Whether you are a QA specialist introduced to a new colleague with the role of BizDevOps, or you join a company where BizDevOps is a standard just like traditional functions, you are likely curious about the role and its implications on your work.
This article is designed to provide clarity and insights into the responsibilities of BizDevOps professionals, explain how their role intersects with yours, and shed light on the potential impact of BizDevOps on QA work dynamics.
What does BizDevOps stand for?
According to Cisco AppDynamics, BizDevOps is an agile software development methodology that encourages greater communication and collaboration among business, development, and operations teams throughout the software development lifecycle.
BizDevOps is closely related to the DevOps approach, which focuses on breaking down silos between development and operations teams. However, BizDevOps takes it a step further by including the business side of an organization in this collaboration. Traditionally, these three teams have operated separately with their own goals and priorities. However, in today's fast-paced technological landscape, it has become critical for businesses to adopt a more integrated and agile approach.
BizDevOps brings together the business side of an organization with the development and operations teams, fostering innovation, efficiency, and collaboration. This leads to faster delivery of products or services to customers and increased satisfaction.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) goes so far as to say that DevOps (and BizDevOps as an evolution of DevOps) isn’t just for teams following an agile or continuous delivery lifecycle but is potentially applicable to any team following a lifecycle that supports incremental delivery. BizDevOps seeks to streamline the entire value stream, not just the IT part.
What are the main functions of BizDevOps?
Let’s look at some of the key functions to expect from BizDevOps:
- Strategy alignment: BizDevOps helps organizations align their strategy by promoting communication and collaboration between different teams. BizDevOps brings together development, operations, and business teams, so that everyone is on the same page with respect to project goals. This alignment ensures that all efforts focus on achieving the organization's overall strategy.
BizDevOps also enables continuous feedback and iteration, allowing teams to quickly adapt to market conditions and customer needs. This agility helps organizations stay aligned with their strategy by continuously finding ways to deliver value to customers through software applications.
- Cross-functional collaboration: Collaboration is at the heart of BizDevOps, as it brings together teams from different departments and disciplines to work towards a shared goal. BizDevOps encourages collaboration between different teams, such as sales, marketing, product development, operations and QA. It breaks down silos, fosters effective communication, leverages every team’s unique expertise and perspectives and enables teams to work together towards shared objectives. This results in faster decision-making, improved problem-solving, and better overall outcomes for the organization.
- Process optimization: BizDevOps focuses on streamlining and optimizing business processes. This involves analyzing and improving workflows, identifying bottlenecks, and implementing automation and technology solutions to enhance efficiency and productivity.
Further, automation plays a crucial role in BizDevOps, as it helps teams streamline processes, reduce human error, and increase efficiency. Automating tasks such as testing, code deployment, and infrastructure provisioning, allows teams to focus on delivering high-quality software faster. This also allows for better collaboration and efficiency between teams as everyone can access and use the same automated tools.
- Data-driven decision-making: BizDevOps promotes data-driven decision-making by utilizing metrics, analytics, and insights to assess performance. It emphasizes the collection and analysis of relevant data to inform strategic decisions and identify areas for improvement. This helps teams better understand the customer journey and develop solutions that are tailored to their customers’ needs.
- Continuous improvement: BizDevOps embraces the principles of continuous improvement and agile methodologies. It encourages iterative development and learning from experiences, allowing for adjustment as market conditions and business needs evolve. This leads to better products and services, more efficient processes, and ultimately higher customer satisfaction.
- Customer-centricity: BizDevOps not only improves organizational efficiency and collaboration but also emphasizes the importance of meeting customer needs and delivering value to them. Continuously gathering feedback from customers and incorporating it into development, operations, and business processes, organizations using the BizDevOps approach ensure that their products meet the needs and expectations of their target audience.
Importantly, BizDevOps encourages a mindset of customer empathy within teams. The BizDevOps model is designed to understand the end-user's perspective and incorporate it into development and delivery processes, so that teams can create solutions that truly address customers' pain points and deliver a superior user experience.
How does BizDevOps interact with QA?
