#BRF Introducing a rules methodology part 2 Presentation

Kathy Gorman and Kristen Seer are doing a follow up presentation from last year’s presentation on introducing a rules methodology.

The methodology is important, but the infrastructure to support it is also very important.

ICBC is a crown corporation for compulsory auto insurance. Some optional insurance in a competitive market. Network of brokers, 5000 employees, etc. They are working with Business Rules Solutions.

The Drivers for changes at ICBC:

  • challenges to support cross-functional projects
  • Significant time frames for business analysis
  • No common, formal methodology
  • Current analysis approach better suited to maintenance versus delivery of enterprise transformation initiatives

Creation of a Business Transformation Services group to lead the changes, merged the BA practices from different silos. They created a position called “Manager of Best Practices” to help with the changes.

They have a very defined line between business and IT. The Business Analysis is really a Business Function. They followed an iterative approach.

Over time they had the following accomplishments:

  • Organisational Structure changes
  • Competency Model that identifies what skills people need to have
  • Enterprise Delivery Life Cycle, not rolled out, but being used by the BA group
  • Purchase of Business Rules Methodology
  • The Service Model for BAs has been improvements
  • The Competency Model is also driving a Resource Assessment based on the model
  • Performance Measurement was also introduced (KPIs around service model) and a Quality review process.
  • Put together an Estimation Model which focuses on components of the methodology

The methodology components

  • Approach Model: Technique for BAs to sit down and figure out how they are going to do their work to establish expectations
  • Business Scope: From a Business perspective how big is this
  • Business Strategy: Looks at goals and tactics and what risks might arise and mitigations
  • BPM
  • Fact Model
  • Business Rules
  • Business System Abilities: Functional-Non Functional Requirements

They developed an approach model for implementing the methodology itself.

The tasks were:

  • Communicate to staff and stakeholders
    • You can’t communicate enough
    • The created a communication plan for all stakeholders
    • Need to tailor presentations to the audience but need to keep them consistent
    • The focus has shifted from pushing information and now people are asking more questions now
    • Developed a Web Site (competency center with standards, guidelines, etc.)
    • Announcements sent for the web site updates on a regular basis
    • Team Meetings have a standing item to discuss the methodology
    • “Open House”, Presentation or workshops followed by Q&A
    • To improve attendance at Open House, look for patterns of what BAs are talking about at that time
  • Establish Governance
    • Created a “Practice Manager Position”
    • Competency Center
    • Methodology Evolution Team (Governing body for the methodology)
      • Need to educate them with white papers followed by discussions to adapt the methodology to their needs
      • Now looking at how to evolve this over time
    • Model Management
  • Conduct General Training
    • Training sessions and reinforcement training to keep the skill level going if not applying
    • Also created session for partners and project managers
    • Videos of the sessions and edited to about 10 minutes in length for a specific topic
    • One on one mentoring
    • Review process is “pre-reviewed” with some help
  • Adopt BRS methodology
    • Full set of reference materials
      • Standards and guidelines
      • Templates
      • Quick reference guides
      • FAQs
    • Requirements to Design Handshake (in progress) (from BA to the IT group)
      • More than a handoff
      • Handshakes designed for each “design deliverable”
      • Next challenge will be roll out and communication strategy
    • Develop of tools to handle gaps
    • Process to evolve the practice
  • Pilot BRS Methodology (Challenges)
    • They ended up not piloting
    • Needed to apply faster than expected
  • Audit Implementation

Challenges they encountered

  • Socialization and Orientation of Partners is more time consuming than expected
  • Repositioning of Business Participants
  • Lack of core skills (such a facilitation)
  • Reaction of partners, sometimes reluctant
  • Misconceptions
  • Size of the transformation (change is difficult for the people)

Lessons learned

  • Prepare for a difficult transition
  • Ongoing mentoring & coaching is critical
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Anticipate & plan for resistance, be prepared to shift course
  • Getting to independence (takes a long time), need support structure
  • Don’t underestimate cultural shift
  • Manage the expectations of managers
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