This case study from one of our most prized customers demonstrates how they successfully automated their business requirements process. However, while we were not able to get approval from their legal team to disclose publicize their name with this case study, we are able to make it an anonymous case study and still drive the point home.
The company is a publicly traded provider of automated retail solutions offering convenient services that make life easier for consumers and drive incremental traffic and revenue for retailers. The company’s core automated retail businesses include coin-counting kiosks and a brand-recognizedself-service DVD rental service. The company has approximately 30,000 DVD kiosks and 18,900 coin-counting kiosks in supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchants, financial institutions, convenience stores, and restaurants.
As one of two senior business analysts at the company, the Senior Analyst is responsible for defining the business requirements that the company’s internal software development team uses to customize off-the-shelf software, which are critical to the operations of the company. However, managing business requirements in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Sharepoint proved to be a time-consuming and laborious affair as there were multiple versions being circulated simultaneously and no easy way to collaborate with the development team in real-time. In addition, the company’s software development team employed Agile methodologies and needed a requirements management system that would enable them to iterate quickly and adapt to change.
In early 2010, the senior business analyst grew frustrated upon realizing that she was wasting too much time formatting business requirements documents and trying to figure out an efficient way to share them with the rest of the team. Following a quick Web search, she discovered GatherSpace. Since GatherSpace is available on-demand, offers a 30-day free trial, and is easy-to-use, she was able to register on the site without having to download any software, enabling her to quickly get started. Additionally, because GatherSpace is purpose-built for managing business requirements, it included dozens of features designed specifically for effectively communicating requirements – including visual use-case modeling, a traceability matrix, rich-text editing, and report generation.
- GatherSpace facilitates the discussion: The process of producing quality software hinges on the business being able to clearly articulate functional and business requirements to the software team. With GatherSpace, she was able to have a productive conversation with the rest of her team since everyone could see and work on the business requirements in real-time;
- Visualize requirements to ensure quality: To ensure that business analysts are communicating requirements as clearly as possible, GatherSpace provides an intuitive use-case modeling functionality that enables software developers to visualize ‘actors’ and workflows in context specific scenarios;
- Powerful search functionality: Because GatherSpace stores all of the business requirements in a database, she and the rest of her team can search across all of her requirements and instantly retrieve the specific one she’s looking for;
- Anytime, anywhere on-demand access: Since GatherSpace is an online application, the she can access her requirements whenever and wherever they’re online and seamlessly collaborate with others on her team;