Although there are many approaches to undertaking a software product review, the approach outlined in this blog is based upon architectural experience, successfully working with organisations who want to assess if their business software is fit for purpose.
The first step in conducting such a review is to establish the organisation’s motivation for the review, which normally includes the knowledge of how effectively the software addresses the business and how appropriately the architecture supports the software, so that relevant review recommendations can be made.
The review starts with a kick-off meeting where all relevant stakeholders (ranging from exec level, IT & Administration staff to end users), are identified for interview and documentation is analysed in the following organisation areas:
Business & IT Strategy
Business Requirements & Processes
Software Specifications, Functions & Manuals
Service Desk, Operations and Infrastructure
Finance, Contracts & Audits
After the analysis of the documentation is completed, an interviewee checklist is created to conduct the interviews and record the information. The interviews are constructed to elicit information on the software’s functional & technical capabilities as well as demonstrating the software from a usability and operations perspective. These interviews provide perspectives not only from an end user’s one, but perspectives across the whole organisation, to ensure a holistic review of the software, as they are fundamental sources of the information for the review.
Assessments & Deliverables
The interview information, together with the documentation analysis undertaken, is then collated into a report and executive summary, which contains the following information:
Business Capability Support: This is an assessment based upon a functional review conducted during the interviews, which includes the business processes and functions of the software, with an assessment made on how well they are supported by the software
Functional Overview: This is a summary of the key functions and the Functional Review findings, conducted during the interviews, including any business operation implications of the software
Technical Overview: This details the computer hardware infrastructure, operational capabilities, architecture and operating environments of the software
Software Observations & Assessment: Based upon the Functional & Technical Overviews and the documentation analysed, software observations are made together with impact assessments
Risks & Issues Finding Summary: These are based upon evaluation of the impact assessments in terms of risks to the business
Recommendations: These are made with a holistic view of the software and take into account areas such as future, function, technology and tactical strategies
If you like our approach to software reviews and you would like more information on doing one for your organisation, fill out the form and we will contact you. Thanks for taking the time to read our blogs. If you would like to see other blogs on Roadmapping, Cloud or even how Cyma uses Professional Development to help our staff click here.