New System Selection: Part 4

By Enabliser Andrew Mc

The last post covered the approach to a software demonstration, in this final part we will explore what happens next.
Needs or Requirements Analysis
The last post finished with the need for a requirements analysis, we will pick up that discussion in this post.   The first question some people ask is why do we need to go through this process, didn’t we cover all of this during the sales process?

Whilst every supplier makes a great deal of effort to uncover all of your requirements during the system selection process there are a number of reasons we need to go through a formal process:

• Requirements often change during the selection process, requirements always evolve as people find out more about what the solutions they are evaluating are capable of and as people better understand their own requirements.  Therefore, we need to be sure we are working with complete and up to date requirements so there are no misunderstandings.
• Generally solution providers won’t give you a document detailing your requirements during the selection process, but you really need one before your start the implementation process.  This is very much like hiring an architect to draw up plans for a building, you can agree on what features the building will have before the foundations are poured.
• Some requirements, whilst understood need to be detailed before implementation as we have moved beyond the simple acknowledgement of requirements (yes we can do that) to what we need to do to implement them.
• Once documented properly you are able to carefully review them against your goals for the project so you can be sure that you have the right solution for your business.

Having established why you need a requirements analysis, do you really need to put off the purchase of software until that process has been completed?

This is always going to be the safest way forward, the requirements analysis at a minimum should be detailing the requirements, how they are catered for in the solution and what is being done to cover any gaps (if it doesn’t you are possibly dealing with the wrong provider – aren’t you glad you found out before you spent too much money with them!).  With this document you are able to see on paper how the solution is going to work for you and what the shortcoming’s may be – this is the last chance to review your solution before you are going to be committed so you should take every opportunity to make sure this will work for you.

With a well prepared and detailed requirements analysis in hand you have all you need to steer the implementation and gain the benefits you have been wanting to bring into your business.  Navigation is always going to be easier with a map!  To discuss selecting a new system with an Enabling Trusted Advisor click here.

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