6 Important Steps to Shift Career from QA /Tester to BA / Business Analyst

Why Business Analyst or BA is one of the best option to go for. What are the skills required for BA. responsibilities of BA and what are those 6 steps you should follow to become successful Business Analyst.

I have a friend who is having 5 years of experience in Manual Testing. Has very good knowledge of testing concepts and QA. He is working in Banking domain since beginning in reputed MNC. But now saturated with writing test cases (TCs), Execution and same testing process. He has reached to the peak point of Domain Knowledge and Testing that he is not finding it challenging it anymore (at least as per him 🙂 ). As he is not interested in people management, didn’t accept Lead or Manager role.

Now he feels need to upgrade his skills and profile. Not able to take right decision.

This is happening with most of the testing folks now a days. If you are into manual testing more than 6 years, its high time to upgrade yourself. Many are going for Automation and ETL or Data Warehouse (DWH) testing.

Both are good options and in demand and have scope. But both the options have its pro and cons.

Automation Testing :

Pros:

  1. Its much in demand so added advantage for manual testers.
  2. Easy for tester to switch into automation.

Cons:

  1. Need to learn automation tools which mostly require programming knowledge.
  2. Not all the companies prefer automation.

ETL / DWH Testing:

Pros:

  1. Easy to move if have knowledge of DB Concepts and Queries
  2. Comparatively easy than Automation

Cons:

  1. Need to learn ETL tools.
  2. Only big companies go for ETL / Data Warehouse testing.
  3. Reports testing might be challenging for many as need through knowledge of Data model and queries.
  4. DWH testing might be quiet boring for some, as no User Interface is involved here.

Apart from above options, BA can also be a very good choice for QAs to shift their career. BA is certainly high paying and so called High Profile job than Manual Tester.

Lets see what are the responsibilities of Business Analyst and Skills needed for that. And How QAs have advantage to play that role.

Responsibilities of Business Analyst :

  • Interact with Client to understand the business requirements
  • Analyze the requirements
  • Prepare business requirement document.
  • Work closely with developments team to check feasibility of requirements
  • Have TCs review with Testing team.
  • Give demo to client of application POC.
  • Work with Client for UAT.

Skills required for BA :

  • Excellent Domain knowledge.
  • Good Communication skills.
  • Expertise in MS Word and Excel

How to shift career successfully from QA to BA :

1. Improve your Communication skill:

Key to any role is communication, but for Business analyst it is one of the crucial factor.

Communication includes Written as well as Oral communication. So when stepping into BA’s role, you need to work on your verbal and written communication skills.

Written Communication :

No grammatical mistake.

Learn Mailing etiquettes.

Spell check contents properly

Oral Communication :

Develop ability to explain the concepts in simple words.

You should be very clear about the requirement and no confusion.

2. Gain Domain knowledge:

Be the master in your domain or Product.

Focus on end to end business process.

Get all your concepts cleared and have clarity of all the requirements.

3. Observe BAs and assist in current project :

I will suggest, before making a direct move from QA to BA, first work with the Business analysts in your current project.

Help them in preparing BRD or any other documentation required. Ask questions. Get all your doubts cleared.

Observer him/ her closely how they are working, the way they handle clients. The way they explain things. Ask them to invite you for any presentation or meeting they are going to attend.

Ask them to involve you in all client communication emails.

Tip :

Divide their workload, so they will be more happy to help you. This will give you practical knowledge and provide rich experience as BA

4. Talk to your Project Manager :

Have a word with your PM regarding your aspirations. You can discuss it in your appraisal meetings. He is the one who can give you your first chance in your organization which is a big milestone.

If not in your current project, he might be aware of requirements in other projects. You can give the interview there and grab the opportunity.

Tips:

If you are critical Qa resource for your project, show him readiness to work 50% as BA and 50% QA.

Also try to work in a project where there is a team of BAs. Avoid working as a solo BA on your first assignment.

5. Do Certification / MBA :

If you are not confident about domain / product, you can check internal certifications offered by companies. Most of the MNCs provide Learning Materials, Online or Classroom trainings for acquiring Domain knowledge. At the end of the course / training they will conduct exam and offer certification. Please take advantage of that.

Else go for MBA (full time / part time) and gain appropriate knowledge. But again its matter of choice.

Tip : You can check external certifications which are widely recognized.

6. Change company to apply for BA :

If you don’t get a chance in your currect company, then hard luck! As you will have to struggle little more to prove yourself as a BA. But again if you have knowledge and skills, you can cross this hurdle easily.

Tips:

Check BA opportunities through reference, so less competition will be there than walk-in.

You can settle down for little less salary than industry standards to grab opportunity first time.

Conclusion :

First decide if you want to shift career.

Work on your basic communication skills.

Take time to study your domain or product.

Put some extra efforts apart from your QA tasks to work with BAs.

And you are good to go !

Hope you find this article helpful. Please write us in comment if you have any other views / opinions / tips or story to share.

All the Best !


Originally published at www.opencodez.com on August 5, 2017.