If you’re currently in Quality Assurance (QA) and you’ve been thinking about making the switch into a BA role, this video is for you.
In this video, I talk about the one massive advantage a software tester has as a QA analyst over almost any other profession in making that switch to a business analyst.
Transitioning from Quality Assurance to Business Analyst
1. In this video, I’m going to talk about the one massive advantage that QA people have all over almost any other profession in making the switch from QA to BA.
2. Number two, I’m going to offer you a pointer that can help you to get started in making the transition.
QA’s Massive Advantage
Let’s first talk about the advantages that you have as a QA person.
Quality assurance testers are one of the main recipients of what a BA produces. For all of the requirements and specifications that a BA is expected to produce, one of the main audiences there is the QA team.
Basically what a Business Analyst is trying to do is they’re looking at the business need and then they’re trying to figure out what developers need to understand and they’re trying to understand what QA people need to understand and they factor all of that into their (requirements and specifications) documents.
As a QA person, you have a massive advantage just because of the nature of your work because just think about it. As a QA person, you have to understand what a BA produces inside out in order to do your own job.
If I produce requirements and specifications, the QA person on the team has to understand line by line what’s written in those documents so that they can build their test scripts and they can execute their test scripts and in order to do that a lot of QA folks help to uncover requirements as part of doing that right. So they’ll you know they’ll run into a situation where they say well what about this test case and we think oh we didn’t provide any clarity there we got to go back to the business or talk to I.T. to figure out what that looks like.
Just because of the nature of the position that you’re in as part of the project lifecycle, you have a massive advantage over even a lot of developers in making that transition right.
Your Other Advantage As A QA Tester
The other reason that QA people have a big leg up is because of the fact that as you’re testing the system you start to learn how enterprise systems actually function and how the guts of how an enterprise system actually works. How all the different components are broken apart and how they all fit together because you have to understand that stuff if you’re going to be testing that product.
Those two major advantages are what make Q.A. people perfect candidates for B.A. roles.
So if you’re somebody who’s in Quality Assurance and you’ve been thinking or you’ve been trying to figure out whether you’d make a good fit for a B.A. role, you should understand that you already have a massive advantage over many other professions out there, a huge advantage because of the nature of your work.
Are You Willing To Do What’s Necessary?
The questions that you have to answer for yourself now are you willing to go through the training and the work and the effort that it takes to actually learn how to produce the big deliverables.
So as a QA person, you understand what the deliverables are inside out.
Now you have to make that shift into figuring out what are the steps that I need to take to actually produce this now.
It’s a bit of a different ballgame to produce those things (requirements and specifications) than it is to understand them.
If you’re in that role right now and you’re considering it, I understand that you have an advantage and understand that you’re probably going to take a lot less effort for you to make that switch than it would for almost any other profession.
Pointers for Full-Time Employees
Now if you’re a full-time permanent employee I’ll offer you some advice on how you can get started.
The one thing that you should do right away is to express your interest to your manager.
This is important because when you’re management is looking to see how they can fill a role a lot of times they’ll look internally in their own organization
because management would much rather hire somebody who has the experience of the company culture and a person especially if the person understands the ins and outs of the systems that way people understand.
Management is much more motivated to be able to make that switch. All they have to do is they have to really kind of figure out how to make the resourcing work.
Frame Your Interest The Right Way
If it’s the B.A. manager that’s hiring for the B.A. role but you’re reporting up to a Q.A. manager then that’s really the only challenge. The B.A. manager and the Q.A. manager have to kind of see eye to eye and they have to understand what’s best for the company in terms of resourcing in order to get you into that position.
If you don’t take that step of expressing your interest to your own manager about being in a B.A. role those opportunities are very very unlikely.
One of the things that management is looking for when they’re hiring somebody is not just the ability to do a job, they’re looking to see whether this person actually has the drive and motivation, right.
Frame It Like This: Go to your manager and say “look I feel like I’m being underutilized. I feel like I can add more to this company overall if I get into a bigger role”.
If you frame it in that way your manager already understands, it’s implicit in what you’ve just said that you’re willing to put in the work to make that transition happen. Right.
So if your BA or QA manager has five QA folks to pick from, What are they going to look for? They’re going to say ask themselves “Does this person have the ability to do that work first of all”. And if the answer to that is yes and for most people, the answer is yes, the next question they have to ask themselves is “is this person going to put in the work that it’s going to take to be able to make that transition happen?” Right.
Are they putting you in a position that you don’t really want to be in and that you’re not going to put in a lot of extra effort into making that transition happen if you go to your manager and you express your interest and say look you know in the long run that’s the role that I’d like to be in. And you’re totally clear about your intentions.
That can potentially give you a bit of a leg up again in terms of being selected to fill that role. Right.
Because again when managers are looking they’re going to be thinking to themselves well this person already as interested in that role I know they have the ability to do it. And because of the fact that they’re willing to make the switch they have already decided that they’re going to put in the work to make that transition happen and voilà you’re the perfect candidate for the next big role that opens up inside your organization. Right.
So express your interest the right way.
The Caveat: Don’t Set Off Any Red Flags
Now the one caveat that I’ll add to that is that you have to feel out in your own specific situation the political dynamics of the situation.
If there are certain red flags that you think would get you in trouble in expressing that interest, you should maybe hold off a little bit but that is very specific from organization to organization.
Generally speaking, if you express your interest in a certain thing you’re not going to be punished for that. The only case where you wouldn’t be punished is if you just started a Q.A. role and now you’re already looking for the next step up. That might be a bit of a red flag to say that this person was never really interested in Q.A. in the first place.
But if you’ve been in a Q.A. role and you’ve gone through and you’ve understood everything, you’ve done a lot of projects and you’ve understood the systems and you understand exactly what a B.A. is normally expected to produce, you’re the perfect person to put into that B.A. role as long as you’re willing to put in the work.
So that’s the advice that I would give to you if you’re a Q.A. person that is looking to make that switch.