Monday, December 21, 2009
System Analyst as a project manager
A Day in the life of a Systems Analyst
Someone on your left speaks French and someone on your right speaks English; both individuals need to speak to each other. The systems analyst is the middleman, assessing the needs of the end-user and translating them into programming or turning over the programming responsibility to the development department. What are the business requirements? Who will comprise the user community? How large is the application going to be? Will it be internal or external? These are all questions facing the systems analyst, who spends much of the day in front of the computer poring over these issues. With a new product, other elements come into play, such as network location, user community, type of machine, and portability. If the analyst is reviewing an established product, the user community will dictate its changes and enhancements. “One of the biggest surprises in my 25 years of technology work is that people who have a creative background as opposed to a degree in computer science tend to make better systems analysts,” says one seasoned professional. “The best analysts I’ve come across came from backgrounds in theater, art, and filmmaking. But they were all able to see and grasp big-picture concepts very quickly, and break them down into subcomponents. People who have a computer science or math background tend to be very technical, and sometimes that can be a hindrance.” Systems analysts need to be independent thinkers-people who can “think out of the box” by grasping concepts quickly and seeing the big picture as opposed to the small details. “I also look for someone who is self-motivated. Here . . . take the ball and run with it and come back if you have any issues,” says one employer who heads up a technology group.
Paying Your Dues
Few companies are willing to spend money on someone who doesn’t have some kind of programming background. There is not much difference between an analyst and a programmer, though the programmer needs to be versed in a programming language. As far as dealing with the functional requirements, these are the same position. There are junior-level analyst positions, which is almost like being a junior programmer. Any of the Java applets and the basic visual C++ programs are very applicable to today’s market, while Cobol and the older programs such as Assembler are considered dinosaurs. Without experience, a support role at the help desk with internal training is a good way to start out.
Financial companies and most of the Fortune 100 companies have systems analysts who may also have programming responsibilities. But today, many young analysts are flocking to Web companies where there’s money to be made. A small starting salary combined with options could make you a multimillionaire within a short period of time, or your company could go bust within the year. Internet ventures attract risk-takers, so it all depends on how much of a gambler you are. Many systems analysts come from creative backgrounds; some return to those fields, while others combine their artistic passions with Internet opportunities. “If I left my position and was able to do anything, I would go back to photography or painting or apply those talents to Web design,” says one systems analyst.
Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. It is often closely related to and sometimes conflated with program management.
A project is a temporary endeavor, having a defined beginning and end (usually constrained by date, but can be by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet particular goals and objectives, usually to bring about beneficial change or added value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast to business as usual (or operations), which are repetitive, permanent or semi-permanent functional work to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management.
The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the preconceived project constraints. Typical constraints are scope, time, and budget. The secondary—and more ambitious—challenge is to optimize the allocation and integration of inputs necessary to meet pre-defined objectives.
A project manager is a professional in the field of project management. Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of any project, typically relating to construction industry, architecture, computer networking, telecommunications or software development.
A project manager is the person accountable for accomplishing the stated project objectives. Key project management responsibilities include creating clear and attainable project objectives, building the project requirements, and managing the triple constraint for projects, which are; cost, time, and quality (also known as scope).
A project manager is often a client representative and has to determine and implement the exact needs of the client, based on knowledge of the firm they are representing. The ability to adapt to the various internal procedures of the contracting party, and to form close links with the nominated representatives, is essential in ensuring that the key issues of cost, time, quality and above all, client satisfaction, can be realized.
According to our interview, the system analyst as a project manager manages the process of the company. The systems analyst is considered the middleman, assessing the needs of the end-user and translating them into programming or turning over the programming responsibility to the development department. They bridge the gap between the user and the programmer. The system analyst are the very important person in the company because they are the people who are concern of the flow of the business. As project managers, they do innovations and improve technologies in a certain organization to be able to meet the need of the customers. According to our interviewee, system analyst analyzes the processes or the cycle of how an organization is being run. An organization has its edge whenever they have a system analyst.