Define Transition Requirements - Business Analyst

Purpose

To define requirements for capabilities needed to transition from an existing solution to a new solution.

Description

In most cases, a solution is implemented within an enterprise in order to enhance or replace an existing solution. During the transition period (the time when both the old and new solutions are operational), the enterprise may need to operate both solutions in parallel, move information between the new and old solution, conduct training to enable stakeholders to effectively operate the new solution,and so forth. In addition to developing the solution itself, the implementation team is likely to have to develop additional capabilities to support this transition.

These capabilities are requirements, as stakeholders need to be able to make this transition successfully - but they are different in nature from other kinds of requirements, as they cannot be defined until a solution has been designed. These requirements also have a different lifespan from other types of requirements, as they remain relevant only during the transition period between solutions.

Transition requirements are elicited, analyzed, managed, and communicated by performing the same tasks as for other requirements. The difference is not in the methods for defining them, but in the inputs, the nature of transition requirements, and in that they cease to be relevant once the existing solution is eliminated.

In instances where there is no existing solution, and the new solution is adding a entirely new capability to the enterprise rather than extending and improving an existing capability, then transition requirements do not need to be analyzed.

Input

Organizational Readiness Assessment: Used to identify areas where the organization needs to add new capabilities to manage and operate the new solution.

Requirements [Stated]: Stakeholders will identify the information and processes they need during transition.

Solution [Deployed]: The deployed (or existing) solution will be investigated to understand what needs to be transitioned to the new solution. It may be necessary to elicit a description of the capabilities of the solution and perform some analysis tasks in order to ensure that current capabilities are fully understood.

Solution [Designed]: The design for the new solution must be sufficiently defined to allow major differences to be identified.

Elements

Examine the solution currently in place to identify features that are implemented in a substantially different fashion in the new solution, information that needs to be transferred to the new solution, and other areas of significant change. Likely sources of transition requirements include:

1. Data

The actual data and metadata managed by the old system needs to be evaluated to determine whether to archive the information or transfer it to the new solution. Rules for conversion of this information will need to be developed, and business rules may need to be defined to ensure that the new solution interprets the converted data correctly.

2. Ongoing Work

It is likely that work will be ongoing in the old version of the solution at the time the new version is implemented. Options for managing this ongoing work may include finishing existing work using the current solution and starting new work in the new solution, holding the processing of new work for a period of time, or converting all work at the time of implementation.

3. Organizational Change

The business analyst may be involved in developing a process for managing the people side of change related to the solution. Organizational change management generally refers to a process and set of tools for managing change at an organizational level. The business analyst may help to develop recommendations for changes to the organizational structure or personnel, as job functions may change significantly as the result of work being automated. New information may be made available to stakeholders, and new skills may be required to operate the solution.

Techniques

Business Rules Analysis: Additional business rules may be defined to assist in migrating data, or to manage work migrated from the existing solution (as it is possible that different rules may apply depending on when the work was performed).

Data Flow Diagrams, Process Modeling and Organization Modeling: These may be analyzed to identify the differences between the existing and new solutions.

Data Modeling : Physical data models of the existing and new solutions will be compared to enable a mapping between the two.

Stakeholders

Customer: May be negatively affected during the transition based on the transfer of ongoing work, or if information is incorrectly transferred.

Domain SME: Will provide information on the existing solution and assist in verification and validation of the transition requirements.

End User: If the existing and the new solution are both in use for a period, they will need to know how to co-ordinate between them.

Implementation SME: Will be the source for many of the transition requirements.

Operational Support: May need to operate two solutions simultaneously.

Project Manager: Will need to plan for the work required to implement the transition requirements. This may affect the project scope.

Regulator: May require that records of the transition requirements and process be retained for long-term review and compliance with regulations.

Tester: Will verify that the transition has been performed correctly, including the development of test plans.

Sponsor: Will need to be informed of the potential effects of the transition on the costs and benefits of the new solution.

Output

Transitional Requirements Examples

Transition Requirements: Transition requirements describe capabilities that must be developed in order for an organization to successfully transition between solutions. Transition requirements are analyzed by this task and must still be verified, validated, managed and communicated.

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