One of the most important steps when planning for a major system implementation is analyzing and documenting the current and proposed business processes. An initial business process review provides an organization with insight into its daily operations and can result in:

  • Identification of unique system requirements that can increase the productivity and effectiveness of the organization's personnel.
  • Elimination of process steps that cause unnecessary delay and add expense.
  • A better understanding of each employee's relationship to the information systems and workflow process.
“As-Is” Process Review and Documentation
Through a series of focus groups and interviews with organization personnel, EBD collects process information that enables a re-thinking of the steps taken to complete a task. This information is documented through graphical process flow diagrams, process descriptions, and initial observations about areas of inefficency. As-Is process documentation is validated by organization personnel. Often, at this point, many stakeholders begin to make simple but high-impact workflow changes based on the initial observations about areas of inefficiency.
Evaluation of Process Effectiveness
Documented process flows allow the organization to better understand how it is conducting business and to identify opportunities for improvement. EBD analyzes current processes and recommends changes, consolidation, or elimination of process steps or complete workflows to improve efficiency. Technology solutions that can automate manual tasks and/or streamline processes are also identified.
“To-Be” Process Definition
Based on our evaluation of existing processes and industry best practices, EBD proposes the “To-Be” process model and highlights the recommended changes and enhancements that have to be implemented. This information is presented as process flow diagrams, process descriptions, and key requirements for any new technology solutions that will be required to support the To-Be processes. We also assist in presenting these recommendations to organization's key stakeholders to build support for them.
Requirement Definition
We provide services to analyze and define the requirements for new technology solutions that are identified through the above business analysis. For software applications, we use the Rational Unified Process as our project execution methodology and recommend the Use Case approach for capturing the requirements.

EBD conducts requirement definition workshops with the organization’s internal subject matter experts (SMEs). These workshops are used to define usage scenarios and functional requirements for the application. We have built a comprehensive library of requirements templates and other artifacts that we can leverage for capturing the requirements and for planning the project. Examples of these artifacts are:

  • Process Flows, HTML Mockups/Wireframes and Detailed Use Cases
  • Architecture Document and Data Models
  • Project plan templates (e.g. project phase, step, and task libraries)
  • Project characteristics (e.g. team structure, general project information)
  • Project team collaboration (e.g. calendar, issues management, deliverables management, reference library, security)
  • Resource management process for assigning and requesting resources
  • Resource skills hierarchy
  • Resource utilization analysis and reporting
  • Test Plans

We evaluate usage scenarios and requirements to determine which requirements can be met with off-the-shelf packages, which require additional application customizations, and which call for integration with existing applications. If systems customizations are required, we collaborate with SMEs and senior management to develop a prioritized requirements list. Our team works with the project stakeholders to minimize cost and implement the customizations providing most value to the business.

After system requirements have been defined, EBD works with the application vendor and SMEs to develop detailed design specifications and initial system prototypes. We also work closely with end users throughout the process to ensure that designs effectively meet the functional requirements. Our business analysts work alongside senior management to provide updates on the process and proactively address any design issues or revisions to business process.

As the solution requirements are finalized, EBD develops detailed workplans, resource requirements, and budgets for the system configuration, customizations, and pilot and implementation phases. The benefits of EBD’s proactive approach to business analysis and requirements management are:

  • Increased development productivity
  • Shared accountability between internal owners and developers for the robustness, quality, and completeness of solution design
  • Iterative prototypes and design reviews provide users with high degree of confidence that designs will meet their requirements; they can visualize downstream and upstream implications early in the process
  • Reduced development and implementation cycle times
  • Predictability and consistency of the solution definition process