Product Portfolio Management
Business Analysts, Your Time Has Finally Arrived!
|by John Mansour 05.03.2011|
The business analyst, a.k.a. product analyst – SME - agile product owner - technical product manager - has been absent and ignored in software companies for too many years, but its time may have finally arrived. The demand is growing fast and the supply is low. You know that that means. Polish your resume if you’re in the market for a career move.
There are a few pieces of recent market data that underscore the paradigm shift. It feels like it's coming from all directions.
Feel free to throw in a few more market dynamics of your own in the comments section below.
I started publicly beating this drum in 2007 (Product Management & the Functional Designer), although it has always been an integral part of our product management framework.
This role is not to be confused with product managers, user interaction designers or application architects although it touches on parts of all three. This role focuses on “how” users use product features, and complements the product manager role which focuses on the “what & why” factor – “what capabilities are most needed and why” from a market & business perspective.
The analyst/functional designer works with UX designers and application architects to ensure collections of product features work in a manner that simplifies tasks for users. They author user stories and create “functional” product specifications to support those user stories to ensure engineers design the technical underpinnings accordingly.
For some reason though, this role has never carried the same panache as the product management role. Most analysts I know aspire to be product managers. It may be time to rethink that strategy given the market shift and the emphasis on product usability.
My top 5 reasons why:
This trend is also good news for many who wear the product manager title but spend 80% of their time in the analyst/designer role – if you’re good at it, embrace it and do some product company out there a favor - take an analyst job!
Time will tell whether the analyst/designer skills are valued more than the product manager skills. Escalating pay scales are a leading indicator.What’s your read on the situation? All opinions welcome.