The data load for CRM systems is less significant than those of Accounting and Financial systems and applications. Those specific fields captured by customers are often compressed into measures of activity as well, and as a result the data load is less significant than in the areas of Accounting and Financial Systems and Reservation and Booking Systems. Even when customized reports are created based on CRM data; the data load is not nearly as significant in Accounting and Financial Systems. The refresh cycles of data in CRM applications however can be quite significant as customer records need to be continually accessed and used for serving customers flying each day and those planning to take flights in the future. As a result, the refresh cycles of customer records, depending on the specific process, are often required to be in real-time. These specific processes include award travel, free upgrades during check-in, seating and meal preferences, and frequent flyer coupon redemption for upgrades and free flights at check-in at the airport. Automated check-in through mobile devices is also a relatively new process airlines are also making available which requires real-time access. Due to all these factors, the refresh cycle for CRM systems is relatively high.
Why do you think user participation is absolutely essential for success? As a member of the recently formed data warehouse team in a banking business, your job is to write a report on how the user departments can best participate in the development. What specific responsibilities for the users will you include in your report?
Resistance to change is the single biggest factor in it projects not succeeding, with the statistic of 70% or more of CRM projects not succeeding for example, due to lack of ownership on the part of those most affected by the system implementations. In data warehousing the figure is likely to just as high as CRM as employees are reluctant to give up information that is seen as part of their value within the company. Taking into account the conservative nature of the banking business and the high resistance to change of any sort in that industry, and it becomes clear that overcoming the resistance and fear of change is significant. The collection of techniques and strategies for overcoming resistance to change is called change management. To ensure a high level of ownership on the part of banking employees in the new data warehousing project, the report and responsibilities have been developed and is shown below.
Change Management Report: Data Warehouse Project
The intent of this report is to define strategies for ensuring the proposed data warehouse project reflects the needs and preferences of those employees that are most critical to its success. It is imperative that the data warehousing project be designed to give employees the opportunity to selectively streamline those tasks that are the most time-consuming and manually intensive, giving them the opportunity to use their time on more challenging and higher-value projects and tasks. The fear of how the data warehousing project will adversely affect them needs to also be addressed by providing each employee the opportunity to "own" the changes that will happen to the processes they rely on for doing their jobs first, and second, how the system can be modified to align with how they prefer to do their day-to-day activities. In reengineering processes based on the implementation of the data warehouse, it is critical that the system analysts and designers take into account the preferences of system users, from screen and graphical user interface (GUI) designs to process workflows, to ensure the system augments and improves their ability to do their jobs.
To accomplish the two objectives of attaining ownership on the part of users and also designing a system that aligns with their specific needs, it is recommended that a User Advisory Council be created that is cross-functional in structure and focuses on giving those d0epartments and individuals an opportunity to impact the design of the data warehousing project. In many instances this is a reciprocal relationship as well, as system analysts and designers learn how to fine-tune processes for even greater efficiency and performance based on the insights gained from those doing the day-to-day work in these areas. There is also the need for ensuring that those departments and individuals have an opportunity to gain ownership over the process of the system being developed so they see how their specific needs are being met with its design, programming and end structure. The user departments form the cross-functional teams of the User Advisory Council and meet periodically to review progress of the data warehousing project. It is critical that the users in each of the departments affected have the opportunity to define process areas for re-engineering as well.
In terms of specific responsibilities for the users, it is recommended that the accounting and financial staff members have the greatest participation in the Advisory Councils to first foster and nurture ownership of the data warehouse system design, programming, and launch sequence of components. Second, the service and support personnel need to also be involved in how the data warehouse series of applications including the Extract, Transact & Load (ETL). Next, the marketing and selling staffs of the bank need to have input into how the system can be made more effective in serving selling cycles and supporting customer retention programs. There needs to be ownership of the data warehousing system on their part as well as their use of it will lead to new business and revenue growth for the bank. Over and above all these members of the User Advisory Council, there is the requirement of having a senior executive be the project champion. This project champion will be critical for getting roadblocks out of the way related to process re-engineering and getting consensus across departments that are most affected by the changes enabled through the development of the data warehouse. The role of a senior executive sponsor is crucial for the success of the data warehouse and sends a very powerful signal to the employees affected that management is completely committed to the project, and second, that a senior executive with authority to move organizational and process obstacles out of the way is involved to ensure the success of the project.
You are the manager for the date warehouse project at a retail chain with stores all across the country and users in every store. How will you ensure that all the details necessary to decide on the (Database Management System (DBMS) are gathered during the requirement phase? Write a memo to the Senior Analyst directly responsible to coordinate the requirements definition phase.
In defining the methodologies for completing the Requirements Phase of the System Development Lifecycle (SDLC) for launching the proposed country-wide DBMS it is critical to involve each retail store and the users of the system during the design phase. First, to gain insights into how the DMBS can be tailored to their specific needs and make it as usable as possible, and second, to overcome resistance to change an ensure a high adoption rate, the proposed methodology must work to create a high level of system and process change ownership on the part of users in each store.
Proposed Methodology for the Requirement Phase
Each store location needs to have the opportunity to participate in the DMBS design and execution. The development of an online portal specifically for this purpose is proposed in addition to the use of video conferencing technologies for each cross-functional meeting. Retail stores will be able to have their manager and system users participate in these online dialogues in the form of video conferencing review sessions and teleconferences.
By creating this online retail store advisory council the following key criteria of the Requirements Phase can be accomplished:
The Alignment of the project vision and scope relative to user requirements. Capturing the needs across the retail stores, internal system users and customer groups while keeping the development aligned with the vision and scope of the original project is a critical step in the final definition of an initial release of the DBMS.
Finding and growing product champions is critical to change management at the retail store and management levels. This is a critical step also in the Gathering System Requirements Process, and is also essential for the entire change management process. The more significant the change required from the systems development and process definition, the greater the need for a product champion.
Requirements Specification, Validation and Management is also critical in the Gathering System Requirements Process. This is also a very critical task in that the feasibility of the DBMS project and its vision must be rigorously and thoroughly defined into product and solution concepts that can be transformed into specific application features and solution sets. The progression of turning requirements into specifications, validating them, and managing the requirements in the context of an overall product line strategy is…