Dear Bank IT Manager,
More than one year ago, I started the blog “About your P&L Platform”. During this time I have tried to explain the Dos and Don’ts, structuring my thoughts in a Six-W analysis:
Who: I highlighted the importance of knowing in advance who the users of our platform will be.
What: I wrote about the need to dip into details to understand what P&L means for that specific organization.
Where: I recommended doing a deep analysis on where stakeholders are and processes happen. Despite the new Cloud era, location still matters.
When: I stressed the value of knowing in detail when data is required for each department, location, product, etc.
Why: I mentioned how important is to understand the ultimate objectives of the new platform, not only for the IT department but also for the final users.
In all my posts I have also provided updates of one of my hobbies: my vegetable garden. :-) Well, both the garden updates and the P&L Platform analysis are coming to an end. It has been a real pleasure to share thoughts with you. I am not planning to send
any more updates, although nobody can anticipate the future, so who knows!
Today I woke up and saw my vegetable garden completely frozen. I don’t worry about the rocket, as it overcomes frost well. I am more worried about the spinach, which sometimes goes black and lose quality when this happens. In any case, I thought that it
would be a good moment to focus on the last W of the analysis.
Once all the W questions have been understood, we should focus on how the users are planning to use the new platform. It is a necessary (but not sufficient) exercise to understand how they use the current tools. At GFT we have promoted events like “One day
with a controller”. It is really useful as it is an excellent way to recap all the users’ activities. So this is a good complement to a formal requirement gathering, which is more structured and meditated, but has the risk that users forget to mention some
activities because 1. They deem them as not relevant or 2. They are so used to them that they are not even aware.
Once the current state is understood, the analysis has to cover what the ideal state is. Users might answer that they want to use the new platform with the current tools. If this is the case we need to challenge them strongly: Why do they need a new platform
if they don’t want to change their process at all?
At GFT we include the User Experience (UX) service in most of our new projects. This really helps us to design an application that will fit not only the users’ visual expectation but their comfort using the tool on a daily basis too.
We need to ask as many questions as possible, as this will help us to design the best tool aligned to the real requirements. A few examples are:
- What is the normal sequence of their daily actions? Is it different at the month-end?
- What are the usual tasks versus the exceptional tasks?
- Do they need to investigate trades in detail or only work with aggregated data?
- Are they going to post manual adjustments? Are they expected to be massive?
- Are they expecting the platform to post automatic adjustments based on rules?
Hope it helps,
Miquel Febrer, Director, GFT Iberia.