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New Post 1/2/2013 6:44 PM
User is offline ludasky
5 posts
10th Level Poster


How to convince company we need a BA 

Hi Guys,

Ill try and make this short so it wont be a text of wall and lose interested on my post!

 

Im a QA analyst for a e-commerce company. I basically test all the new functions coming out on out internal tools, test our websites, find bugs ect. The thing is our company does not have a proper BA in the software engineer department. We use Jira to log basically everything, from bugs to new functions needing to be implenmented. The closest Ba we have is someone in the UX department, she does the wireframes and creates some graphical diagram. There are no proper requirement documents I look into for testing, only basing on description on Jira task. So wha im asking is how do i convince my manager that we need a proper BA and change the way the gather requirements and send me to training?

I have spoken to my manager late last year and he did say he could make a hybrid role BA/PM, but i dont think im capable of being a PM with only 2 years of experience under me. It is a big jump and responsibility. So please someone with similar or great experience help me out?

 

Thank you in advance. 

 
New Post 1/3/2013 6:20 AM
User is offline dldelancey
61 posts
8th Level Poster


Re: How to convince company we need a BA 

What do you think a "proper BA" would do?  Define that and then do it.  Voila, your company has a BA!

That's oversimplified and a bit trite, but my point is that this may be more within your control then you think.  You're asking for permission to do a job that you know needs to be done, but I doubt anyone would stop you from doing it if you carried on without a formal blessing (or job title).  I'm guessing that you are probably already performing tasks that could be considered BA tasks anyway.  When you're testing without proper requirement documents, do you ever have to go back to a developer or a stakeholder and ask how something is supposed to work or what result you should be expecting or where the data is supposed to be moving around?  That's BA work.  Think about how you can formalize that work, then start delivering it in that way.  Finally, measure the results of that work - did you uncover missed requirements, did you identify a business value that no one had considered, was your testing more productive?  Then you have a stronger argument for your boss.

 
New Post 1/3/2013 2:22 PM
User is offline ludasky
5 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: How to convince company we need a BA 

 Hi,

Thanks for the reply! appreciate it. Well the thing is we dont have a BA and so Im not sure how to standarlize it in our company? My boss did ask me to take on the PM role and see how i go but honestly thats jumping a bit high from a QA. 

This is how we go about testing, new functions added by the DEV, they have meetings with the PM. New functions added it goes to my QA manager, he has been here over 10 years so he knows exactly all the ins and outs of our internal tools. He would then do a quick verbal explaining what it has been added and look at wireframe on the new function. I sometimes have to go to the PM and ask is this suppsoe to happen ect...its frustrating but it seems how this company has been workig for years.

My boss did say he wants to give me what I like because he wants to keep me in the company, should i ask for proper BA training? If so which one should i go for? BABOK?

 
New Post 1/4/2013 6:10 AM
User is offline Jarett Hailes
155 posts
6th Level Poster




Re: How to convince company we need a BA 

Here is your first 'formal' BA task - develop a business case. In this case, you need to justify the reason for having business analysis activities standardized in your organization. Part or all of the solution may be to have a dedicated Business Analyst but there may be reasonable alternatives. Let's focus on defining the problem first.

You can start with identifying your performance measures: what activities are being performed right now that are impacted by haphazard business analysis? How much time do they take? In software development tasks such as function/feature specification, testing, and re-development due to missed or changing requirements are usually some activities that are impacted by BA processes.

Once you have these you can discuss how you think these areas can be improved with formal business analysis. Estimate how much time you think can be saved, either using some anecdotal evidence or some reasoned variance analysis. The goal is to demonstrate that by performing BA activities in a formal manner there is value to the organization (usually in time saved = cost avoidance/higher productivity). This presents the earning potential of your proposed change.

From there you need to look at options for improving BA activities. If you want to take on that role then you can just present this option, but you could look at other alternatives such as hiring a consultant to come in and develop a BA methodology that many team members will use, with no dedicated BA required. 

Then include the cost of investment for each option into the analysis. For the dedicated BA option if you feel you need BA training price out the cost of this training. Add in the cost of your time that you won't be doing your other assigned duties. You may also want to factor in going to BA conferences and/or other professional development time outside of the classroom. If you won't be performing QA anymore and/or there is a need to hire someone else to take over some or all of your QA duties include the cost of the new hire as well. Come up with a cost range for this and compare it to the anticipated benefits. If there's a net positive to the organization then you have a feasible business case.

Present your findings to your boss. If you have a solid business case it greatly increases the chances of getting what you want.

Good luck!

 
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