We have been discussing the value a Business Analyst (BA) brings to the table in the area of Solution Validation. Another often overlooked and underperformed task of Solution Validation is “Assessing the Solution Performance”. Cincinnati and Dayton organizations do not take advantage of the benefits that can be received by performing a Solution Performance Assessment.
This task is performed after the IT business solution is deployed and working. It can be done very shortly after implementation or over a period of time following deployment. You cannot assess performance if the solution is not in use by the business.
First the BA must determine the criteria by which the solution will be measured; these are often called “key performance indicators” (KPI). To determine correct performance criteria the BA must understand the intended value that the IT business solution was designed to deliver to the organization. Understanding this value the BA may determine criteria by which the solution may be measured to determine if the business is receiving the anticipated value from the solution.
Some of these solution performance metrics may be quantitative, measure of time, volume, revenue, errors or other hard numbers; or qualitative, user satisfaction and use, recommendations, concerns or other subjective opinions of the stakeholders using the solution. When a new enhancement to the Order Entry system in deployed, but you soon find that the Customer Service Representatives or Order Entry Clerks have developed a manual workaround that circumvents the enhancement, then your qualitative analysis would show a negative response from the stakeholders. Such response should be investigated by the BA or Subject Matter Expert (SME) to determine the root cause of the business user’s dissatisfaction with the solution. This may lead to enhancement, reversal or replacement of the IT business solution.
Collecting solution performance metrics are not only negative, but the BA should also collect positive metrics to assist in determining if the solution is delivering the expected benefit to the company. This can assist in early detection of a “bad” solution, proving the success of an IT business solution and can lead into other business capability gap analysis.
Does your Cincinnati or Dayton company collect solution performance metrics following project implementation? What other ways have you found to validate the performance of an IT business solution after deployment?