How we approach internal digitalization project

Edita Glas Vidović, Business Analyst

Business

27.04.2020.

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We live in a time when all companies are faced with enormous competition. In order to continue with their successful business and be competitive, all companies, including Serengeti, must focus on fulfilling their business goals, all while ensuring the highest quality services and improving customer relationships.

In order to elevate our customer-focused business, we decided to improve internal processes that drive systems and strategies for a customer-focused organization.

Serengeti Ltd. as a company with accelerated employee growth over the last two years is an example of how to bring together a team of experts from project managers, business analysts, IT architects and professional developers with experience in different technologies, who are ready to integrate their knowledge and experience in the process of digitalizing first their business companies, and then others.

In order to digitalize the process in Serengeti, an internal application project has been launched and will be cover the requirements of different business areas.

Five milestones of internal project   

The project is run in-house according to the Scrum methodology, using the experience of our own Scrum Masters and Scrum Owners.

Furthermore, in the beginning we organized a session with all our users using the brainstorming and storyboarding technique, which accelerated the gathering of basic process information.

The collected basic information allowed us to initially complete a whole picture of the processes in the company.

1. Invitation to the Interview

We first wanted to capture the current state of our business processes, to improve and accelerate our business and digitize it. This is why we interviewed the owners of individual business processes and key users who work on these processes.

Each interview consisted of a set of characteristic questions tailored for specific business areas.

Some of these characteristic questions included:

  • which roles are involved in the process
  • which activities are taking place
  • are there any subprocesses within the process
  • which data enters and exits activities in the process
  • which documents are generated in the process or enter the process
  • which business rules apply in a particular business area

It is essential that all participants interact in order to list all the details needed for further analysis.

For more complicated areas, the interview is conducted in iterations because such business areas are intertwined and have common activities.

2. As-Is Processes Put on Paper

The processes are documented according to ISO standards and graphically presented to make them clearer to everyone. This way, it's easy to see where a process or procedure has weak points, i.e. where changes are needed because of our company's expansion in regard to employee number and finances, as well as where unnecessary time is lost on serial activities that could be completed as parallel activities, thus saving on execution time.

3. From Analysing Proposals to To-Be Processes

  > Process analysis

The analysis of the current processes identifies areas that are problematic due to time, human or financial burden. It also analyses all external and internal impacts on the business and identifies risks.

With root cause analysis, we:

  • Analyzed the internal and external factors that contribute to business change
  • Sort, cluster, and group the most important factors
  • Classify the factors and identify the root causes of the problem
  • Mapped processes so that problems and places where changes are needed are noticeable

> From Risk Management (RMP) to “Worst-Case Release Scenario”

At the same time, all the risks were listed as an important part of the project and a worst-case scenario was set, taking into account:

  • Worst case scenario analysis, calculation, and documentation
  • Determining the amount of worst cases
  • Documenting passive mitigation reasons
  • Documenting factors when choosing the worst-case scenario
  • Analysis, calculation, and documentation of alternative scenarios

Proposed Business Process Changes

Based on everything that has been analyzed, with our joint forces – business analysts, business process owners, and even management – we drive changes and come up with process improvement proposals.

All this would not have been possible without mindset changes and the desire to change and upgrade our business principles.

4. We Write and Draw Again, but This Time It's To-Be Processes

After we have agreed on common proposals, To-Be processes are described and drawn out. According to To-Be solutions, we will describe IT solution proposals and specifications for our new internal application and then the application modules will be worked out.

This is the last point in which a business analyst's job is to work only with the business colleagues from their business area. We have reached the point where our attention is turning to the IT sector. Here the business analyst gets a whole new team which they will intensively cooperate with on the realization of what was defined in the previous points as possible processes for the digitalization of business.

5. Implementation Steps

Preparation of System Specifications and Architecture

In order to implement the new system as quickly as possible, it is important for the business analyst to be familiar with the system’s architecture and all the technical capabilities before preparing the specification.

That is why the collaboration of IT architects and business analysts is really important for further steps in realization. With basic information on the IT architecture of the future system, it is easier for the business analyst to prepare the specification needed for developers to work on the new system.

Programming to Specifications

The specification must be sufficiently detailed to avoid any unnecessary returns to the starting points described in this text.

Therefore, to work on this project we have assembled a team of analysts, project managers, Scrum Masters, and Scrum owners, IT architects, team leaders and developers who specialize in different technologies, testers, and IT support.

Testing and Implementation

After successful testing and after the business application owners have accepted the developed functionalities, the module is implemented on the production environment.

All of these procedures are iterative, as we will soon be developing a series of interconnected modules.

This concept allows several teams to work simultaneously on different application modules, some of which are directly and some are indirectly linked.

With the approach we have chosen, apart from capital investment in the company itself, we are also creating added value for our employees in terms of working on new technologies and gathering the necessary experience to participate in complicated projects with our clients.

The experience we have allows us not to concentrate solely on the technology we chose at a given moment, but to apply the knowledge and experience which enables us to have a consultant approach to addressing all the requests that come from our clients.

If you would like to talk more about your specific business needs and software development needs right now, contact us. But keep in mind that you can use our checklist of what you need to look for when you are searching for a partner:

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