Business Requirements — does anyone do this anymore? DM News April 19, 2001

Final Business Requirements Document contains, at minimum:

  • Executive Summary – Includes a brief description of the organization, business needs and our recommended approach to satisfying those needs.
  • Glossary of Terms Contains terminology and explanation of any acronyms used throughout the document and client’s business.
  • Business Model – (which should equate to a normalized data structure).

 

  • Review of Data Sources – Including frequency of update and approximate volumes.
  • Process Flows – Required to populate the database to be built from the model with the input data.
  • Output Requirements – Including online response times and reports.

 

  • Appendices Containing more detailed information, reference material and other collateral that may assist systems analysts during the detailed design phase.
  • Organizational Overview Key players, their roles and responsibilities.
  • Business Recommendations Business process modification and /or re-engineering; recommendations for both automated and non-automated initiatives that will leverage the solution’s capabilities and expand its scope. To cite one example, a marketing database deliverable could be a standardized customer list with accurate names and addresses, accessible at the individual and household level. If an organization is plagued with unpaid bills, and undeliverable mail has been identified as a primary cause, this file could be utilized by the organization’s billing department to reduce or eliminate the problem.
  • Gap Analysis Description of where the organization is today, where it wants to be in the future and what it will take to get them there.
  • Development Prioritization Summary of all features and functions described in the document with each prioritized based on business need (benefit) versus relative ease / difficulty to implement (cost).

In general, the BRD is written for three main reasons:

  • Project ControlPuts parameters and critical checkpoints around the project and becomes the definitive source of information on the development process for the Project Sponsor as well as the Project Team.
  • Project Design Specification Defines the project, the scope, the solution design, the issues and the critical success factors at the business level for the entire Project Team, particularly those responsible for technical specification and actually building and implementing the project/solution on behalf of the client. It helps ensure the end result meets client expectations.
  • Perpetual Resource A project archive that will describe and explain the overall function of the system–why it was commissioned and what it contains. Also serves as a training resource for new members of the project team and/or new employees of the client.
  • Development Prioritization Summary of all features and functions described in the document with each prioritized based on business need (benefit) versus relative ease / difficulty to implement (cost).

Architecture

  • Complete solutions (“plug, configure and play”) that can be deployed rapidly, are open (able to be integrated with other software, database management systems and custom deliverables) and are scalable (modules that can be purchased separately and integrated per client need)
  • Platform agnostic: the solution can run in any environment
  • Security enabled to the individual row / column level, maintained at the user and user group levels
  • Interactive query accelerators and other techniques (e.g., a ROLAP or OLAP component) designed to ensure acceptable response times and provide maximum flexibility when used in an interactive mode
  • A “thin” front end that can be customized to address the needs of all targeted users, facilitating a collaborative environment and enabling simple maintenance from a central location (i.e., web based)
  • The ability to integrate sales reporting, call reporting and web site registration capability, whether within the suite or by interfacing with another product. This is an essential component in migrating the solution from a marketing database to fully functional CRM support.

Process to Monitor and Report Progress

The Status Meeting, Issues Log, and Project Plan will be utilized to monitor progress. The Status Meetings themselves will be sufficient to report progress to the core team.  It will be the responsibility of theLEAD Project Leaders to report progress to other constituent groups within their respective organizations. All information required to accomplish this task will be available via the updated project documentation used to report status during the core team meetings. Should CLIENT require status reports in another format, it will be the responsibility of the Project Leader to deliver the report within his/her organization. To avoid duplicate work on the part of the Project Leader, however, issues related to format and presentation of the project collateral materials can be negotiated between the respective Project Leaders prior to project kickoff.

Approach for Dealing with Issues

The Issues Log will be managed by the LEAD Project Leader. When a core team member raises an issue to the LEAD Project Leader, the project leader adds the issue to the log and includes the information below.   Proper escalation to the client will be done as it specifically relates to the issue at hand (i.e., urgent issues may require an immediate e-mail or phone call to the Project Leader; less severe issues may wait until the next weekly status meeting. This prioritization is the responsibility of the person reporting the issue.) Review of the Issues Log is a critical component of the status meetings.

 

Client: This is a CLIENT designee, the functional manager of the area that requested this project be undertaken.  This is the individual with final sign-off and acceptance authority over any project deliverables.  The Client is also responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring that contract and other negotiations are arranged and proceed on schedule and that any required legal documents are executed in a timely manner.
  • Reviewing the status reports, giving careful consideration to risk vs. return and resource deployment issues.
  • Advising the team on global, organizational issues and removing road blocks/impediments at that level.

