Customer Management System

There are tons of systems out there trying to improve business processes of utility companies in general or electric companies in specific.

The key is still doing the re-engineering process well and the application system will just a tool to follow the processes. I put some of my thoughts about Electric Management System in this blog. Feel free to read and comment.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Analysis and Design Phase - Pay Attention to it!

"Analysis and Design" Phase is a phase in Project Management for Application or Software. During this process, a consultant or analyst will do depth analysis on the current situation and relate them with the application, software, or system that are going to be implemented or enhanced.

Though it is one of very important phase in the project management, there seem to be ignored or not paid attention to. Below are the common reasons:

1. The Analysis and Design considered as a "boring" phase in the project. The analyst need to document all activities and gaps that we identified. The design created is sometime too general. Client or parties being interviewed are sometime just tell the problems in general without going into details. They get bored telling the problems and assuming that the consultant or analyst should pick up their own from any documentation available.

2. Lack of of time dedicated. With limited time, analyst often relies on client's documents or interview. The important part is too see or experience him/herself the current system and understand the behavior and problems of the current systems.

3. Related to point 1 and 2, the design is not detailed or not yet verified by the technical people that are going to do the enhancement. The design is supposed to be detailed with proposed print screens of the enhancement or functionalities. Clients or users does not tend to understand the detail design during approval. In their mind, they will wait until the development is finished and will do the review afterwards. But this is not how it suppose to work. Both parties should understand in details what the design is and how the end product will be to avoid arguments during product testing.

In order to avoid problem and make a good analyst and design, project manager or team leader should allocate enough time and good analyst on this phase. Analyst should understand fully about the system and create as detailed design documentation as possible. All proposed windows, functions, and button should be presented if applicable. Analysis on cases, what if, should be documented as well.

On the other hand, client or user should put more effort collaborating with analyst to inform him/her all concerns. When the design documentation if finished, client should understand completely what are in the document.

In the end, it is better to re-work on design documentations until both parties are satisfied with the design. It is more cost and time savings to re-do the design documentations instead of to re-do the development in future.

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