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The Role of a BA in a Vendor Software Solution

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1 The Role of a BA in a Vendor Software Solution
MLS - Slide Welcome & Thank You for Attending Genesis of Presentation Glenn Brule Presentation Conversations after Presentation with colleagues and other IIBA members Enterprise Software Implementation Vendor Solution 2 Sides – Client\Vendor – Popular format at Insurity User Groups Learning Point Presentation – Sharon Ashton (Chubb Insurance, President of the IIBA Chapter, & Favorite Client) Want the Presentation to Highlight\Stress two important Ideas\Themes 2009 Hartford IIBA Chapter Theme - BA as Informal Leader BA as Strategic Family – Recognize aspects of the BA role that stress the significant impact that BA’s have on Enterprise Software Solutions Vendor\Client Perspective Sharon Ashton Mathew Stordy

2 Agenda Review Goals & Objectives Technology Decision & Purchase
RFI/RFP Contracts/SLAs Building a Solution Requirements Design/Build Test/Train/Deploy Steady State Lessons Learned & Perspectives MLS - Slide

3 Goals & Objectives Share our experiences from two perspectives, as a Client BA and as a Vendor BA, in case study format To review the unique aspects of the BA role within Client organizations Vendor organizations Review an enterprise software implementation Recognize the current and strategic role of the BA Lessons Learned – How can we “do this better?” MLS - Slide

4 So you need to choose a technology?
What is your Business Case? Assessing your key Business drivers Addressing Business Process improvements and/or efficiencies Technology refresh drivers Ultimately, need to decide buy, build or modify existing Determine your ROI - provide cost estimates Consider exit strategy Sharon Slide

5 So you need to choose a technology?
You decide to buy new…. Documenting your requirements Identifying vendors Sending out your RFI (Request of Information) Reviewing and determining your “short list” Sending our your RFP (Request for Proposal) Sharon Slide

6 You’ve decided to Purchase
The Client BA creates an RFI to assess: Experience level and depth of knowledge of potential vendors . . . Credibility is key Product capabilities and alignment with the business case Software development processes, procedures and tools Quality checkpoints and testing approach The Client BA helps assess the resulting RFP’s Key role in business functionality traceability May be asked for input into contractual questions, service level metrics, etc Sharon Slide

7 Vendor BA – Selection Support
Formal Roles RFI/RFP process Demo and Evaluation phase Sales support Implied Roles Provide clarity around organization goals or problem statements Identify a viable solution Assessing the risk associated with a prospective sale Address the diverse questions\concerns raised during the sales process MLS – Slide Formal RFI/RFP – Decipher a document; riddled with a unique vocabulary; often not being allowed to ask clarifying questions. Demo/Evaluation – Two Types of BA’s – Generalist vs. Expert Sales Support - Often a Client\Carrier Team reviewing a vendor is to large for a single Sales Executive to address – a competent team is key! Implied Clarify the Problem – Goals\Objectives in a common language Does a solution need to exist – 80\20 rule? There are hidden costs to support the 20. Viable Solution is often not readily available. Often it’s the Vendor BA who is in the unique position, given their business and technical acumen, to provide credibility for an organization to understand a problem and provide a viable solution (with a given story). Vendor BA’s are critical when assessing the risk associated with a prospective sale. Dorrie Feedback – Vendor BA needs to demonstrate both product knowledge as well as industry knowledge. A great BA knows the client’s business not just from a systems perspective, but has walked in the customer’s shoes, and therefore will bridge the gap between product functionality and client business needs most effectively. When dealing with complex business functionality, it’s critical to understand the problem to be solved from both the client and systems perspectives. The other advice I’d give is to spend the time up front (pre-contract) to get into sufficient detail to ensure both organizations understand what they are signing up for and that expectations are aligned early on. Both organizations need to fully understand and commit to resources, functionality (i.e. requirements), timelines and costs.

8 Client BA: Contracts and SLA’s
Area’s to watch Cost estimations Business Capabilities Managing the customer’s expectations Communication Plan Items Relationship Meetings Operational meetings Problem and enhancement protocols SLA’s Validating metrics on quality and timeliness Sharon Slide Dorrie Feedback – Vendor BA perspective: SLA and Contract involvement…..Costing involvement ????? (Ensuring that the client has the right BA skillsets to dedicate to the project, and that the BA’s on the project have decision making power, is critical to any successful project. Vendor BA should validate that the contract scope accurately reflects the project scope that has been determined. SLA’s tend to be more production focused; however, if there are SLA’s tied to development then the Vendor BA should review and validate they are achievable.

9 The SDLC (System Development Life Cycle)
The Project Charter Communication Plans Roles and Responsibilities CMMI certifications etc. PMO’s Vendor BA perspective…..every client brings a different view of the SDLC, the vendor has to be flexible….The joint team needs to look at the project and must agree to a process that works for all Sharon Slide

10 Requirements: Client v. Vendor View
Eliciting Requirements – Access to Stakeholders Client – Primary Access Vendor – Secondary Access Usually through Client BA, Project Manager, or project sponsor Sharon Slide

11 Requirements: Client & Vendor View
Documenting Requirements Key Terms and Definitions must be agreed to early on Sign off from key stakeholders critical Use common business language Be comprehensive Sharon Slide

12 Requirements: Client v. Vendor View
Sign-Off is used to finalize & clearly define scope Client responsibility Ensure the needs of the organization are met Within budget and on time Vendor responsibility Ensure the needs of the client organization are met Protect the interests of the vendor organization Joint inspections & walkthroughs are critical Sharon Slide MLS – Ending Notes Competing Requirements - e.g. streamlining data entry with increased data granularity for reporting purposes; speed to market with overly complex business and processing rules.  They need to be identified and resolved Not all requirements are created equal! Recognizing the impact that requirements have on future operations, financials, etc…. Requirements can have an adverse impact on the business. For each requirement, identifying who submitted the requirement and validating with the stakeholders whether it’s a valid requirement.

