In this week’s blog post, ARITHMOS‘ Life Sciences Application Manager, Silvia Gabanti, discusses life science application solutions for reducing the risks of project failure.
Why do IT projects fail?
Projects fail for all kinds of reasons – from insanely low budgets to unwisely tight schedules.
But the main reasons for project failure are (according to CHAOS report – Standish Group):
- lack of input from the user
- incomplete requirements
- unstable requirements
The requirements are often not clearly stated due to insufficient customer/user knowledge of the acquired system (such as changes in legislation, regulations, etc). All too often, stakeholders discover that they have very different pictures of the project scope and of what the new system is supposed to do. Therefore, when implementing a new Life Science solution, particular attention should be paid to the requirement management process in order to avoid increases in the risk creep (unexpected changes), project delays and spiraling costs.
How to manage the risks related to Requirement Definition
A good Project Manager that adopts a risk-based approach to identifying obstacles and establishing measures that will mitigate challenges, should foresee the participation of the client’s key users from the first steps of system implementation.
The key users usually collaborate with the validation team in the definition of general/regulatory user requirements, but their involvement starts at the very beginning of the project.
In order to include the key/business users at this stage, the IT Project Manager should include a Business Analyst in the project team. Particularly in the Life Sciences sector, there is a communication gap between the technical team and the key users which can considerably increase project risks.
The Business Analyst’s Role
Therefore, the most important responsibilities of the Business Analyst are to act as a “communicator” between the stakeholders and the team, translating the initial high level vision into something realistic and comprehensible. The clear definition of business requirements allows for the reduction of time/costs during the implementation phase, making the configuration phase more efficient and targeted. It also reduces new or modified proposals to the user requirements.
The key users work together with the business analysts to define the system configuration and workflow. In this manner, they can also better analyze the impact of proposed changes during later project phases.
ARITHMOS Approach: The Business Requirement Phase
ARITHMOS Business Analysts support the key users in the definition of Business Requirements. During this phase, the key users are trained in the functionality and standard workflow of the new system. In most cases, their knowledge is limited to sales and pre-sales presentations, making a Business Analyst essential in this initial phase.
By using this approach, key users can deepen their understanding of how the system works and if it fits their organizational structure, processes and procedures. They can then define, together with the Business Analyst and technical experts, how the system should be configured. Knowing the system in the initial phase can reduce timelines and risks related to the operational testing phase. Users who are trained and informed on the system adopt a proactive approach throughout system implementation and qualification process.
For more information on ARITHMOS’ life science application process or business analyst services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.