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Gathering Business Requirements for Savvion

Submitted by sanjiv on Tue, 2011-05-24 16:27

Business Process level understanding is critical for IT Developers because , unlike other projects of developments, Savvion developer is also involved in Requirement gathering.
This is a boon in disguise. The world of programmers and business analysts, as two separate worlds, is rapidly vanishing. As the software industry is maturing, this distinction is slowly becoming irrelevant. Either the BA is becoming a developer, such as what is happening in ERP world, or the developer is becoming more of a BA , such as what is happening in BI and BPM world. If you are already a Savvion developer, here is a chance for you to move into Business Domain understanding.
While gathering business requirements for Savvion, you are gathering requirements at three layers:

  • Layer I: Pre-process -1000 feet above
  • Layer II: Process Level Data-Zero feet
  • Layer III: Deeper Process Data- Deeper dive below Zero feet

It is important for developer to work with all the three layers due to two reasons. Most of the time, a developer starts working at Layer III, ignoring the upper two layers. If a developer does this, he will miss lot of requirements . And as the user requirements will not be met, the user will demand rework. And unlike other developments, a developer cannot refuse this rework, as BPM tool is touted as 'user-friendly' development tool.
Secondly, even the companies process maturity is not adequate to use a BPM tool like Savvion. A business user often does not has enough information about his processes, or the information is not captured in a document. Due to lower process maturity of a company, it is important to ask questions at all three layers. If those questions are not asked, requirements are again missed, and as customer is the king, the developer again faces lot of dissatisfaction or faces lot of rework. In both cases, he loses.
Layer I: Pre-process – The 1000 Feet Perspective
 In this layer, ask following questions to the business user ( we are using leave process as an example to help you understand:

  • Purpose of the process ( for instance, what is the purpose of automating 'leave process'?)
  • Context of the process ( How is timesheet attendance system linked with leave process, for instance)
  • In scope items ( does it include all the type of leaves, and all offices in and outside india)
  • Out of scope items ( Is leave process linked with 'Payroll' when the leave is unauthorised)
  • Flexibility required to accommodate changes at policy level ( If policy changes happen on leave, should the process accommodate those changes?)
  • Roles of stakeholders involved in the process ( who are involved in the process – is it HR, Admin, Accounts, Employee, Employee's boss)

Important Takeaways

  • Never rush to Layer III of process information gathering, even when client is forcing.
  • Even if the client forces you to move to Layer III, ask him Layer I information later to fill the gaps
  • It has been observed that this information gap becomes critical later.

Layer II: Process Level Data – Zero Feet Perspective

Once the Layer I questions are answered, following clarifications about the new process will help you understand the process workflow better:

Sanjiv Bhamre
Careerologist & BPM Consultant Working closely with businesses for strategic process consulting.
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