The Director, IT Quality Assurance is a high level, strategic role providing technical guidance and direction for the Testing Center of Excellence (TCOE) practice and oversight of QA engagements spanning multiple business portfolios and external vendors. Responsible for influencing QA policy decisions as they apply to the design, development, testing and delivery of application software and IT processes across the CNA Enterprise. Ensures that products, applications, and systems are built and maintained in a manner that consistently meets or exceed the quality standards expected by our customers and internal partners. Additionally, this role utilizes subject matter expertise to contribute to the ongoing evolution and roadmaps supporting the TCOE practice. Drive and take ownership of the horizontal projects and deliverables supporting TCOE. Directly engage and build collaborative relationships with internal partners and Quality Assurance vendor(s) to ensure TCOE best practices, benchmarks and quality governance standards are being consistently adhered to and delivered in a cost-effective fashion. This QA Leader will be a strong advocate and champion for "Shift Left" testing, optimized test automation, test data provisioning, CI/CD and Test Driven Development (TDD).
Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Performs a combination of duties in accordance with departmental guidelines:
* Engage with internal and external partners/vendors to advise, promote and measure adherence of TCOE best practices, policies, tooling, governance and reporting.
* Actively contribute and provide input and oversight into IT quality assurance strategy and decisions for supported areas and the broader TCOE practice. Stay informed on new and trending technology, tooling and practices supporting QA and associated practices.
* Actively participate in defining and implementing the TCOE Tooling & Practices Roadmap supporting functional and non-functional test automation frameworks, application life cycle, test data management, environment previsioning, defect tracking and quality metrics.
* Work with IT leadership to provide strategic Quality Assurance influence through advice and counsel on aspects of information technology affecting a business area, including needed application rationalization, future capabilities, governance & controls and needed changes to current systems.
* Participate in strategic planning of CNA's application roadmap representing Quality Assurance and Governance. Work with vendor partners supporting CNA's technology environment to ensure reliable, cost effective and optimized business operations and customer support
* Promote and facilitate expanded use of Automated Testing, Test Data Management, integrated testing supporting CI/CD and Test Driven Development (TDD) across supported areas.
* Ensure testing teams are consistently integrated into supported agile scrum teams and utilizing quality assurance principles, tooling and techniques that are appropriate to the supported platforms.
* Ensure effective administration of, and compliance with, all applicable CNA processes, procedures, and controls related to IT Quality Assurance through active monitoring, reporting and governance. Drive action on improvement priorities by summarizing trends identified, actions taken, and results defined by key metrics.
* Provides input into key decision-making activities with IT Leadership by advising on best practices and providing alternative solutions to complex issues during project execution as needed to ensure adequate quality and governance. Leads projects with moderate to large resource requirements, risk, and/or complexity in area of responsibility. Works independently with guidance in only the most complex situations.
* Facilitate financial reporting and the tracking of contractual obligations for ongoing support of QA/Testing vendors. Work with enterprise vendor management to help achieve detailed analyses to acquire favorable service level agreements and outcomes-based contracts with QA vendor partners.
May perform additional duties as assigned.
Typically reports to AVP or above.
Skills, Knowledge & Abilities
* Possesses multiple areas of specialization spanning software quality practices & principles, testing standards & best practices, integrated tooling, test case management, automated testing, test data management (TDM), testing governance and quality analytics. Possesses broad IT experience spanning development, testing and release management.
* Previous experience supporting an enterprise-wide, metrics driven quality governance practice. Possesses expertise and experience optimizing software testing and improving overall quality by embracing technology, tooling and analytics. History of promoting a "Shift Left" and "Automate First" culture and mindset.
* Previous experience driving Digital Transformation deliverables supporting a Testing Center of Excellence (TCOE) and spanning; Test Governance, Continuous Integration, Cloud Migration, Automated Testing, Test Management, Test Data Management.
* Extensive experience supporting large-scale, enterprise projects following both Agile (Scrum/Extreme) and Waterfall methodologies - yet promotes and advocates for Agile.
* Knowledgeable and current on technologies and tooling that support TCOE, integrated testing with CI/CD and Test Driven Development (TDD). Hands-on experience with Google Cloud and/or AWS a plus
* Solid experience supporting a broad spectrum of technologies, data platforms, development methodologies and infrastructure.
* Solid ability to influence and collaborate with CNA business and IT leadership to define service goals, objectives, and metrics through application of specialized knowledge of concepts, principles and practices in IT QA.
* Experience supporting and governing IT compliance, risk and SOX requirements.
* Strong interpersonal, presentation, verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to interact effectively with internal and external business partners at all levels.
* Has developed cross-team roadmaps and facilitated the planning through execution while monitoring progress and results against strategic goals.
* Acts as a thought leader in researching and presenting innovative ways to solve complex QA/Testing issues. Ability to think analytically, critically and creatively in an outcome-based model to identify viable options from conception to execution
* Excellent project management skills and ability to organize and plan effectively to meet project goals in an AGILE environment, working through multiple IT vendors across disciplines.
* Ability and experience collaborating with IT & Operations Strategy and Application Development teams to ensure needed business subject matter experts are in place for testing design, development and execution
* Proven ability to work well under pressure while maintaining a professional image and approach. Acts with a sense of urgency while achieving quality results and identifying and resolving problems and issues within the scope of responsibility.
Education & Experience
* Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or related work experience. Advanced degree preferred.
* Typically a minimum of ten years of Information Technology experience in IT Applications Development and Quality Assurance - preferably in the insurance industry.
* Experience working with IT vendor partners to get work done on schedule, with quality and within budget.
* IT Quality Assurance certifications preferred.
About CNA Financial
CNA Financial Corporation is an insurance holding company, which provides a variety of customers, including small, medium and large businesses, associations, professionals, and individuals with a range of insurance and risk management products and services.