Thursday, November 15, 2012

Proving the benefits of a model driven business application in an unsettled budgetary climate

"In the current budgetary climate it is getting harder and harder to prove the benefits case for a new business application to my organization."

Origin of this myth
At the officeI found this statement on several forums on the Internet. While software companies will do their best to persuade their potential customers in getting their latest software, for internal architects and analysts it is often a struggle to get things started within their own organization. In the current economic situation most CEO's and CFO's are not exactly waiting for big investments in new ICT systems, even if their internal specialists can come up with the right arguments. So how to deal with this?

The classic approach is to come up with a calculation of profit and cost, based on past experiences of other organizations in the same industry and the quick wins that you see within the own organization. A cost - profit analysis is - without any doubt - a necessity when proposing a new business application to the C-level within your organization, but will it - given the current economic climate - be enough to persuade them?

An alternative approach
What if you could prove the benefit of a driven business application to your organization by simply modeling one of your most complex processes? That would give your C-level management the opportunity to see what an effective business application will do in your organization and let them experience the promised improvement of efficiency, compliance and governance.

For software providers, like Be Informed, creating a show case with our software is something we often are eager to do. Be Informed uses the so-called "5-day challenge" to prove in a very limited amount of time and with a minimum of effort what their software could do in an organization.

The approach is as simple as it is effective. We create a draft business model for the organization and its products and create a model of it, resulting in a Target Operating Model. From this Target Operating Model we choose the most complex and inefficient case type or process. By choosing the most complex process and realizing a working and fully documented model driven business application for it within a couple of days, we have the ultimate prove for the benefits or our business application in your specific situation. With a team of maximum 5 people, typically consisting of an architect, two analysts/modelers, an UX engineer and a business consultant, we model the business application on location.

The result is an executable model driven business application containing the most complex processes and decisions, all fully documented, but with limited functionality.

With this approach you are no longer a victim of the current economic situation - waiting for changes to happen - but you are in fact using it in your advantage to get things done. During the past two years, Be Informed has performed approximately a dozen of these so called "5-day challenges". Despite the economic situation (especially in Europe), approximately 80% of these challenges resulted in a final go. The other 20% are still waiting for a decision, but chances are high that they will result in a project within the coming year.