A month ago, I spoke at the Business Analysis Conference on how project managers work and how business analysts can help project managers to work more effectively together. It was a bit difficult to tell a room of BAs that project manager don’t want to hear too much detail and analysis paralysis. My presentation was followed by heated discussion.
You can still participate in the discussion if you weren’t there. I will be writing over the next four weeks about the key points I covered in that presentation. I will start with an explanation of the triple constraint, which is what project managers care most about.
Business analysts are often not able to understand the motivations of project managers. We are often faced with bizarre and sometimes absurd demands and use Gantt charts quite a bit. It’s easy to understand the motivations of project managers, but we don’t take the time to explain. None at all. To anyone. We get upset when people don’t understand the value we bring to organisations (BAs): Does this sound familiar? ).
Project managers are navigators. We see the big picture, and we want to get there as quickly and cheaply as possible. If we are good at our jobs, we spend all day thinking about OTOBOS.
OTOBOS is also known by the triple constraint, which stands for on time, budget, and scope. The problem is that project management has evolved and the triple constraint now includes other factors, bringing the total to three. These are generally:
These are the “normal” four. Some commentators include:
The ‘triple constraint’ actually includes six items. It’s no wonder that project management jargon is so difficult to understand outside of our immediate colleagues.
Although the jargon may have changed, most stakeholders and sponsors still don’t. They are still most concerned with:
“Will it deliver on time?” “Will it cost what was agreed?” “Will it do what I need?”
This is OTOBOS. On time, on budget and on scope. If you do that, you are doing something right.
In the coming weeks, I will be writing about what project managers value and what we don’t in our working relationships with business analysts. The last part of this series will focus on how to improve workplace harmony between PMs, BAs.