Recently we discussed the 6-stage process ANB Systems utilizes in implementation management. This initial phase of software configuration sets the stage for the successful completion of a project. In some ways, it is like writing a good story. It will create the scene, introduce the characters, illustrate their challenges, and end with a resolution. This is similar to ANB’s requirements gathering process, where business needs are identified, researched, and documented. Here, ANB works with all the users (characters) of the new system. The users will communicate their business needs (challenges). This stage will conclude with a document that will plan the work going forward (resolution).
When working in this first step, new users may want to focus on the following areas: minimizing conflicting requirements, uncovering hidden work processes, and understanding the real “Why?.” At the RFP level, the requirements may call for tracking energy savings. At first glance, this could mean kWh, MWh, CCF, MMBtu, or another metric. Something as simple as which metric is being tracked can lead to confusion down the road. The desire for a new system may be to process information in a certain manner, but users of the system may have other work processes that haven’t been identified. Workgroups may have built workarounds using spreadsheets or other means to augment the existing process. These workarounds should be considered and included in the new system. Finally, the user interviews will hope to uncover the real “Why?.” Is the old system difficult to update, unreliable, or difficult to extract information? Answers to each of the questions will help build a new and responsive system.
ANB Systems takes a consistent and structured approach to each new client project. Through a combination of meetings with clients and using best practices learned from previous engagements, ANB will seek to document the business needs of the users. This requirements document will drive the project to completion. The key to having a comprehensive document is to have an open and transparent understanding of the desired functionality.
Written by – Michael Stockard
Michael Stockard is an independent consultant at Stockard Energy Advising and is a member of the Advisory Panel at ANB Systems. Michael has over 40 years of experience in the design and implementation of demand-side management programs.