I’m a business analyst, but would like to become a project manager. What steps should I be taking to achieve that goal?
Career changes are never easy, but the transition from business analyst to project manager isn’t necessarily a huge leap. These two roles are already somewhat intertwined in the project environment, so there are plenty of small steps you can take to reach your goal.
Combining the Two Roles
Lucky for you, organizations increasingly are opting to combine the business analyst and project manager role. This type of hybrid role would be an ideal one for you. The comfort of working in a role you already know—the business analyst—means learning the responsibilities of the project manager role is less of a stretch. That’s particularly true if you already work closely with a project manager today.
Find out if there’s an opportunity to shadow that project manager, maybe taking up a few project management responsibilities alongside your business analyst duties. A natural place to start picking up solid project management skills would be to extend your work by helping gather requirements or becoming more involved in pulling together the project plan.
You also will find that carrying out some formal training in project management at this stage will help boost your knowledge and confidence as you make the transition. The main difference you might find between the two roles: Project Managers have a larger responsibility for directing others. Developing your knowledge and experience in areas such as leadership, negotiation and conflict management and leveraging influence also will help accelerate your growth.
The first step you need to take is spotting the opportunity to build up the project management duties in your existing role. From there, start to look for the hybrid roles at your organization or other companies. You might find that this hybrid role is just what you’re looking for. If it’s not, your next move will be to find opportunities that focus solely on being a project manager.#
What position did you move into project management from and what helped you make the switch? Let us know in the comments below.