As you prepare to begin your development project, your point of contact at your chosen software development company will shift from sales to project management. This may involve a business analyst (BA), project manager or an individual in a hybrid role that combines the two positions.
Good software development project management can mean the difference between tremendous success and a spectacular crash-and-burn failure, so it’s important to understand the role of a BA and/or project manager so you will be well-positioned to speak out if it appears your project is not getting the attention it needs and deserves.
What is a Software Development Business Analyst (BA)?
A business analyst plays a critical role in software development project management, as they are directly involved in monitoring the development process and serve as a bridge that connects the client and the development team.
Some business analysts work directly with the client in a project management capacity, performing tasks like:
- Gathering information from the client and passing this info to the development team (and vice versa);
- Relaying the development schedule and process to the client;
- Providing updates on sprints or project phases;
- Answering questions and addressing concerns as the project progresses;
- Keeping the project on-schedule and strategizing if the schedule changes;
- Setting expectations for the client; and
- Facilitating information-sharing between the client and the developers.
Business analysts will also evaluate data that arises from various aspects of the software development process. A BA commonly identifies processes that require modification in an effort to improve the client’s experience, the development process and the overall quality of the software platform that’s under development.
The BA’s goal often extends beyond the improvement of the client’s experience and the quality of the software; they also seek ways to streamline and fine-tune the development company’s processes.
What is a Software Development Project Manager?
A software development project manager’s role is similar to the role of a BA, except they don’t perform the in-depth data analysis that a business analyst would be expected to perform. There is less of an emphasis on improving the process as a whole; the project manager’s focus is centered around that single client, their development project and its overall success.
A software project manager’s role can include:
- Collecting information from the client and relaying that information to the development team and vice versa;
- Keeping the project on-schedule and addressing delays if they arise;
- Making sure all involved parties have what they need to be successful;
- Planning the sprints and phases of the development project and conveying that schedule to the client;
- Providing updates to the client as the project progresses and answering questions as they arise;
- Setting realistic expectations for the client; and
- Addressing any problems that arise and working to facilitate a resolution.
A project manager — like a BA — serves as a vital bridge between the client and the software development company.
There can be some significant overlap between the role of project manager and business analyst, which is why many companies — including 7T — prefer to combine them into a single hybrid position.
How Does Bad Project Management Impact the Development Process?
Poor project management or a faltering business analyst can lead to dissatisfaction on the client’s part and a software platform that falls short of expectations.
If the client fails to receive timely updates, this can result in a feeling of being left in the dark, which can rapidly result in a lack of confidence—or downright terror in cases where hundreds of thousands of dollars are involved.
But even more problematic is the lack of client input, which may result in the development of a software interface that falls short of expectations.
Mobile app and software development is a highly collaborative process and the client must be involved from start to finish, offering the input and feedback that is required to create a piece of software that meets and exceeds expectations.
Quality is adversely impacted when communication is lacking between the client and the software development team. This also leaves the door open to miscommunications that can have far-reaching, costly impacts. For instance, if there is a point of confusion early in the development process and the client is not roped in to a degree that allows for the early discovery of this problem area, it may result in additional problems downstream in the software development process. This opens the door to large-scale modifications that are both costly and time-consuming (and this says nothing of the negative impact on the client’s experience with the development company.)
Good software development project management is indispensable. Skilled business analysts and other project management team members convey your needs to the developers and vice versa. Then once the project is underway, they’re going to serve as a go-between, ensuring that the client’s expectations align with the development team’s plans and transferring feedback and information between these parties.
Choosing the Right Software or Mobile App Development Company
At 7T, we take tremendous pride in our project management skills, with talented, detail-oriented BAs who oversee a project from start to finish. In fact, we believe client collaboration is required to succeed, so we make it a point to get lots of feedback and input from our clients throughout the development process.
At 7T, we’ve earned a reputation as a top Dallas mobile app development company, with a reputation for developing dynamic mobile apps and innovative software platforms, from CRM platforms and ERP development, to Snowflake data solutions.
At 7T, our development team works with company leaders who are seeking to solve problems and drive ROI through digital transformation. We’ve earned a reputation as an innovative Dallas software development company, as 7T integrates cutting-edge solutions into virtually every project. We’re here to deliver collaborative, multi-phased software development services to clients in all business sectors.