As the volume of patients continues to grow, along with the emphasis on providing them with quality care at the lowest possible cost, more healthcare organizations than ever are turning to advanced information technology to help them meet the ever-changing needs of the industry. To develop this technology as quickly and as efficiently as possible, many organizations are moving away from siloed workflow processes to Agile development practices that promise to help them overcome tighter project timelines and budget constraints.
Helping smooth this transition is an emerging model known as BA/QA integration. It involves combining business analyst and quality assurance roles in organizations for a more productive, adaptable and faster turnaround. Business analysts develop solutions to the most pressing needs for the technology and create requirements from that for developers, while QA professionals develop and execute scenarios to test the technology. Lack of interaction between the two often create inefficiencies that escalate as the need to frequently update software systems grows.
The BA-to-QA model puts an individual or a team of individuals possessing both skill sets at each end of the development spectrum. Not only does this promote a deeper understanding of the business needs for the project – an insight necessary for defining and executing the proper software requirements – it also provides deep technical expertise for ensuring that the software meets expectations, works for users and brings the best business value.
A study from Forrester Research illustrates the importance of making sure that business and quality assurance analysts are not only on the same page, but also on the same team. The study recommends closing the gap between these two roles to keep them working in close alignment. By combining their unique skills, the study asserts, organizations can improve their success at developing high-quality applications with the best return on investment. How can your organization begin to bridge the gap between these roles? Here are three steps for getting started.
Train BA and QA analysts in what it takes to see a project the whole way through, from conception to delivery. Pair each side with designers and developers and expose them both to maintenance and support processes.
Get QA analysts involved in the software development process early on and keep business analysts involved to the end. Allow QA experts to help shape requirements for the system, and utilize BA analysts during the testing phase. Keep both actively involved throughout the development process and give the entire team visibility and input into the project schedule.
Promote partnership by physically bringing BA and QA analysts together on the same team. Consider combining their roles under the same applications development leader and establish regular collaboration and even bonding outside the office between the two.
Learn more about the benefits of integrating BA and QA roles, how to do this effectively and how to speed time to market by consolidating these roles in our white paper.