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Having a clear and comprehensive statement of requirements is fundamental to a successful IT implementation. This work can be done by the company looking for a software solution, external consultants, or by a vendor ahead of an implementation.

Documenting Business Requirements

The scope and requirements document should go into depth detailing how the business operates now, where the process bottlenecks are, and what digitally-enabled best practice looks like for that organisation. For procure-to-pay deployments, it should map out both the ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ workflows.  

This information gathering work provides the foundations for a subsequent software proposal, a solution design document, and a systems integration specification. Therefore, it’s critical that the business requirements are both accurate and comprehensive. 

Where things can go wrong?

If business requirements are not sufficiently identified and captured, software can only do so much; it can only do what it’s configured to do. As a result, the IT implementation may fall short of business objectives, and the software’s potential may not be reached.

When firms decide on their business requirements themselves, there is always the risk of deploying software that does not fully meet their needs, or missing opportunities to do things better. External consultants and software vendors have extensive practical experience to draw on, so can advise on what best practice looks like in a company like yours.

They should also be across the latest technologies and developments in the industry, so can give recommendations on how to further tighten operations. For example, in procure-to-pay this includes incorporating PEPPOL e-invoicing into solutions. System-to-system data exchange is significantly more efficient and reliable than emailing procurement documents so it’s inevitably the future of procure-to-pay.

Investing in the process

The problem for many companies though, is that documenting business requirements is a time-consuming and often complex process. If it’s done properly, it can be a heavy investment in management time and effort, diverting them from their other duties.

Therefore, it’s often advisable to get an external consultant to run the business requirements gathering and documentation process. Naturally, they should have in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in procure-to-pay so they understand your business structure, workflows, and compliance needs, as well as what you’re looking to achieve. Their expertise also enables them to gather your business requirements in the most time efficient and thorough manner, with as little impact on your business as possible.

Typically, those who are most capable of providing thorough and accurate business requirements for a procure-to-pay deployment are the software vendors themselves. But how do you ensure that your business requirements are not skewed towards their solution? While you could repeat this information gathering exercise several times with different vendors, this approach is inefficient, costing you valuable management time and offering little value. Consequently, for many the best solution may be to engage a software vendor on a fee for service basis to provide impartial business requirements documentation.

What we offer?

Efficiency Leaders Consulting Services maps out firms’ current procure-to-pay processes and documents their business requirements for automation software. We offer this as a discrete service, with no obligation to deploy our solution. 

When you engage us to formulate your business requirements, we set up workshops (either on-site or remote) to get a full picture of your ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ procurement processes. We make sure all key business units are represented in these discussions, so nothing is overlooked. This engagement helps achieve buy-in, smooths the change management process, and encourages user-adoption: all factors that contribute to a successful deployment.

When this initial scoping work is done, you’ll be able to take our comprehensive business requirements documentation to market. Prospective software vendors can then supply their own solution design document and software proposals, detailing the time, effort, and likely cost of the deployment.  This helps you mitigate price and implementation risk and provides a stronger business case for procure-to-pay automation.

Conclusion

By partnering with Efficiency Leaders to formulate your business requirements. You can:

    – Benefit from our extensive experience in procure-to-pay automation

    – Gather business requirements quickly and efficiently, making sure nothing is missed

    – Avoid the stress and potential pitfalls of working out your business requirements yourself

    – Save management time by not repeating requirements gathering with multiple vendors

    – Gain ‘software agnostic’ business requirements to take to market

    – Equip vendors to provide firm price proposals and detailed solution design documentation

    – Set yourselves up for a successful deployment!

      If you want to take comprehensive business requirements documentation to market, get in touch with Efficiency Leaders Consulting Services today on +61 2 8004 5446 or email sales@efficiencyleaders.com

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