Integrating business and systems

How often do front line staff tell you what a breeze their computer system is? Probably not often (though more than a few years ago). The problem is often that although the business told the system designers what functions they needed, no-one made the actual operations right for the business, and for the people using them.

Too many screens for too few tasks. Ugly flows from task to task. Silly inefficiencies that are locked in (and played out over and over again, whenever the system is used).

Customers are even quicker to spot a bad app or web interface. But they don’t tell you, they go elsewhere.

Many change projects are linked to system upgrades or replacements. We have an approach that links system requirements to business processes in a way that makes the system work for, not against, the business user.

We take a top-down view. We start by re-designing existing processes, and develop more detail as we work through to the User Interface Specifications. A UI Specification describes the new process at a very detailed level, including screen flows, linkages, and suggested layout. We link in business rules and audit requirements as we go.

If there are Use Cases, we map these back to the business process, to let the system designers understand linkages, business rules, and screen flows. If there are no Use Cases, we test the re-designed processes against the new software, and detail any modifications that need to be made to the process or the software.

Our UI Specifications also allow prototype development, testing system usability before completing the functional development of the new system.

Our approach also provides the groundwork for the development and conduct of business process (or user) testing and user training prior to the implementation of the system changes.