6 min read

From Business Analyst to Delivery Manager: 4 Steps to Success

The author of this article is EPAM Senior Business Analyst Sergey Belousov.

Senior Business Analyst Sergey Belousov


In today’s busy world, with so many competing demands on your time, it’s easy to find yourself focusing on day-to-day things without ever realizing your personal priorities. Fortunately, I realized this, and I started to deeply analyse my life, how I spend it, and what I want to achieve. This is crucial for starting the journey to becoming who you capable of being if you unlock your inner potential and strength. With this in mind, you need to be especially careful with your career track. Work is something on which you spend 70% of your waking hours. If you make a wrong decision, it affects your destiny.

I have been working at EPAM as a Senior Business Analyst. The company provides all employees with a variety of career tracks, mentoring opportunities, and support for personal development and education. These opportunities helped me realize that one of the most valuable roles within the tech landscape is a Delivery Manager. A DM is the person who is responsible for the success of the entire project, including (but not limited to) technology, process, people, budget, and — most importantly — the value that the final product will contribute to the world or to a customer. In this role, you will be one of the main creators of the positive changes that tech products offer.

In this article, I explain the career track from Business Analyst to Delivery Manager and share useful tips from my mentors, as well as books that can be helpful for a novice DM.

What is a DM and why is this role challenging?

In recent years, companies received a clear signal from the market that traditional project management is not meeting all of the customers’ needs. The project environment is becoming more complicated, and that has an impact on the allocation of responsibilities within teams. This is where a Delivery Manager comes into play. The DM role should combine project management skills, deep technical knowledge, and other abilities that, collectively, facilitate disruptive results in projects.

DM is a role that requires strong engineering capabilities, managerial best practices, business knowledge, and leadership competencies to ensure the success of your engagement with the clients. It includes organizing, administering, and supervising people, processes, and technologies. When combined into a comprehensive approach, these elements provide the business and technical functions needed to deliver what your client expects to receive. The main goals of a DM include: providing the highest client satisfaction; exceeding clients’ expectations; achieving company profit; supporting business growth; developing experience; and engaging employees.

key delivery manager skills

Now let’s consider some of the roles and responsibilities that a Delivery Manager can fill:

  • Project management — to achieve project objectives within all constraints.
  • Account management — to support business growth.
  • Solution architecture — to ensure a flexible and sustainable solution.
  • Product management — to achieve business goals with the suggested solution.
  • People management — to lead and inspire people, organize great teams, and provide excellent delivery results.

In summary, a delivery manager is responsible for ensuring the successful delivery of a project and providing the highest level of service. It's important to acknowledge, however, that the other team members working on a given project also contribute to the shared success.

Based on the information provided above, you can see that the DM role might be not for everyone. The level of responsibilities and the necessary skills involved in the role require people who can effectively navigate challenging environments, especially in today's fast-paced world. Mastering the necessary skills can, however, transform you into a valuable, in-demand specialist.

How can a BA navigate to the DM role?

A business analyst is responsible for identifying and defining the scope of a project, and transforming this information into clear requirements that will guide the development team in creating a product aligned with the business needs. For this role, you need strong communication skills. You should be able to gather requirements and create useful artifacts such as wireframes and diagrams. Strong engineering skills are not mandatory; having a general understanding and the ability to work with APIs will be enough in most cases.

The necessary technical skill set is responsible for much of the mismatch between the AS-IS and TO-BE states. On the other hand, Business Analysts have competitive advantages as compared to developers in this context. The common challenge that arises when transitioning from a Developer to a DM role is communication.

Below you will see my learning path to bridge the knowledge gaps that a BA usually has. These recommendations were validated by my mentors and are based on my personal experience:

  • Find a good comprehensive course. I decided on the Delivery Management Master Program, which covers the basic knowledge of this specialty and provides opportunities to get real practical experience. From my point of view, this is the most valuable part of my education process (which is ongoing).
  • Pursue a technical educational track. I started to learn Python because it’s one of the most logical and easy to learn programming languages. Other benefits include its popularity and the high demand for it. You can follow whatever educational track you prefer, depending on your goal. Just remember that theory alone is not enough, you also need some practise.
  • Obtain relevant, useful certifications that will provide you with a practical understanding of the required theory and set you apart from other candidates. My recommendation is the PMI certification, which equips you with all of the necessary tools to manage projects on time and within budget. Another valuable certification, from my perspective, is SAFe. As a DM, you should clearly understand how to scale Agile practices when managing projects with multiple teams. Moreover, SAFe is one of the most popular frameworks globally.
  • Find mentors who will support you during your journey. With a good mentor, your Delivery Manager journey can progress twice as fast. A mentor can also provide you with opportunities to gain practical experience, such as giving you the chance to handle less critical DM tasks in your free time.

What are the advantages of a DM role?

At this point, you might have a completely reasonable question: if this role is so stressful and challenging, why should I spend so much effort and time to obtain it? The answer depends on the type of person you are. If you are satisfied with being a good BA, developer, or QA engineer, then switching to managerial roles may not be a desired state for you. But if you strive to have more impact, and to change the status quo in a particular industry, city, and even country, then becoming a DM is great choice. You will get the skill set and experience that will open up lots of opportunities to you and will allow you to build enterprise projects.

It's also important to mention that the DM position is well-paid, especially if you truly master all the skill sets — then, your value on the market is very high. Another point is that the DM role offers you the ability to build relationships with top-level people in the industry from whom you can learn a lot. You can be responsible for the success of an entire project and product within a brand you love, or even start your own business.


Delivery management is a challenging job that combines various roles, requiring both hard and soft skills, as well as knowledge in different domains. If you aspire to bring about meaningful and positive changes, however, consider pursuing this career path.

Here are some useful books recommended by tech experts that can help you during your Delivery Manager journey:

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