Streamline Timesheet Management with Automation: A Business Analysis Case Study on ABC Consulting’s Operational Excellence
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ABC Consulting is an accounting firm located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. ABC Consulting was founded in 2010 and has experienced some strong growth over the years. The firm currently employs over 20 accountants and 11 support staff. As the company has grown, the needs of the business have also changed.
John Reese, the founder of ABC Consulting, is increasingly concerned with the cost of administrative overhead, saying “What worked for us to keep five accountants organized just isn’t working for twenty accountants.” Administrative costs for the company are growing too rapidly. John has chartered a project to develop a time and billing system, which is a system that will be used by the accountants to log their time to specific jobs. The system will produce invoices and timesheets and will be developed by Simply Agile Business Consulting, a software development firm where you are the BA.
You have prepared and conducted elicitation with John and key stakeholders in ABC Consulting. You have documented your elicitation results and findings, as follows:
ABC Consulting needs to automate the management of employee timesheets. This need is aligned with the goal of holding a position of operational excellence in the industry. This project will reduce average cost to administer a timesheet by 75% in the next nine months, and will produce the following outcomes:
- increased customer satisfaction; and
- reduced administration costs.
The project will be executed by Simply Agile Business Consulting and focus on requirements and business analysis. The cost for this project is $200,000, and the annual savings are $100,000, plus additional benefits.
BUSINESS NEED: Automate timesheet management.
GOAL: Hold a position of operational excellence in the industry.
OBJECTIVE: Reduce average cost to administer timesheets by 75% the next nine months.
BUSINESS PROBLEM: Timesheet management is too costly.
DESIRED OUTCOMES: Project will produce increased customer satisfaction and reduced administration costs.
Case Study Questions
In a Word document, not exceeding four pages and following APA formatting, complete the assignment according to the following instructions.
- In your own words, briefly describe the documented elicitation results by the business analyst.
- List and explain 2 guidelines and tools, as described by the BABOK, that the business analyst can use to confirm the elicitation results.
- Identify 2 techniques that will be most beneficial in confirming the elicitation results from John and the ABC Consulting stakeholders and provide justification for your response.
- Judging by the documented elicited result above, do you think that the business analyst has gathered enough information to uncover all the business needs and problems? Justify your position.
- Provide personal examples and references to the BABOK or course materials, where needed, to justify your arguments.
The documented elicitation results by the business analyst indicate that ABC Consulting, an accounting firm, needs to automate the management of employee timesheets in order to hold a position of operational excellence in the industry. The business problem is that timesheet management is currently too costly, and the goal is to reduce the average cost to administer timesheets by 75% within the next nine months. The desired outcomes of the project include increased customer satisfaction and reduced administration costs. The project will be executed by Simply Agile Business Consulting and will focus on requirements and business analysis, with a cost of $200,000 and annual savings of $100,000.
Two guidelines and tools, as described by the BABOK, that the business analyst can use to confirm the elicitation results are:
- Interviews: The business analyst can conduct interviews with key stakeholders to confirm the results of the elicitation and gather more detailed information.
- Surveys: The business analyst can use surveys to gather feedback from a larger number of stakeholders and confirm the results of the elicitation.
- Two techniques that will be most beneficial in confirming the elicitation results from John and the ABC Consulting stakeholders are:
- Prototyping: The business analyst can create a prototype of the time and billing system to get feedback from the stakeholders and confirm that the proposed system will meet their needs.
- User Acceptance Testing (UAT): Once the system is developed, the business analyst can conduct UAT to confirm that it meets the stakeholders’ needs and that they are satisfied with the solution.
- Judging by the documented elicited results, it seems that the business analyst has gathered enough information to uncover the main business needs and problems. They have identified the specific business need to automate timesheet management, the goal of holding a position of operational excellence in the industry, the problem of timesheet management being too costly, and the desired outcomes of increased customer satisfaction and reduced administration costs. However, It would be beneficial if the BA also consider other possibilities such as customer data-security or regulatory compliance, or other non-functional requirements that could be critical for the project.
- BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge) Guide v3.0, Section 3.3.2 Elicitation Techniques
- BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge) Guide v3.0, Section 3.4.2 Confirming Elicitation Results.