem and I did experience this one…

One Senior, One Junior.

On day one of the project, our PMO director – who was present for the project kickoff session – explained that one business analyst was senior and one was junior and learning from the other. Ugh. This was a horrible thing to admit upfront. The junior business analyst was fully competent and also the one who was always 100% available to the project. The other – more senior business analyst – was stretched too thin across three busy projects at the time including mine. But that doesn’t matter to the client… what they heard was one was good and one was just learning… or that’s what they took from it. From that point on they questioned everything the junior business analyst said or did and insisted the other, more senior business analyst.

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