What’s New with Business Analysis for ERP Projects
Businesses of all sizes are implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central to take them to the next level. Business Central sits at the center of the Microsoft connected universe of products bringing together the Dynamics, Azure, and Power Platforms. Since the possibilities are almost endless with Business Central, the best way to start any implementation project is with a Business Analysis.
Traditional business analysis involves a lot of interviews, workshops, documentation, and a lot of elapsed time before any implementation work begins. Even more challenging is that a traditional business analysis does not lend itself well to an Agile project methodology. The requirements are captured at a point in time at the beginning of the project when those requirements are often least understood or defined. The idea that requirements can be completely known and understood at the outset of a project is the same kind of waterfall thinking that causes ERP projects to be plagued with missed deadlines and scope creep.
The better approach to business analysis is to adopt an agile framework that focuses on capturing requirements only at a high level and reducing the elapsed time between the initiation of the business analysis and the beginning of the ERP implementation.
Clients Need to be Engaged in the Business Requirements Stage
So how can a company implement an agile framework for business analysis? It all starts with engaging client stakeholders in documenting their requirements. Traditionally the business analyst does all of the documentation and then fights to get anyone to read the requirements or own them. When stakeholders participate in documenting their requirements, there is a completely different level of engagement.
The technique for getting clients to participate in documenting their own requirements lies in making the process simple and understandable. We have found that any stakeholder can answer the question of what they want. Any requirement can be easily framed in the following format: “As (role), I want to be able to do (Process). With this simple technique, we can demystify the process of business analysis and make it a team sport.
This technique also provides a good early indication of how engaged a company will be in a project. If someone says we are too busy to participate in documenting our requirements, then you know they will also be too busy to participate in the project, too busy to test, and too busy to provide the needed feedback for a successful implementation.
Defer Decisions as long as Possible
Another key technique for an agile business analysis is to defer decisions that can be deferred. A traditional waterfall approach would say that all information and all decisions need to be made before a project can commence. The fallacy in that logic is that it often precludes a better decision that we could have made if we had only waited until a decision was required.
We encourage clients to decide what has to be decided but nothing more. As the project progresses, we will always learn new information, find better ways to do something, and we want to apply the best information and ideas possible when a decision is ultimately required.
Have ArcherPoint Answer Your Questions about Business Analysis and ERP Implementations
ArcherPoint is always looking for easier ways to make smarter decisions. Just because everyone has always done something a certain way doesn’t mean that’s how we should always do it. We would love to show you how we’ve transformed business analysis for our clients to implement projects more quickly, with less money, and ultimately deliver a better outcome.