Score Your Business Requirements

by Feb 5, 2020

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:

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:

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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