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How to Look After Business as Usual When Embarking on a Digital Transformation Project

Posted by Phil Edwards on 31/07/2019
Phil Edwards
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The business as usual (BAU) team play a pivotal part of any Digital Transformation (DX) project. Not only do they keep the wheels turning whilst your company embarks on a digital upgrade, but also continue business essential projects whilst DX takes place. The person creating the DX Test Strategy must understand the ongoing goals of the BAU projects and be acutely aware of what is happening and when; this is to ensure and to allow the appropriate approach to be taken to capture changes to core and downstream applications before they are migrated to the new platform. Additionally, detailing the level of risk required to deliver the project to quality, time and cost should also be considered and mitigated.

Business as Usual

BAU’s role in DX
It will come as no surprise that there are certain rules you should abide by when working within the BAU team when DX is running in parallel. Removing the assumptions from the get-go is a must, assuming is never allowed and each project should take steps to take care of this. It is important to communicate with all teams including the DX and this communication should be documented and actions managed so that they can check it anytime they want.

Failure of communication across teams will lead to the failure of a project so be sure about everything and have a clear idea of what to do and what not. This is very important and any changes to the BAU applications prior to the digital migration must both be recorded and communicated to the DX team to ensure they capture the latest changes and ensure their testing of downstream and non migrated applications are using the correct versions with associated correct configuration and data. Quality and constant communication among the teams as well as with the stakeholders is very important. Without quality communication it is not possible to achieve the project success.

Having a clear plan will help with communication and ultimately benefit both BAU and DX teams, meeting up regularly and involving all parties in key implementations and planning sessions will ensure everyone is aligned. Missing out the BAU and DX teams, and vice-versa, will ultimately have some knock-on consequences.

Keep Agile and Learn From Each Implementation
Continually improving and learning from each implementation is a must. Most DX projects have several go-lives; each go-live will be migrating applications onto the landscape or introducing new functions in stages, therefore there’s a great opportunity to learn and improve. The BAU team play a big part in ensuring that they feed into these sessions to ensure that the next go-live runs as smooth, if not smoother, than the last. If there are problems encountered during an implementation you have a great opportunity to rectify future releases and ensure that quality is returned to each implementation. Again, cross team collaboration is key.

Remain Agile. DX is complex and often takes several years to complete from start to finish, so there’s no surprises that even with the best plan in the world you’ll experience some change along the way. This change could be to the implementation schedule of applications to new applications being added or removed from scope, either way the ability to flex and to be able to correctly communicate across all the teams is crucial. The BAU team must also send their changes upstream as well as any new or changed applications which will need some attention and to be re-planned into the DX strategy.

Finally, when planning, a project’s timeline should always be mapped thoroughly from the very start and should always be flexible to accommodate change. This principal allows the project to flex and contract for elements that are liable to change during the project life-cycle. The most important step is to adopt clear and robust communication processes which keep improving over each release or go-live and are flexible enough to satisfy the overall project brief of both DX and BAU so that all parties involved fully understand the implication of change and are able to act upon it to ensure the success to the business and all parties involved.

The outlined steps will provide companies with a great insight into assisting BAU and making the Digital Transformation journey a success. As companies continue to adopt a digital approach, the overall success of the approach can assist in supporting further successful projects. This will in turn, help to deliver a greater consistent project delivery.

Digital Transformation & Quality Assurance

Topics: Software Testing, Digital Transformation

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