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About Your Profit and Loss

Dear Bank IT Manager,

It is incredible how fast time passes. I think that the same week of my last post I sowed rocket seeds in my vegetable patch. Well, I still cannot eat the rocket but it is clearly visible in its row now and surrounded by spinach, cabbages and celery. Anyway, I would imagine that you are probably not very interested about this. So here you have a third thought, more to come when I eat my first rocket salad? We will see.

It is very important that we plan a sufficient analysis time in order to best define the scope of our future platform. As mentioned in previous posts, when planning our project we need to assess that we will probably have contradictory requirements. This can easily mean either long weeks waiting for a definitive user decision or an increasing requirement complexity to take into account all exceptions. My experience so far makes me think that in certain cases gathering the detailed requirements can be more time-consuming than the code build itself.

For this initial analysis we can apply any analytical method that we feel comfortable with. Personally for this blog I will choose the classical Six Ws, let’s start today with…


Who is going to use our application? Controllers seem an obvious answer but we need to understand what this word means in that particular bank. We could find out that controllers in a specific bank only have basic functions whereas in others a controller is also a complex financial analyst. No need to say that the technical approach can be very different depending on what sort of users we have. Shall we build a transactional tool for granular data investigations and adjustment functionality? Or perhaps we need a complex OLAP tool with multiple aggregations. Or perhaps we need to cope with both requirements at the same time?

In order to scale the platform properly, we also need to pay a special attention to the assessed number of users in the end state, and not only in the current state. This would force our analysts to understand some strategic plans of the bank, which will not always be accessible to us. So let’s apply enough contingency to our scalability assessments to avoid future performance problems.

Additionally, will the tool have other users eventually? Perhaps it makes sense to give access to traders? As an example, they would be able to input their flash P&L for a subsequent comparison with the controlled P&L. Will legal controllers also need to access the tool too? Will the senior management use their own MIS system or they will also access our platform for their aggregated overviews?

Hope it helps,

Miquel Febrer, Director, GFT Iberia


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