Project Management

Finding the Requirements Tree (Part 2)

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we finished by looking at the first key outcome that leads to discovering the secret to rapidly capturing requirements. We will now continue with a closer look at the remaining seven.
Identify & Model Workflows and Phases
Modeling workflows (business processes) is best done in a group setting where a facilitator (after clearly defining the business objectives to be achieved) elicits and builds a model of how information is shared between work groups in order to achieve a specific outcome.
Successful workflow modeling efforts are typically done in work sessions that focus on end-to-end business processes such as sales (from point of quote thru fulfillment and collection) or purchasing (from PO through fulfillment and payment). One of the more frequent mistakes made in modeling workflows is the piecing together of the process based on a series of departmental interviews. This approach is fraught with errors, lack of buy-in and takes about 10 times as long to accomplish.
According to Wikipedia, Business Workflow Analysis (BWA):
“…is a method allowing businesses to better comprehend their current needs and to establish future goals. The long-term objectives of BWA are those of reducing transaction costs and managing performance.
BWA generally necessitates the participation of:
  • Employees whose everyday role …

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