“Our employees needed to know the best and standard way to gather requirements, transfer them into a design and pass them on to another team. Hollstadt & Associates’ training enabled us to come to consensus on a structured approach that worked, and everyone on our team learned how to employ it.” - Senior IT Manager, Project Management Office, International Direct Sales Company
A well-known manufacturer of creative hobby and craft products, this direct sales company employs nearly 100,000 independent sales representatives throughout the world.
A major increase in demand for its products and services, coupled with the need to support a rapidly growing number of home-based sales representatives, created an overwhelming demand for systems development and upgrade projects. With a relatively junior IT staff on board and minimal project processes or standards in place, the client was finding it difficult to meet project quality, cost and schedule requirements throughout the organization. In addition, its business analysts had varying levels of project experience and subject matter expertise. They were employing diverse methodologies and using a wide variety of tools and techniques to achieve project success.
IT leadership determined that standardizing the business analyst role and providing in-depth training and development opportunities for all analysts would increase operational efficiencies and enhance project results. Armed with more knowledge and greater abilities, the business analysts would also be empowered to use leading-edge tools, streamlined processes and proven techniques to clarify expectations and increase project success.
To successfully complete critical business and technology initiatives, the direct sales company needed to:
- Develop and implement a structured approach to requirements management that incorporated best practices and real-life scenarios
- Provide in-house training for all business analysts
The challenge for the client was to implement a customized business analysis training program that would provide its technical team with a solid understanding of the business analysis blueprint and a consistent application methodology.
The client engaged Hollstadt & Associates because of the firm’s reputation for business analysis excellence and proven ability to deliver client-specific training programs. Hollstadt began the engagement by meeting with internal subject matter experts to fully understand the client’s proprietary Requirements Management Process to ensure the process would be appropriately integrated into the curriculum. Next, Hollstadt developed a series of half-day business analysis blueprint training modules that focused on the business analyst skills framework and how the framework integrates with project management processes to drive maximum project value.
All team members attended training once a week for eight consecutive weeks. This schedule enabled participants to immediately apply what they learned to their jobs, bring real-world issues and challenges into the classroom each week, and provide management with feedback so real-time process enhancements could be made.
“The training went very well,” said the senior IT manager, Project Management Office. “Many of our employees had not worked in a structured environment, and they needed to know the best and standard way to gather requirements, transfer them into a design and pass them on to another team. Hollstadt’s training enabled us to come to consensus on a structured approach that worked, and everyone on our team learned how to employ it.”
Project teams now apply a consistent, streamlined approach to requirements management and employees have enhanced business analysis knowledge and skills. Adopting a standard methodology and training for all stakeholders and team members has enabled the client to achieve project milestones and remain within budget for a vast majority of projects.
Shortly after completing the training, Hollstadt began supplying the client with high-level project management, business analysis and quality assurance consultants to support and mentor its teams. Based on the caliber of its consultants and quality of service, Hollstadt is now one of the client’s preferred staffing providers. “Hollstadt has a very strong bench of project management and business analysis specialists, and we call them first. They understand our needs and provide us with resumes of great candidates within 24 hours,” concluded the senior IT manager. “Hollstadt consultants hit the ground running and are very effective.”