Analysis of Current Project Management Related Job Descriptions


Business Analyst, Cost Engineer, Project Manager and Systems Engineer Compared – A Key Word Analysis of Current Job Descriptions To Analyze Project Management Related Job Roles and Responsibilities

By Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCP, MScPM, MRICS

Jakarta, Indonesia


This paper is an EXTENSION of a 4 part “work for hire” research project undertaken by the author for and on behalf of the Guild of Project Controls as the basis to help them design their 4 track, 5 level competency based credentialing program, the results of which were published in the PM World Journal between June and September of 2016. [1]

As a result of feedback received, requests were made to expand the original research to include the following 4 ADDITIONAL job titles, on the grounds these job titles are very closely related to “project control” functions and all share a common “body of knowledge”.

  1. Planner Scheduler (Original)
  2. Cost Estimator/Quantity Surveyor (Original)
  3. Forensic Claims Analyst (Original)
  4. Project Controller (Original)

The top listings show the ORIGINAL job titles and the bottom 4 are the NEW or ADDITIONAL job titles being analyzed as part of this paper:

5. Business Analyst (New)
6. Cost Engineer (New)
7. Project Manager (New)
8. Systems Engineer (New)

These 8 job titles cover many of the same functions, having evolved over time, based on specific project process applications or contexts. As an example, the International Council of Systems Engineers (INCOSE) defines a “Systems Engineer” to be [2]

“an interdisciplinary approach and means to enable the realization of successful systems. It focuses on defining customer needs and required functionality early in the development cycle, documenting requirements, then proceeding with design synthesis and system validation while considering the complete problem:

Operations                    Cost & Schedule

Performance                 Training & Support

Test                              Disposal


Systems Engineering integrates all the disciplines and specialty groups into a team effort forming a structured development process that proceeds from concept to production to operation. Systems Engineering considers both the business and the technical needs of all customers with the goal of providing a quality product that meets the user needs.

Likewise, AACE defines a “Cost engineering” to be: [3]

“the engineering practice devoted to the management of project cost, involving such activities as estimating, cost control, cost forecasting, investment appraisal and risk analysis.” “Cost Engineers” budget, plan and monitor investment projects. (Asset creation, acquisition, maintenance, upgrading and eventual disposal).

Lastly, the International Institute of Business Analysts defines a Business Analyst to be: [4]

“Business Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.” Job titles for business analysis practitioners include not only business analyst, but also business systems analyst, systems analyst, requirements engineer, process analyst, product manager, product owner, enterprise analyst, business architect, management consultant, business intelligence analyst, data scientist, and more. Many other jobs, such as management, project management, product management, software development, quality assurance and interaction design rely heavily on business analysis skills for success.

Business analysis is used to identify and articulate the need for change in how organizations work, and to facilitate that change. As business analysts, we identify and define the solutions that will maximize the value delivered by an organization to its stakeholders. Business analysts work across all levels of an organization and may be involved in everything from defining strategy, to creating the enterprise architecture, to taking a leadership role by defining the goals and requirements for programs and projects or supporting continuous improvement in its technology and processes.

We have the specialized knowledge to act as a guide and lead the business through unknown or unmapped territory, to get it to its desired destination. The value of business analysis is in realization of benefits, avoidance of cost, and identification of new opportunities, understanding of required capabilities and modeling the organization. Through the effective use of business analysis, we can ensure an organization realizes these benefits, ultimately improving the way they do business.”

Thus for all intents and purposes, while the job titles may be different depending on the sector, the roles and responsibilities with regard to these 8 job titles across both the Asset and Project Life Spans to support the creation, acquisition, maintenance, expansion, upgrading and eventual disposal or organizational assets are not only over-lapping, but are also both complimentary and synergistic.

More (with footnotes and references)…

To read entire paper, click here



About the Author

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE, MScPM, MRICS

Jakarta, Indonesia


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Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo
, CDT, CCE (#1240), MScPM, MRICS, is Senior Technical Advisor (Project Management) to PT Mitratata Citragraha. (PTMC), Jakarta, Indonesia. https://pmworldjournal.net/article/project-management-capabilities-competences-successful-entrepreneurship-nigeria/.

For 25+ years, he has been providing Project Management training and consulting throughout South and Eastern Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He is also active in the Global Project Management Community, serving as an Advocate for and on behalf of the global practitioner. He does so by playing an active professional role in the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International, (AACE); Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and the Construction Management Association of America, (CMAA). He previously served on the Board of Directors of the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management (asapm) http://www.asapm.org/ and served previously as the Chair of the Certification Board of the Green Project Management organization. http://www.greenprojectmanagement.org/ He is active as a regional leader and a compensated consultant to the Planning Planet’s Guild of Project Controls. https://pmworldjournal.net/advances-project-management/

He has spent 18 of the last 45 years working on large, highly complex international projects, including such prestigious projects as the Alyeska Pipeline and the Distant Early Warning Site (DEW Line) upgrades in Alaska. Most recently, he worked as a Senior Project Cost and Scheduling Consultant for Caltex Minas Field in Sumatra and Project Manager for the Taman Rasuna Apartment Complex for Bakrie Brothers in Jakarta. His current client list includes AT&T, Ericsson, Nokia, Lucent, General Motors, Siemens, Chevron, Conoco-Philips, BP, Dames and Moore, SNC Lavalin, Freeport McMoran, Petronas, Pertamina, UN Projects Office, World Bank Institute and many other Fortune 500 companies and NGO organizations.

Dr. Giammalvo holds an undergraduate degree in Construction Management, a Master of Science in Project Management through the George Washington University and a PhD in Project and Program Management through the Institute Superieur De Gestion Industrielle (ISGI) and Ecole Superieure De Commerce De Lille (ESC-Lille- now SKEMA School of Management) under the supervision of Dr. Christophe Bredillet, CCE, IPMA A Level. “Dr. PDG” can be contacted at [email protected]

To view other original work by Paul Giammalvo, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-paul-d-giammalvo/