emids’ business analysis (BA) and quality assurance (QA) services have helped a top 5 U.S. health insurer improve quality and time to market for its suite of population health applications that enable members to track their own progress against health goals and help caregivers manage individual treatment plans and follow up with patients. These applications have helped the company take a proactive role in the health of its members, reduce the cost of care and improve outcomes.

What BA/QA Integration Can Do

Realizing the growing need for preventative services and quality clinical care, this diversified insurance provider began developing new software applications to improve health outcomes for its members. However, while working toward these goals, the company struggled with quality management and a higher-than-average quantity of user complaints. The project lacked standard testing and quality assurance processes, resulting in challenges achieving time-to-market goals and high costs for development.

That’s when emids suggested a model known as BA/QA integration to smooth the transition. The BA/QA integration enabled the company to identify defects early in the process and remediate them much more inexpensively. There is now more contextual knowledge among the team members, and they are able to propose ideas for improvement related to functionality, compliance and quality. Previously, teams worked in silos and did not understand the effects of their changes on other teams or the overall quality of the products. emids helped by streamlining expertise, setting up teams to foster cross-departmental interaction and speeding up workflow.

How to Unite the Two Roles

A recent report from Forrester Research highlights the benefit of BA/QA integration in streamlining development and improving a company’s Agile development practices. “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.” But how? Here are three steps to leverage BA-QA alignment, according to the report:

Step 1: Educate BA and QA teams in end-to-end software delivery process:

  • Teach both BA and QA pros the SDLC and project management basics
  • Pair BA and QA pros with designers and developers
  • Expose both BA and QA pros to maintenance and support processes

Step 2: Embed QA professionals earlier in the software development life cycle, and keep BAs involved to the end:

  • Give QA leads a significant role during requirements definition
  • Keep BA and QA pros actively involved during development
  • Leverage BAs during testing
  • Give the whole team visibility into the entire project schedule

Step 3: Bring BA and QA teams together physically to promote partnership:

  • Considering combining BA and QA teams under a common app development leader
  • Establish a collaborative community of practice
  • Active promote the social aspects of team bonding

Download our whitepaper to learn more about how BA/QA integration can benefit your organization and how working with an experienced IT provider can help you make this transition.

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