Why You Need to Break Down the Wall Between Business Analyst and QA Teams
The relationship between your business analysts and quality assurance folks is key to software development success. Here is Forrester Research's advice on making the partnership work.
By Thomas Wailgum
For today’s software development teams, an overriding sense of “failure is not an option” permeates any new project: Timelines and budgets are tighter than ever before; business stakeholders demand more input on “agile” practices (even if they haven’t a clue what that actually entails); and the complexity and risks of even “low-hanging fruit” projects have increased.
“If there is a wall between your BA and QA organizations,” write Forrester analysts Mary Gerush and Margo Visitacion, “it’s time to unite them in the pursuit of improved software quality.”
The analysts offer these three steps (see graphic below):
Gerush and Visitacion add that CIOs may have to redefine what the term “quality” actually means to the company. “Make it your mission to expand the definition of quality to be more holistic and encompass quality of both product and process,” they write in the report.
In addition, CIOs need to foster a team- and goal-oriented environment. “It takes the effort of everyone on the project team to deliver high-quality software: software that delivers high end user adoption rates, strong customer satisfaction levels, and real business value,” Gerush and Visitacion write. “If your project team members are focused only on their individual goals and deliverables, they aren’t focused on those crucial measures of organizational success.”
“Give them something new to strive for,” the analysts add. “Create a team quality goal that outweighs their individual goals to make the team responsible for quality—as a team.”
Thomas Wailgum covers Enterprise Software, Data Management and Personal Productivity Apps for CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. E-mail Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.