Business Analyst: This is an employee who is responsible for:

  • Ensuring CLIENT’ overall satisfaction with products and services.
  • Providing price quotes and estimates to the client.
  • Approving all generated documents, quotes, estimates, etc. before they are delivered to CLIENT.
  • Ensuring that the appropriate effort is allocated to this project vs. other efforts within.
  • Working with CLIENT to properly scope projects and provide business leadership and vision to projects.
  • Providing customer base segmentation, profiling, predictive modeling, exploratory analysis, scoring, and DM name selection.
  • Translating analysis results into understandable and actionable marketing information.
  • Assisting in the development of business rules for marketing applications.
  • Drafting CLIENT user interview forms and/or checklists.
  • Drafting CLIENT systems/technical forms and/or checklists.
  • Conducting and documenting the interviews per schedule.
  • Developing the Data Discovery/Business Requirements Documentation

Project/Program Leader: Serves as the liaison between CLIENT and LEAD, and as the liaison between the functional groups within his/her organization. It is this person’s responsibility to:

  • Draft the required project management documentation and distribute updates to those documents on a regular basis.
  • Establishing a mutually convenient interview schedule with the CLIENT Project Leader.
  • Schedule, lead and participate in all required meetings with the appropriate documentation.
  • Compile status meeting minutes and ensure they are circulated with the other status report deliverables.
  • Identify issues via the Issues Log that have a potential impact on the schedule, make a risk assessment, and advise the Executive Sponsors (i.e., “raise the red flag”) when necessary.
  • Document and review all Change Order Request forms.
  • Coordinate project communication and workflow between the groups in his/her organization.
  • Serve as resource manager to ensure the account is properly staffed.

Technical Analyst

  • Contacting his/her counterpart and working together to address any discrepancies in file, record or field format or content.
  • Providing information to the team regarding services, procedures, functions, production schedules, etc.
  • Identifying areas where data and/or system integrity may be suspect through detailed analysis of the sample data.

Business Analyst: This is an employee who is responsible for the Data Discovery process and documentation. He/she will accomplish this by performing some/all of the following:

Systems Analyst: This is an employee who is responsible for:

  • Writing detailed program specs and system flows.
  • Interfacing with the programming group on behalf of the project team.
  • Testing programs once developed.
  • Certifying the system is production-ready.
  • Moving the system into production.

The process formally begins after the project has been justified and approved, and includes the following steps.

Planning

Defining the Project Scope

Creating the Project Plan/Issues Log

Defining the necessary resources

Defining the tasks and deliverables

Defining Timelines

Defining the final project deliverables

Data Discovery and Business Requirements

Conduct User Interviews

Documenting Results

Creating Business Model

Defining Logical Model

Review Information

Physical Database Design and Development

Designing the Database

Identifying the Keys

Creating Indexing Strategies

Performing Capacity Planning

Creating Database Objects

Data Mapping

Reviewing the Update Cycle

Reviewing Security Requirements

Analyzing Hierarchy Changes

Determining File Layouts

Developing Transformation Specifications

Data Extraction

Loading the Data

Extracting and Moving Data

Transforming and Integrating the Data

Testing Extract, Move, Transform, and Load Processes

Data Management

Automating and Scheduling Data Extraction Process

Automating and Scheduling Data Transformation Process

Automating and Scheduling the Data Load Process

Creating Backup and Recovery Procedures

Conducting a full test of all the Automated Procedures

Application Development

Creating Predefined Reports

Developing Core Reports & Screens

Testing Reports and Screens

Documenting Applications

Data Validation and Testing

Validating Data using reports

Validating Data using standard procedures

Interactively changing the data

Rollout to LEAD Users

Installing the Physical Infrastructure for all Users (database connectivity, configuring workstations, and data access tools)

Deploying the application

Setting up Procedures to backup the application

Creating Procedures for investigation and resolving data and application related issues

ADB Development Team

Resource Staffing Allocation
Executive Sponsor 1 5%
Sr. Consultant 1 25%
Project Manager 1 25%
Consultant/Business Analyst 1 25%
VP, Production Services 1 15%
Systems Analyst 1 20%
Developer 1 30%

 

 

Analytic Services –

Initial Customer Profile/Segmentation Team

Resource Staffing Allocation
Sr. VP Data Mining and Modeling 1 10%
Sr. Consultant 1 10%
Project Manager 1 20%
Sr. Statistical Consultant 1 90%

 

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