Business Analysis and the Test Analyst

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Stephanie Nayager, Senior Automation Engineer at FIS, talks about the golden thread of business analysis in solution delivery with Charlene Seini, in business analysis and the test analyst.

Job titles don’t always necessarily reflect responsibilities. Please tell us what you do and what your role entails?

My primary role is to create and maintain an automation strategy that supports the Functional QA team, creating and maintaining automated test scripts. I oversee the automation team, providing technical support to the QA team. Currently,

… we are on a drive to move to spreadsheet-based test creation to facilitate Functional QA to create automated test scripts quicker, with the move to perform in-sprint automation.

My role includes the building of the framework and training in order to achieve this.

In what way does business analysis interface, support and / or enable your accountabilities and responsibilities?

From an automation perspective,

… we look to the business analyst to be able to prioritise which areas of the business are most crucial.

This helps strategy so that the automation effort is more focused and, in turn, yields the most business return. In addition to this, we rely on the business analyst to facilitate the discussions between QA and developers, from inception within the in-sprint grooming sessions through to product delivery, in order to be able to plan automation effectively.

In what way does poor quality business analysis impact and / or limit your ability to deliver effectively?

When requirements are brought into the sprint without having the necessary analysis performed, further analysis is completed to identify gaps in the requirements which often results in rework, and re-estimation of tasks. Needless to say,

… the later gaps are identified, the more costly it becomes for the overall project.

There are times where discussions take place between development and the business analyst which result in design changes. These changes fail to be communicated to the QA team, which also contributes to delays down the road, only at the point when the work is ready to be tested.

Gear Up:
Get The Techniques To Test Systems For Business Acceptance
(And Up Your Business Analyst Ante)

How could business analysts optimally focus and deliver to better support your capability?

In order for the QA team to be aligned with the needs of business, communication is key. QA should always be kept updated of all changes. Behaviour-driven development strategies can be implemented so that user stories are defined from a user perspective.

When the QA team understands the user flows that will govern the system, test planning becomes easier.

Combined with acceptance criteria, in a common language, the user stories can be understood and implemented by everyone. This minimises misinterpretation and provides a means to reduce gaps between user stories and developed code.

Business analysis is not exclusive to business analysts; it is a discipline performed throughout business change. What business analysis activities do you perform as part of your role?

When incomplete or poor requirements are brought into the sprint,

… the QA team perform analysis of the requirements to flesh out the requirements, and produce acceptance criteria that are complete and accurate so that they feed into testable requirements…

in the test planning process. Expected results are key, as this indicates whether we’ve achieved the desired results.

‘Business Analysis And The Test Analyst with Stephanie Nayager‘ was first published in the 2016 Inter-View Report. You can learn more about business analysis and the software developer by chatting on Twitter with @StefNayager and @CharleneSeini.

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