Score Your Business Requirements

In the last post of this blog series on being successful with digital analytics, I walked through how to create your list of business requirements. By combining the needs of your team, reverse-engineering what is in your current analytics implementation and interviewing your stakeholders, you should now have a good handle on what your team should be working on. Hopefully you are beginning to see how this process can change your team from performing analysis in a reactive manner to a much more proactive approach.

If you have followed my instructions so far, you should have a decent list of business requirements. For requirements that originated from your existing implementation, you should be able to list the associated data points (variables) in the spreadsheet. For completely new business requirements, it is ok to leave the data points column blank for now. Next, you can sort your business requirements list by category or by priority. Here is an example of the sheet sorted by category:

Screen Shot 2020 05 19 at 12.47.06 PM

Now, you need to determine how well you can address the business requirements on your list today. Can you answer 90% of them or only 25%? To determine this, you are going to do a quick review of your analytics implementation. This doesn’t have to be overly-scientific, but you should be honest with yourself (or hire Search Discovery to assess it for you 😉). Add a new column to your spreadsheet for the score and then assess your ability to answer the requirement on a zero to four scale with four being the best and zero being the worst. The scores are based upon whether you have the data points you need to answer the question implemented and, if so, whether the data is accurate. For example, if you feel that you can completely answer a requirement, give it requirement a 4 out of 4. If one of the data points is there and has good data quality, but the other one hasn’t been implemented or is broken, give that requirement a 2 out of 4. To make it look prettier, I use a Harvey Balls font so I see circles instead of numbers like this:

Screen Shot 2020 05 19 at 12.47.14 PM

In this example, you can surmise that the Chat variables have not yet been implemented, so any requirement that needs them will not get a complete score. The overall score for all requirements is 56%. This is computed using a formula that sums the total scores and then divides the sum by the count of requirements multiplied by 4 (since 4 is the best possible score):

=SUM(G4:G15)/(COUNTA(G4:G15)*4)

Another way I like to score business requirements is to see what percent of requirements are 100% complete. The preceding score gives partial credit to requirements, but if you count only items that are a 4 out of 4 and then divide that by the total number of requirements, you can see, in our example, that 33% are fully answerable today: 

=COUNTIF(G4:G15,4)/COUNTA(G4:G15)

If your percentages are high, then you are doing a great job and can theoretically answer most of your business requirements. More often than not, however, I see organizations with pretty low scores when they get to this stage. Even if that is the case, don’t panic! But do take a moment to recognize that for the last few months/years, you may have only been answering a small percentage of the business questions that your internal customers had! At least now you know that and can start the process of being more valuable to the organization! Either way, I am going to show you how you can raise it over the next few posts.

If you have followed all of the steps in this series, you have come a long way even though it may not feel like it (sometimes this process makes me feel like Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid!).  Just think, within a few weeks you have:

  • Identified your website/app business objectives
  • Updated your SDR
  • Identified the business requirements you need to act on the business objectives and prioritized them
  • Met with your stakeholders to get buy-in and align on what is important
  • Mapped your business requirements to your existing data points
  • Scored your implementation to see how many of your business requirements you can work on

I’d say that is pretty darn good!

Action Items

So here is your homework for this post:

  • Make sure all of your business requirements are on your requirements sheet and all of the columns are completed (except for data points for things that need to be implemented in the future)
  • Review all of your data points and give each a score so you can use those scores for requirements. Bonus: As long as you are reviewing all of your data points, keep a list of which ones did not get a 4 out of 4 and document why and see if you can work with your developers to fix those items to increase your scores.
  • Complete the scores for each business requirement and add the two scoring formulas mentioned above to the sheet

In the next post, I will show how to take your completed business requirements spreadsheet and use it to update your implementation and super-charge your Solution Design Reference (SDR).

We’re here to help you through this.

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