Solution value recommendations

The recommend actions to increase solution value task is used to comprehend the components that could create differences between the potential value and actual value, and to propose a course of action to align them.

The tasks in the solution evaluation knowledge area are used to measure, analyze, and determine causes of unacceptable solution performance.

The recommend actions to increase solution value task, centers on understanding the performed assessments, identifying alternatives and recommending actions to improve the solution’s performance.

These recommendations are used to identify if a solution should be replaced, retired, or enhanced. They may also consider the continuing effects and contributions of the solution to the stakeholders.

There are two elements which are used in the recommend actions to increase solution value task and they are:

1. Adjust Solution Performance Measures: the performance of a solution might be acceptable by performance standards but it may not support the fulfillment of the business goals and objectives.

The business analyst has to analyse the performance measures to identify and define more appropriate measures that would help in value realization.

2. Recommendations: recommendations usually describe ways to increase solution performance and depending on the reason for the lower than expected performance, it may be reasonable to take no action, adjust factors that are external to the solution, or reset expectations for the solution.

Some common examples of recommendations that a business analyst might make to improve the solution’s performance include the following:

Do nothing: this is usually recommended when the value of the change is low in comparison to the effort that is required to make the change, or when the risks of the change are higher than the risks of remaining in the current state.

It may also be impossible to make a change with the available resources available or in the time allocated.

Organizational change: organizational change is the process for managing perceptions about the change in relation to the solution.

Organizational change management refers to the process and set of tools for managing change at an organizational level.

Achieving organizational changes may involve changes such as the automation of job functions and this could lead to stakeholder resistance.

So the business analyst should work with the stakeholders to help develop recommendations for changes to the organizational structure or personnel.

Possible recommendations that are related to the organizational change include:

1. process automation: relatively simple tasks are prime candidates for automation, examples include approvals tasks. Processes can also be analyzed for re-engineering opportunities, changes in responsibilities, and outsourcing.

2. improved access to information: the change may provide access to large amounts of information which would be utilized by the stakeholders.

3. reduce the complexity of interfaces: interfaces are needed whenever work is transferred between systems or between people. Reducing the complexity of the interfaces can improve understanding.

4. eliminate redundancy: the process involved in the change have to be carefully analysed to identify and eliminate duplicate work.

5. avoid waste: the business processes need to be analysed to remove those steps that are not value adding.

6. identify additional capabilities: the solution may offer additional functionalities to the organization beyond those identified in the requirements. In many cases, these functionalities may provide future potential for example, a software application may have features that the organization anticipates using in the future.

7. Retire the Solution: there may also be a need to consider replacing the solution or the solution elements. This maybe because the solution has reached the end of its life, its services are being in sourced or outsourced, or the solution is not fulfilling the business goals.

Some additional factors that may impact the decision regarding the replacement or retirement of a solution include:

i. ongoing cost versus initial investment: the maintenance costs of the existing solution could increase over time, but replacing the solution with an alternative might be too capital intensive.

ii. opportunity cost: the opportunity cost is defined as the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

iii. necessity: sometimes it becomes necessary to change a solution because the solution has reached the end of its life. Reasons why a solution could reach its end of life include obsolescence and changing market conditions.

iv. sunk cost: the sunk cost is described as a cost that an entity has incurred, and which it can no longer recover.

If the stakeholders are heavily invested in the success of the change, it could be difficult for them to objectively assess the rationale for replacement or elimination, as they may feel reluctant to “waste” the effort or money already invested.

As this investment cannot be recovered, it is effectively irrelevant when considering future action. Decisions should be based on the future investment required and the future benefits that can be gained.