Off we went!
When initiated, our team was named the Functional Application Management team, or FAM team in short. We aimed to slowly onboard existing tools under our management and optimize their configuration to fit the needs of end-users and other stakeholders.
As stated, our first project was the implementation of a new ERP system. While this was quite a task in itself, we saw tremendous value in expanding our horizon by investigating how we could further integrate it with our existing internal IT landscape. We defined a model for how such systems should interact with each other in the future. This provided us with a more clear set of goals which eventually led to several integrations between the ERP system and applications for sales, recruitment, appraisals and access management. As a result, we were able to automate steps, previously performed manually, in multiple processes such as hiring & onboarding, offboarding, order to pay, management information and others. Additionally, we introduced a new way of thinking: instead of having separate databases with different versions of the truth, we used the new ERP solution as the single source of truth for information.
Within our team this proved to be a paradigm shift, we realized that our main focus was never on the application itself but rather the underlying processes which it supports. As we realized this, we continuously started to treat tools and applications as supplementary and supportive to processes instead of as solutions to a problem.
This process-oriented mindset became key in our way of working. It made us feel less dependent on tooling and enabled us to reach a deeper level of understanding in how and why we act in certain processes. Once you truly understand the goal and means of each step in a process, you can then spot its flaws. Of course, it all depends on the context, in many cases simple changes can provide great improvements and in some cases better configuration or implementation of different tooling provides more value. This isn’t exact science, but taking the process as a starting point helps in both understanding a problem and eventually building a structural solution.
By further adopting this process-oriented perspective we gained a lot of traction and visibility. This enabled us to operate in and initiate more impacting projects and move away from how we initially started our team. It felt logical to change our team name as the old name suggested we operated in a more traditional form of functional application management. So we changed the name of the team to the Functional Business Analyst team, FBA team in short. We feel this covers our way of working and the things we do in a better way.