Generalists Versus Specialists
I'm a firm believer in complex projects having a team comprised of both specialists and generalists. There is growing interest in how generalists and specialists can contribute to complex projects. The argument in support of the generalist is that they have the ability and skills to keep options open and may see solutions detail where a specialist is constrained to their span of knowledge and can easily miss a clue about the undiscovered parts of the solution.
We know that the PM as a specialist takes the lead in adapting and managing the process for defining and solving the problem; the BA as a generalist adapts the best fit tools and templates to the business processes in the project; the information technology professional (ITP) as a generalist integrates the best technology available; and the BPP as a specialist takes the lead in adapting the solution and installing the deliverables. See Table 4.2 in Chapter 4. If you hold to this, then it is obvious that all four disciplines are involved in the project from beginning to end. This brings up a discussion of the role of generalists and/or specialists on the project. Calling the PM a specialist, the BA a generalist, the ITP a generalist, and the BPP the specialist is too simplistic and not correct. A detailed discussion of generalists versus specialists is beyond the scope of this book but a few observations with respect to their roles on a complex project are within scope. ...