IT Staff reductions – QA Business Analyst

As companies in America seek to cut back on staffing levels in IT to save costs there is more expectation for multiple role Business Analysts. It was well known that BAs would often have one foot in project management and another in the BA world as it was seen as a possible natural progression that that the BA would eventually become full time Project Manager. Now the expectation has extended in a different direction.

The latest trend is to expect the Business Analyst to own the Quality Assurance (QA) part of the SDLC. Understand that this is beyond knowing how to write a test case or how to manually test and capture the result as a BA would be called on to do in the past. BAs are now expected to know how to setup and configure the current automated QA testing tools appropriate for the area they are working in. Basically the BA should be able to perform high volume testing post development rather than individual tests. Think of the BA having to know how to setup / configure / automate load tests, data validation tests, web site tests, mobile app tests etc..

This is great news if you are a Quality Assurance person wanting to move into Business Analysis. It sucks however if you are a pure BA that has focused on efficient and accurate requirement gathering or someone who has avoided becoming a QA expert because of the limited human interaction.

Moving into QA experience is also not a leg up on the career path like moving into Project Management. At best it is a sideways move that gives you access to two types of jobs (QA / BA). Personality of a good BA also does not tie in well with heavy QA work as the experts in the QA world like the fact that they deal less with the business and can focus on testing for results without interruption (think basically a lot of alone time).

This move is purely and simply about companies removing a role from the development lifecycle to save costs. Ironically, hiring companies complain about finding good testers that fail to understand the business / capture good requirements or good BAs that do not know how to setup high volume tests. It is a situation that the companies have created themselves.

If you are a seasoned BA of many years, this change is more of a push to move out of the BA role and seek more of the product owner roles as the traditional BA role dies away.

If you are just starting out as a BA or have limited experience, now would be the time to get QA experience to make yourself more marketable for BA roles.