by Debra Penrice | 17 January 2017
Val Richards, Operations and Risk Manager, Weatherbys Bank
“Most people can competently raise requirements, whereas Sarah has a particular skill for negotiating these with any audience. She talks with the same clarity and ease, whether with technical experts, process delivery teams or executive management team. Her interpersonal skills are exceptional; she avoids assumptions or jargon and makes her explanations appear effortless.Sarah’s written outputs were professional and clear and delivered to plan. It took the pressure off us, to trust her with these deliverables.”
When Weatherbys Bank needed support within a major systems change project, Sarah from Bubble Business was hired because of her thoroughbred and horse racing industry knowledge, and her ability to streamline complex operations into simple steps. The organisation-wide systems change programme required a focused project team. Sarah was tasked with delivering six outcomes for one specific internal interface:
During the business analysis phase, Sarah reviewed transactional data and worked with the IT team to define the scope for software development and changes to business processes. Her key responsibility was to formalise the requirements and get them signed off by all stakeholders. The development of this interface was governed by the wider programme, therefore Sarah had to manage impacts and discuss concerns all within a tight project schedule. The heart of Sarah’s success with gaining approval, was articulating the requirements in plain English and communicating these at all levels of the business.
The software development team were preparing the new interface to the new banking system. To ensure changes would be delivered according to the stated requirements, Sarah managed four cycles of systems testing and user acceptance testing – in line with the wider programme’s test phases. Each software release raised new issues within the programme, which Sarah addressed through communications with senior management and directors.
Sarah was responsible for creating written documentation to support the teams to deliver the process improvement. The customer service teams required further assistance to embed the changes, therefore Sarah developed internal communications, delivered training sessions and provided on the job support.
To communicate effectively with senior stakeholders, Sarah produced a weekly report and attended regular sessions with the directors and management team. For each query raised, she clearly articulated plans to address the issue – either at the meeting, or by stating a date to provide an answer – and crucially, she followed up every issue within the agreed timeframe.
The internal interface went live without any interruption. As with any major system implementation there were some unforeseen issues but these could be resolved within an acceptable timeframe.. Sarah trained a new recruit to take her place as the process expert. Weatherbys Bank would recommend Sarah to others requiring support with complex business processes, due to her high motivation and willingness to adapt to their needs during the project.
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