Project Management

This Is Not A Test

David Wright

Should testing be part of a business analyst’s job description? No — BAs should be focused on defining requirements, which belong to the business sponsor and staff who need them met in order to be successful. Testing the solution or enhancement that results from those requirements is a very different skillset.

There are a lot of opinions on just what a business analyst is and does, but I will start with the principle that the core skills and value-add of a business analyst is in the area of requirements — working with subject matter experts to elicit, analyze and document requirements for systems development, or other efforts.


Then there is testing. My first thought is of other business analysts I have met who insisted that testing was part of the job, saying something like “you do the requirements, then you test them.” When I met people who could not be swayed from this, I usually parted their company by saying “I hope you are getting two salaries.”


What this state of affairs implies is that, as the business analyst, I was responsible for getting the requirements defined, and that makes them my requirements — I own them. Not so: the requirements belong to the business sponsor and staff who need these requirements met in order to be successful. Even if I stay through the whole of a project to implementation…

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