BizDevOps collaborates and integrates with QA teams to ensure quality throughout the development and operational life cycle. Here are a few ways BizDevOps and QA teams interact:
- Early involvement in the development process: BizDevOps emphasizes the importance of integrating quality considerations from the beginning of the development process. This includes setting clear requirements, collaborating with stakeholders and examining user stories to ensure these are valid and relevant. QA teams actively participate in the planning and design phases, working closely with BizDevOps to define quality standards, testing strategies, and requirements. This early involvement helps identify potential issues and ensures that quality goals are aligned with business objectives.
- Continuous testing and feedback loops: BizDevOps promotes continuous integration and delivery, which requires continuous testing. QA teams collaborate closely with BizDevOps to design and implement automated testing frameworks, which enables them to test their software releases frequently and thoroughly. Feedback loops between BizDevOps and QA teams facilitate the identification and resolution of bugs, vulnerabilities, or any quality-related concerns in an iterative manner.
- Test environment management: BizDevOps and QA teams collaborate on managing test environments effectively. They work together to provision and maintain environments that accurately mirror the production environment, allowing comprehensive testing of software across different configurations. This collaboration ensures that QA teams have the necessary infrastructure and resources to conduct thorough testing and validation.
- Quality metrics and monitoring: BizDevOps and QA teams collaborate on defining and tracking relevant quality metrics to measure the performance of software releases. They use monitoring tools and techniques to continuously monitor the production environment, detect any quality issues or performance bottlenecks, and promptly address them.
- Continuous improvement and learning: Traditionally, QA is typically considered a separate function that comes into play towards the end of the development process. However, with BizDevOps, QA is integrated throughout the entire process, from design and development to deployment and beyond. This fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement, and enables a more proactive approach to identifying and addressing potential issues. Developers and QA professionals work together towards the same goal - delivering high-quality products that meet customer needs and expectations. This integration also leads to faster feedback loops, allowing for quicker identification and resolution of any issues that may arise.
Should BizDevOps importantly have a technical background?
Many testers might wonder if effective collaboration between BizDevOps and QA requires coding skills and a technical background from BizDevOps professionals. Let’s explore whether all BizDevOps professionals need programming knowledge and discuss the skills needed to excel in this role within IT companies.
BizDevOps professionals do not necessarily require deep programming knowledge or a technical background. While having programming skills is beneficial, the role of BizDevOps is more focused on bridging the gap between business and DevOps, driving collaboration, and ensuring strategic alignment. However, depending on the specific context, some level of technical understanding and familiarity with software development processes can be useful.
BizDevOps professionals typically have a skillset that combines business acumen, strategic thinking, communication skills, and an understanding of operational processes. Here are some desired skills and attributes for those in BizDevOps roles:
- Strategic Thinking: The ability to think strategically, identify opportunities, and translate high-level goals into actionable plans and processes.
- Business acumen: Knowledge of business principles such as marketing, finance, sales, and customer service.
- Communication Skills: The ability to articulate complex concepts in plain language - effective communication skills are essential for fostering cross-functional teamwork, aligning different stakeholders, and facilitating productive interactions between teams.
- Leadership and Collaboration: A willingness to work with stakeholders at all levels of the organization, lead cross-functional teams, and drive organizational change.
- Operational Knowledge: A basic understanding of operational processes, software development methodologies (such as Agile or DevOps), and IT infrastructure.
- Analytical Skills: An aptitude for data analysis and statistical reasoning, as well as an understanding of how data can be used to inform decisions.
- Adaptability and Flexibility: A willingness to adapt to changes in the industry landscape, technology, and customer needs - BizDevOps professionals should be adaptable to changing business requirements and capable of adjusting strategies and processes accordingly.
While programming knowledge is not a strict requirement, having a general understanding of coding concepts and technology trends can enhance the effectiveness of BizDevOps professionals. Additionally, collaborating closely with technical teams, including QA, developers, and operations, requires a certain level of technical fluency to facilitate effective communication and decision-making.
Ultimately, the specific skillset and requirements for BizDevOps professionals may vary depending on the organization, industry, and specific job responsibilities. It is important for individuals considering BizDevOps roles to evaluate the expectations of the specific companies they are interested in and continually develop their skills to meet the evolving demands of the role.
BizDevOps has become an essential role in tech companies. BizDevOps fosters collaboration and brings about synergy between previously siloed technical and customer-facing teams. The merging of business, development and operations roles has enabled companies to leverage their technical expertise to commercialize products effectively and develop solutions that align with the real needs of customers. The BizDevOps mindset is a game-changer for tech companies competing in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.