What is the secret of successfully delivering IT projects? Some would say that the team of mature developers skilled and experienced in technology stock is a key factor. They may be right. However, software development is not the coding alone, as even the world-class team isn’t self-driven, and simply needs a proper backlog and skillful management.
When embarking on a new project – whether it’s building a new system or integrating/optimizing an existing one – it’s good to know exactly how to implement each business requirement. Today I share some tips on how to get the key functionalities of a digital product right from the Business Analysts point of view. Learn the practices that will ensure you don’t burn through your budget going in circles, and constantly revisiting seemingly completed steps!
Forget about the existing system, but also always keep it in mind
Organizations often need to upgrade their support systems, and this presents a great chance to start fresh as if the company has never had a similar system in place before. Why does it make sense? It’s common to encounter situations where a new system under development simply replicates the flaws and processes of its predecessor, essentially providing only a more modern and aesthetically pleasing user interface. Since the introduction of the old solution, the company has been evolving, so have processes, and possibly even the core product. On the other hand, it’s not worth abandoning the old system completely. Instead, take the opportunity to have a critical look at it and consider which functionalities are unnecessary, which are too complicated or elaborate, and which are missing. Use those insights to make your new system better.
Balancing Clarity and Complexity in System Development
Quite often, the decision to purchase a new solution comes before a solid answer to the question of the product’s primary purpose. If you’re unsure about what the system should support, start by identifying one or more of the functions. This initial description doesn’t need to be highly detailed, as long as it’s understandable and leaves no room for confusion. It’s also beneficial to define what the system shouldn’t do, as this helps prevent the digital product from becoming overly complex during development.
Revisit Critical Requirements
Before you start the software development phase, once again look closely at the critical requirements. If you don’t have enough knowledge of some particular business area, don’t be afraid to challenge your own conclusions.
Ask yourself some questions like:
- Why is this function necessary?
- Is it possible to design it more simply?
- Does another internal system serve the same function?
Identify Redundant Processes
People naturally develop their own habits. Those can sometimes lead to business requirements including functions or processes that may seem necessary while in fact, they are not.
For instance, new systems can end up performing unnecessary tasks, such as:
- collecting data that has become redundant as a result of regulatory changes.
- implementing a business process based on an out-of-date company’s structure (for example, two consecutive process steps may be merged into one as a result of a merger of company units or positions).
Finally, sometimes – especially in enterprises – a significant amount of time passes between collecting requirements and the project’s start. During this time, software with the defined functionality may have already been developed or is in parallel development. In such cases, it’s valuable to assess if you can reduce the project’s scope.
Feel inspired? These are just the basic elements that can greatly increase the chances that the new system will meet real business needs. You can apply those and more to every project, including optimizing, integrating, and orchestrating existing systems. If you have a business need related to streamlining a software development process in your company, contact us to schedule a consultation with our subject matter experts. We have you covered!