Using Chapter 4 of BABOK®’s Agile Extension guide in your online classroom as your road map, define solution development, and then evaluate the techniques as they relate to solution development. Explain two techniques that would be appropriate to use in the CWI scenario, and explain why these two methods would be the best ones to use in this situation. Also explain the need for iterative solution development practices. Use examples to support your position.
Business Scenario for Cool Widgets, Inc. (CWI)
Cool Widgets, Inc (CWI), is a fictitious collection agency that is currently experiencing significant growth, which has greatly increased physical mail volume. One of CWI’s long term strategic goals is to strengthen its brand by streamlining internal operations. To facilitate this CWI intends to add employees and two new branch offices. However, with the additional business and projected growth, Cool Widgets needs a more efficient method for handling its rapidly expanding mail volume.
What, Where & Why:
CWI is in need of streamlining the receipt and internal delivery of mail for accounts payable (AP), accounts receivables (AR), and account collections (AC). These departments have the greatest number of manual activities in the organization because most of the physical mail that comes into the organization ends up in these three areas. The AC and AR departments have the largest portion of the incoming mail. These two departments are responsible for managing revenue, processing the payments sent in by customers, and remitting the funds to the client organizations.
CWI handles over a 1,000 pieces of mail on a daily basis. The mail includes letters, bank statements, checks, invoices, solicitations, UPS, Fed-Ex, and courier deliveries. All of these must be sorted and routed appropriately.
The task of sorting and promptly delivering the large volume of incoming mail is complicated by the frequent misidentification and misrouting of important mail pieces, such as invoices, payment advisories, wire confirmations, checks, and money orders. Many of these items are then delayed, misplaced, or lost in the shuffle. This results in lost revenue, late penalties, and many customer complaints due to lost payments and/or slow payment processing.
CWI needs to find a way to improve the process and determine the best method for addressing the issues – this includes looking beyond merely solving the immediate problem. Looking toward the future is especially important since CWI has plans to expand, and to shift some operations processing functions to the new branch offices where there will be no physical mail delivery activities.
CWI’s current expansion plan is to have 200 employees in three processing offices. These will be located in three states (CA, NY, NV) and connected via a WAN (wide area network). There are 100 employees in the corporate office in California and there will be 50 employees in each of the two new branch offices. CWI is also considering hiring remotely located collection employees in the future as the business continues to expand.
In this scenario you are the Senior BSA in charge of this analysis effort on the mail issue for Cool Widgets, Inc.
Partial List of CWI Stakeholders and Related Parties
(Be aware that this is not an exhaustive list)
- Sandra – CEO
- Jorge – COO
- Sydney – CIO
- Palo – Collections Manager (AC)
- Tyra – Mailroom Operations Manager
- Aaron – Senior Mailroom Clerk
- Mailroom Clerks
- Alesha – Accounting Supervisor (AR & AP)
- Accounting Clerks (AR & AP)
- Hammond – Collections Supervisor
- Collection Reps
- Leslie – Customer Service Supervisor
- Customer Service Reps
- Derrick – Marketing Manager
- Randy – Project Manager
- McKenzie – Lead Programmer
- Programmers and other technical staff
- You (yes, you 😊 ) —Senior BSA
Example elements for analysis and consideration:
- Frequency of external mail retrievals or deliveries from post office
- Frequency of internal mail delivery from mail room sorting to various depts.
- Handling of Fedex/UPS/courier/special deliveries
- Outgoing mail handling
- Volume of outgoing mail
- Number of people in mail department
- The key players, stakeholders, sponsors
- Time constraints for departments that depend on mail delivery
- Other departments that rely on mail delivery
- The impact of lost/misrouted mail pieces on the CWI’s bottom line
- Choke points in CWI’s mail handling process
- Current manual processes that could be eliminated with technology