13 Vendor BA: Design When designing and\or collaborating on a new software solution, the vendor BA must consider the following: Meeting the needs of the client\solution Development Costs Future Market Potential Future Maintenance Costs MLS Slide While many vendors are able to implement solutions that meet a clients requirements through standard configuration, often a solution will require additional software development. This phase of the project, highlights the strategic role of the BA in a vendor organization when considering the impact to client relationships, expenses, and future revenue.

14 Client BA: Design Recognize the strategic role your software plays in the business plan and technology portfolio Understand scale You must get into their “story/business” Sharon Slide While many vendors are able to implement solutions that meet a clients requirements through standard configuration, often a solution will require additional software development.

15 Vendor BA: Build Provide continuing (daily) support to the Dev Team
Identify and escalate any misalignment in: Solution direction Resources alignment Implement and coordinate configuration changes Unit Testing support MLS Slide Daily support is key (when possible)! Opportunity to appreciate\understand development Opportunity to expedite development process Identify & Escalate Misalignment Configurtation Changes Unit Testing support Validate of Requirements\Design Project Assessment\Risk Mitigation

16 Client BA: Test Functional Testing Integration Testing
Data Profiling and its importance Test Strategies, Test Plans, Testing Matrices Test cases Timing of artifacts (test plan, test matrix, etc…) Issues regarding allocation of resources Integration Testing Integrated with every corporate system User Acceptance Testing Alignment with “book” Performance Testing Sharon Slide

17 BAs Joint: Test Automated Testing Tools Perimeter environments
Synchronizing vendor and client frameworks Sharing of test scripts Perimeter environments Interface concerns Sharon Slide

18 Training Vendor Client Joint Typical role is to train the trainer.
Typically primary trainer Needs to be cognizant of implementation goals\objects Must leverage client organization’s investment Joint Manage end user perceptions Documentation Delivery Demos, WebEx CBT’s Manuals/User guides Sharon Slide “Companies invest millions in systems that are intended to give them a competitive advantage. To ensure these systems are leveraged as intended, training is critical.”

19 Deployment The BA is a key expert in all the above decisions
Performance Test Execute upon predetermined “roll out schedule Will you roll out all at once? Will you consider a pilot and if so…what locations? Will your roll out be date driven? What about data conversions? The BA is a key expert in all the above decisions Sharon Slide Performance Test (using your metrics) Execute upon predetermined “roll out schedule”…which was proposed earlier during technical requirements

20 Client BA & Vendor BA in Steady State
Concerns A new team? What will be our “day to day” roles? Enhancements How do I keep my documentation up to date? Communication Types / “Rhythms” Weekly Meetings - Tactical Quarterly Operational Meetings Yearly Strategic Relationship Meetings User Groups Advisory Councils Sharon Slide

21 How can we do this Better?
Create a WIN-WIN atmosphere Create a common vocabulary Align Products and Services Ensure teams compliment each other Communicate Often MLS Slide Create a WIN-WIN atmosphere - the relationship needs to allow both parties to win. When one party takes advantage of another, it jeopardizes a healthy working relationship. Language - early in the relationship a common vocabulary must be established. Words often have different meanings within an organization\company. A common language allows both parties to share the same assumptions and mitigate risk. Product\Services Alignment - it's important that the vendor's products\services truly align with the needs of the organization. Don't try to fit a 'square peg in a round hole'. Complimentary Teams - Both teams need to compliment each other - work style, communication style, etc.... When teams are organized, consideration must be given to the other side as well. Communication - Regular communication is a must. Meetings & Conference Calls should be documented. Strategic meetings are a must to make sure that both parties continue to align - where is each company going (future market, strategic initiatives, etc...)

22 Patricia Shea Executive Vice President and CIO SPARTA Insurance
“The Business Analyst function is critical to the success of any systems implementation. Their ability to understand the business process and systems design creates a more efficient process and improves the communication within the project.” Patricia Shea Executive Vice President and CIO SPARTA Insurance 22

23 Todd Ellis CIO Chubb Commercial Insurance
“Many companies elect to strategically source or purchase systems/solutions from software vendors to address critical business needs. To ensure the needs of the business are truly met and mitigate project and financial risk, these companies rely heavily on the role of the Business Analyst.” Todd Ellis CIO Chubb Commercial Insurance

24 David Pedersen President of Insurity
“Replacing core systems within an insurance company can be compared to open Heart surgery, whereas consequences for getting it wrong can be devastating. The BA plays a significant role in ensuring the project's success helping the company realize the desired benefits: efficiencies, scale and/or improving customer service. Vendor BAs have the benefit of participating in multiple projects every year and can bring significant experience to any engagement. The quality of that BA to BA interaction between carrier and vendor corresponds directly into the quality and effectiveness of the project. Insurity considers the BA a significant and strategic role which drives our ultimate success as a trusted partner to our customers.” David Pedersen President of Insurity

25 John Pettit President of Adaptik
“BA's are our most valuable form of risk management for a project. Their natural analytical capabilities, vast domain expertise and rich experience conducting multiple software implementations enables them to very quickly ascertain the key project risk factors that will be impediments to the project’s success. They recognize customer staffing/skill gaps, missing requirements, and unrealistic implementation time expectations, as well as issues related to our ability to execute our tasks within the project. This allows us to engage the customer in discussions regarding the projects potential risks early in the project avoiding costly mistakes.” John Pettit President of Adaptik

26 Discussion Q & A

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