Presentation on theme: "The Role of a BA in a Vendor Software Solution"— Presentation transcript:
1The Role of a BA in a Vendor Software Solution MLS - SlideWelcome & Thank You for AttendingGenesis of PresentationGlenn Brule PresentationConversations after Presentation with colleagues and other IIBA membersEnterprise Software ImplementationVendor Solution2 Sides – Client\Vendor – Popular format at Insurity User GroupsLearning Point Presentation – Sharon Ashton (Chubb Insurance, President of the IIBA Chapter, & Favorite Client)Want the Presentation to Highlight\Stress two important Ideas\Themes2009 Hartford IIBA Chapter Theme - BA as Informal LeaderBA as Strategic Family – Recognize aspects of the BA role that stress the significant impact that BA’s have on Enterprise Software Solutions Vendor\Client PerspectiveSharon Ashton Mathew Stordy
3Goals & ObjectivesShare our experiences from two perspectives, as a Client BA and as a Vendor BA, in case study formatTo review the unique aspects of the BA role withinClient organizationsVendor organizationsReview an enterprise software implementationRecognize the current and strategic role of the BALessons Learned – How can we “do this better?”MLS - Slide
4So you need to choose a technology? What is your Business Case?Assessing your key Business driversAddressing Business Process improvements and/or efficienciesTechnology refresh driversUltimately, need to decide buy, build or modify existingDetermine your ROI - provide cost estimatesConsider exit strategySharon Slide
5So you need to choose a technology? You decide to buy new….Documenting your requirementsIdentifying vendorsSending out your RFI (Request of Information)Reviewing and determining your “short list”Sending our your RFP (Request for Proposal)Sharon Slide
6You’ve decided to Purchase The Client BA creates an RFI to assess:Experience level and depth of knowledge of potential vendors. . . Credibility is keyProduct capabilities and alignment with the business caseSoftware development processes, procedures and toolsQuality checkpoints and testing approachThe Client BA helps assess the resulting RFP’sKey role in business functionality traceabilityMay be asked for input into contractual questions, service level metrics, etcSharon Slide
7Vendor BA – Selection Support Formal RolesRFI/RFP processDemo and Evaluation phaseSales supportImplied RolesProvide clarity around organization goals or problem statementsIdentify a viable solutionAssessing the risk associated with a prospective saleAddress the diverse questions\concerns raised during the sales processMLS – SlideFormalRFI/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. ExpertSales Support - Often a Client\Carrier Team reviewing a vendor is to large for a single Sales Executive to address – a competent team is key!ImpliedClarify the Problem – Goals\Objectives in a common languageDoes 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.
8Client BA: Contracts and SLA’s Area’s to watchCost estimationsBusiness CapabilitiesManaging the customer’s expectationsCommunication Plan ItemsRelationship MeetingsOperational meetingsProblem and enhancement protocolsSLA’sValidating metrics on quality and timelinessSharon SlideDorrie 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.
9The SDLC (System Development Life Cycle) The Project CharterCommunication PlansRoles and ResponsibilitiesCMMI certifications etc.PMO’sVendor BA perspective…..every client brings a differentview of the SDLC, the vendor has to be flexible….The jointteam needs to look at the project and must agree to aprocess that works for allSharon Slide
10Requirements: Client v. Vendor View Eliciting Requirements – Access to StakeholdersClient – Primary AccessVendor – Secondary AccessUsually through Client BA, Project Manager, or projectsponsorSharon Slide
11Requirements: Client & Vendor View Documenting RequirementsKey Terms and Definitions must be agreed to early onSign off from key stakeholders criticalUse common business languageBe comprehensiveSharon Slide
12Requirements: Client v. Vendor View Sign-Off is used to finalize & clearly define scopeClient responsibilityEnsure the needs of the organization are metWithin budget and on timeVendor responsibilityEnsure the needs of the client organization are metProtect the interests of the vendor organizationJoint inspections & walkthroughs are criticalSharon SlideMLS – Ending NotesCompeting 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 resolvedNot 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.
13Vendor BA: DesignWhen designing and\or collaborating on a new softwaresolution, the vendor BA must consider the following:Meeting the needs of the client\solutionDevelopment CostsFuture Market PotentialFuture Maintenance CostsMLS SlideWhile 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.
14Client BA: DesignRecognize the strategic role your software plays in the business plan and technology portfolioUnderstand scaleYou must get into their “story/business”Sharon SlideWhile many vendors are able to implement solutions that meet a clients requirements through standard configuration, often a solution will require additional software development.
15Vendor BA: Build Provide continuing (daily) support to the Dev Team Identify and escalate any misalignment in:Solution directionResources alignmentImplement and coordinate configuration changesUnit Testing supportMLS SlideDaily support is key (when possible)!Opportunity to appreciate\understand developmentOpportunity to expedite development processIdentify & Escalate MisalignmentConfigurtation ChangesUnit Testing supportValidate of Requirements\DesignProject Assessment\Risk Mitigation
16Client BA: Test Functional Testing Integration Testing Data Profiling and its importanceTest Strategies, Test Plans, Testing MatricesTest casesTiming of artifacts (test plan, test matrix, etc…)Issues regarding allocation of resourcesIntegration TestingIntegrated with every corporate systemUser Acceptance TestingAlignment with “book”Performance TestingSharon Slide
17BAs Joint: Test Automated Testing Tools Perimeter environments Synchronizing vendor and client frameworksSharing of test scriptsPerimeter environmentsInterface concernsSharon Slide
18Training Vendor Client Joint Typical role is to train the trainer. Typically primary trainerNeeds to be cognizant of implementation goals\objectsMust leverage client organization’s investmentJointManage end user perceptionsDocumentationDeliveryDemos, WebExCBT’sManuals/User guidesSharon 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.”
19Deployment The BA is a key expert in all the above decisions Performance TestExecute upon predetermined “roll out scheduleWill 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 decisionsSharon SlidePerformance Test (using your metrics)Execute upon predetermined “roll out schedule”…which was proposed earlier during technical requirements
20Client BA & Vendor BA in Steady State ConcernsA new team?What will be our “day to day” roles?EnhancementsHow do I keep my documentation up to date?Communication Types / “Rhythms”Weekly Meetings - TacticalQuarterly Operational MeetingsYearly Strategic Relationship MeetingsUser GroupsAdvisory CouncilsSharon Slide
21How can we do this Better? Create a WIN-WIN atmosphereCreate a common vocabularyAlign Products and ServicesEnsure teams compliment each otherCommunicate OftenMLS SlideCreate 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...)
22Patricia 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 SheaExecutive Vice President and CIO SPARTA Insurance22
23Todd 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 EllisCIO Chubb Commercial Insurance
24David 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 PedersenPresident of Insurity
25John 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 PettitPresident of Adaptik