case study

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Business Requirements Management

Introducing business requirements management into a UK bank

Client: A large UK bank

Context

Our client had a well developed set of corporate values, goals and strategic objectives. These are achieved through a programme of change projects which are implemented by the bank's service delivery partner. We were commissioned to help introduce a formal business requirements management process which would clarify the key dependencies between the business drivers (objectives, goals and values) and business outputs. The aims were to provide management with an objective framework for decision making and to ensure that projects would be underpinned by a well-founded set of requirements reflecting the true needs of the business.

What we did

Our approach to this commission recognised that the successful introduction of requirements management disciplines into an organisation requires appropriate decisions to be made in each of the areas of process, people and technology. We also recognised that strong organisational buy-in is needed, which in turn depends on a clear exposition of benefits and associated costs.

In addition, our experience is that a phased approach is most appropriate, since the cost of implementing a requirements process depends on its complexity, and that complexity may not be fully understood until initial studies have been carried out.

During the first phase we conducted a series of workshops with appropriate stakeholders to identify, prioritise and select those activities and associated data to be included in the business requirements process. Based on our findings an overall information model was agreed with the client, showing the data and data relationships to be managed. With this in place, a draft business requirements management plan was drawn up and agreed, detailing process areas to be addressed, software tool support needed, people to be involved and expected benefits.

The second phase comprised configuring and populating the chosen requirements management toolset (IBM Rational DOORS®), documenting the new business processes and preparing training material for users. This positioned the client for roll-out of the process and tools, including the training and mentoring of the users.

A key success driver was ensuring that the business requirements process was simple to understand and use, even for occasional, non-technical users. This was achieved by using the process map itself as the interface to DOORS, with appropriate views of the data defined at every step.

Outcome

The roll-out to users was completed, and the project entered a mentoring and evaluation phase.