While development teams rely overwhelmingly on JIRA software to manage functional requirements and user stories during sprints, the activities carried out during project initiation are focused more on business processes decomposition and stakeholder relationship management.
To fill in this gap, we use a CRM that fully integrates with JIRA software and modelling tools as a system of record for requirements throughout the entire project (Project Initiation + Scrum).
Leveraging on the out-of-the-box features of the CRM, we have customized it to support seven additional modules that are specific to Project BA Management and Requirements Management. These specialized enhancements, together with our integrations with JIRA software and Modelio, offer a depth of features that support business analysis activities in the context of any methodology (ITIL®; SCRUM, SAFE®, Waterfall, etc.)
We have made Leverforce available to our clients as a SAAS instance built on the vtigerCRM 7 open source platform.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT FEATURES
BAs can set up projects to maintain a comprehensive overview of business analysis information and activities associated to a project. They can add project milestones and decompose elicitation activities into project tasks to be able to plan and track the business analysis effort.
We have added three custom modules to meet the needs of business analysts (Project Goal, Stakeholder and KPI). The Project Goal module can be used to articulate the business needs that drive the change and the value realization that is intended with the project.
Use Cases and requirements can be associated to one or multiple project goals to ensure their strategic alignment in the project and to provide an organized view of the requirements baseline.
The KPI module can be used to define and associate performance measures (KPI) to a project goal and to carry out assessments of solutions already delivered.
The Stakeholder module makes it easy to assign project roles to contacts from the CRM standard module, offering the BA an easy view of who is who in the project, their responsibilities, expectations, and rules of engagement to follow when approaching them.
REQUIREMENTS MANAGEMENT FEATURES
We have extended the CRM features with four custom modules to enable requirements traceability: Use Case, Requirement, Story and Model.
BAs can draft Use Cases and associate them to project goals or they can model them in use case diagrams and import them automatically from the Modelio UML tool. At the start of the scrum, our JIRA integration generates from these use cases the backbone of JIRA epics needed for User Story Mapping.
Our customized module lets the BA analyze, synthesize, and refine elicitation results into requirements for a project. Below are some of the BA activities supported by this module:
- Produce draft versions of requirements for their presentation during elicitation activities
- Associate stakeholders to requirements to track the date when the requirement was raised and the stakeholder who raised it
- Rank requirements in the order of relative importance to the project stakeholder to facilitate project planning
- Associate stakeholders to requirements to track the date when the requirement was approved and the stakeholder who approved it
- Associate confirmations from stakeholders to requirements drafted during elicitation activities
- Associate project goals, support tickets, stakeholders, models and stories to a requirement
- Associate peer reviewers to requirements to track the date when the requirement was verified and the stakeholder who conducted the review
- Register alignment of requirement to project goals
- Update requirements to retain or increase their accuracy and consistency throughout the project and clone them to support their reuse in other solutions
- Analyze and associate a ticket raised during solution assessments to new requirements that fix the problem
As Project Initiation concludes, BAs are able to draft stories and allocate them to requirements in preparation for SCRUM. The BA uses the Leverforce story module to raise JIRA stories through the CRM-JIRA integration, establishing traceability to requirements automatically.
To provide business context to one or multiple requirements we have added the Model module. A model serves as a container to a visual representation that support requirements (UML Diagrams and UML models, for example). Models are independent from projects and they can be maintained and re-used in multiple initiatives.