As business analytics coaches, it is our passion to talk about things that make your job easier. Today we are going to talk about developing applications & working closely with the client to gain end user adoption which is the essence of Lodestar’s new BAAM (Business Analytics Agile Methodology) program. Since planning and analysis software is becoming more focused on the citizen developer, it is even more important to now empower the client to be engaged in the development of their application. For too long, the cycle of creating complex applications with too many unnecessary bells and whistles has been going on. In many cases, this is done deliberately to create a dependency. Developers create black boxes that are only understood by them and the client has difficulty either maintaining or modifying the model. This just alienates the client and forces them to go back to environments that are familiar to them like Excel.
New vendors in the performance analysis space have taken this issue as an opportunity and focused on self services and citizen development capabilities. These vendors have promoted benefits like rapid prototyping, rapid development and quick deployment as benefits of their products. These concepts have forced some of the traditional players to change course and now they are trying to play catch up with the new breed of product offerings. By in large, this a good thing for the end user because it cultivates transparency and clarity in the model. What this also does is allow for ideas to flow freely and the best ideas get incorporated in the application. Going back to the subject of keep the client close, it can be seen that there are a number of advantages to that. At Lodestar, we have been developing application from a remote site. We schedule web meetings for the entire duration of the build and it allows the client to view, advise, and participate throughout the entire process.
Lodestar Solutions has created BAAM by incorporating Scrum and Agile methodologies into application development. Using this structured approach allows us to further immerse the client into the process. The client in most cases plays the role of Product owner and developer in some cases. They are part of the team that goes through sprints and deliver a potentially shippable product increment to the stakeholders. They are extremely intimate with the increment and can present it to the stakeholder with authority. In addition, at the end of every sprint, they are highly capable of eliciting feedback for the next increment of product development. In a waterfall approach, this is not possible because by the time the product (entire product) is delivered, it is too late. Either the delivered product is entirely different from what the client wanted or does not meet the core requirements. By making the client part of the core team, this can be avoided. It ensures course correction and allows the client to make requirement changes as the project progresses to the end.
Keeping the client close ensures constant communication, feedback loops, and active participation in the model that belong to them. If they have a say in how it is built, it is highly likely they will be its champion in the organization, hence…a higher end user adoption. A happy client will always come back to you for the next problem they want to solve.
For more info on increasing end user adoption, BAAM, or ideas on Agile & Scrum, feel to reach us at Services@LodestarSolutions.com.