I was given the task of working on a project that was commissioned by the director in charge of the business. The objective was to determine the reasons why users weren’t using a particular software that was put in place to allow access to customer information to manage mortgage arrears. The product delivered was a report on the findings and suggestions. As a skilled and knowledgeable project manager (PM) as well as a Business Analyst (BA), I began to ask questions to clarify the issue. The problem is classified as follows:
Top Management’s Responses to My Question
1. The company spent a substantial amount of money to install the system, and they did not want to see that money “wasted.”
2. More customers were in default on mortgage payments within three months of receiving mortgage payments
3. Users were viewed as having insufficient knowledge of the system
User responses to my Questions
1. It is difficult to access real-time data
2. The software system may be malfunctioning.
3. The system produced incorrect information and was subsequently transmitted to customers
4. The customers were angry and unsatisfied.
5. Risk of losing customers
Users opted out of the software for managing debt and switched to the primary system, which provided the correct data. The former incorporated information from the second. They discovered a method to eliminate the issue of giving inaccurate information to customers by locating the source of data creation. However, management was worried about the cost of the installation of the software system.
Two parties with different opinions on the problem. The examination revealed that the main issue was the loss of revenues due to the lateness of mortgage payments. The second issue resulted from an integration issue or kink that existed between the two programs.
Understanding the Goal of the Project
It is essential for the BA to comprehend the reasons the project was being commissioned. A clearly defined set of goals for the project can help to ensure that the project will allow for a more straightforward and more precise definition of the requirements. If you don’t, it’s similar to giving the business the wrong dose of medicine for the wrong reason. The project could be a waste of time and costs that could have been avoided. The BA is better equipped to clarify the issue, identify the business requirements, and recommend the best solutions to meet the requirements of the company.
There are a variety of reasons why projects are started, including:
1. To find a solution to an issue
2. To profit from an opportunity in the market or to take advantage of other opportunities
3. Reduce or eliminate the operational cost
4. To improve the efficiency of business or system processes
5. to develop advertising strategies and marketing strategies to promote new products or services.
Problem finding solution
The causes that were identified in this case could only be identified if the BA was repeatedly asked questions. Utilizing the root cause analysis in solving issues can help identify the symptoms that are known and then search deeper for the root reason behind every symptom. This method is employed to identify the cause or the root cause of the issue. The BA is able to efficiently address the issue when it is addressed at the root. In addition, resources are channeled to the areas where they are most needed to get the desired outcome. This is a focused effort to the resolution that is beneficial for the company.
There are two approaches to root analysis of causes. One is called the Cause-and-Effect Diagram, also known as the Ishikawa diagram (the name of its creator), also known as the “Fishbone” diagram. This diagram traces the symptom to the source of the issue.
Another method is to use”Five Whys. “Five Whys” is an effective tool to get to the source of issues or opportunities. The BA will ask a series of “whys” until the stakeholders can clearly explain their needs in order that the root cause of the issue can be identified. The reason why we use the phrase “five” is that the questions need to be repeated five times in order to identify the root cause.
This leads to insufficient or inadequately defined requirements prior to the system being put into place. Before deciding on the solution, the BA must understand the current procedures and the infrastructure of the business unit and how they are connected to the overall company procedures and the infrastructure. This is essential to ensure that the software can be integrated into the existing infrastructure with little difficulty.
Contact users of the system
The users are the key stakeholders, and their contribution to understanding the current processes and system is very beneficial. They will be able to identify what they expect from the software to perform their work effectively. In our particular case, the users would be aware there is access already to the customer mortgage information on the central system. There might not be any need for a second debt management program if the primary one were adequately informed.
The job of the BA isn’t done once the system has been distributed to the business and the users. There must be continuity to keep the software so that it can:
1. Correct defects are discovered by users
2. The system is modified to accommodate changes to the software environment
3. Enhance the functionality
4. Maintain reliability to avoid issues
The success of the project is contingent in that the BA has a thorough knowledge of the project and the participants. The BA should have a deep understanding of the business environment as well as the technical context and the methods of analysis that they can employ to establish clear expectations. To arrive at efficient and practical solutions, there should be an exhaustive analysis of the root of the challenges or opportunities for the business or clients.
Sharon Ho-Sang is an Analyst in Business and Project Coordinator. She has a knack for bringing together individuals to make positive changes; Finds creative ways to improve processes in business as well as product quality and satisfaction. She also helps in improving efficiency and increasing the profit of companies.