3 Systems & Software Requirements

When… acquisition by a large organisation results in legacy software and systems. For each acquisition most legacy systems were decommissioned but always some remained in place. Much time and effort was spent over the years to ‘stitch’ these remaining legacy systems to the organisations core system.

However, constant changes in complex industry regulations made the ‘stitching’ together of systems more difficult and the results unreliable… ultimately affecting the financial revenue of the organisation and its client’s experience in a negative way.

What… through 1 to 1 interviews, ‘at desk’ observations and group workshops Adroit & Associates was able to deliver a visual map the client journey through the organisation; enabling all of the client ‘touch points’ to be identified via an online portal. Even before the activity commenced it was obvious that an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system was required but with a plethora in the market place, which one?

An organisational framework was defined using a visual mapping tool. With the start point and end point for the customer journey identified and agreed, the scope for the project was clear. From engagement (marketing) through to end of service delivery (exit) the client journey was mapped. Complex and/or significant areas of activity were ‘drilled’ into and the detail captured sometimes 3 or 4 levels deep in the hierarchical diagram. Along the journey artefacts such as application forms, databases, letter templates, e-mail templates, web links etc., were associated and linked to one or more relevant activities. Also attached to each activity was the ‘Role’ responsible for the activity as well as the system (or software) currently in use. Additional notes coupled with the artefacts helped determine the type of data collected and for what purpose.

Why… to remove confusion for both employees and clients… not only did each acquisition bring with it systems and software but the acquired company also brought its own language. From one office location to another, identical activities would be named differently and key activities might be carried out in a different order. Creating a ‘business definition framework’ and a common language made requirements easier to identify.

To identify the requirements for a new ERP system…following the client journey through from start to end and identifying the artefacts along the way allowed both the organisation and the software vendors to better understand the types of data gathered and the information needed at different client touch points within the business. The onus was placed on the software vendor to prove that they could deliver a system to cater for the organisation’s needs rather than the organisation trying to compromise between a price point and standard features list provided by the vendor.

How… can we add further value?

The customer journey could be used as a standalone map to help new and current employees better understand what a client requires from the organisation and how those requirements are required to be met.

By extending the customer journey map and making it part of a framework with an integrated operating model, such that the entire organisation’s business is defined.

Posted on May 14th 2015

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