Congratulations on the selection of OneStream as your Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution.
The OneStream platform provides options and flexibility that allow you to make your solution fit your business needs. One of the first steps in designing a CPM solution is making sure you have a clear understanding of what features and functionality your solution requires in order to meet your needs. This is usually accomplished through a requirements workshop. The following paragraphs outline 3 keys to success, including details and tips to follow during the sessions.
1. Invite the right people
Having the right members of your team participate in gathering requirements is possibly the most important step in getting requirements that are accurate. When thinking about who to invite, consider role, location, job responsibilities, tenure with the company, experience with other companies or divisions, and business unit. Involving a cross section of your company in these areas will provide the opportunity to get different perspectives, and will begin to unearth all the steps in a process and how OneStream can improve them.
It is not uncommon for a senior-level team member to outline their understanding of the way something is completed only to have a more junior-level team member, usually not centrally located, provide far more granular detail on how to achieve the end result. While neither perspective is wrong, it is important to get both the high-level process as well as the detailed steps to ensure there is a clear understanding of the situation. Another situation we typically see is that business units have similar reporting or planning requirements but get to this end very differently. Without understanding all differences early, the platform design and any related change management is more challenging.
2. Identify what can be better and what works
At the start of workshops I like to point out two ideas to help with gathering requirements for your new OneStream application.
The first is to point out that you are looking for improvements. Because are moving to a new CPM platform, it is likely that your organization has identified shortcomings with your current process, and this project will work to address those. The second is to recognize that you are doing some things right. Your organization would not have gotten where it is today if everything was broken. So, in addition to asking what they want to improve, I ask participants to think about what works well that they want to continue doing.
When leading these discussions it’s important to keep everyone focused and on-topic. It is very easy for the meeting to drift to an airing of grievances, at which point the conversation loses value. It is important to allow participants to feel comfortable and in a safe space to allow for ideas to flow freely, especially as it relates to current pain points. However, if a conversation begins to turn negative, a technique I have found useful is to ask a participant (who may be sharing a challenge) how they would like OneStream to address the issue at hand. It helps shift the conversation from one of negativity to one of improvement, one that is actionable. While users might not know the exact functionality within OneStream, when a team can articulate the desired end-state or a theme, it can usually be interpreted in the technical design.
3. Develop a clear vision for the future
Once you have collected and harmonized the requirements, the next step is to edit and rationalize the final list. This does not need to take place as part of the requirements workshop, but it is important that all participants are aware of the finalized list of requirements and that they agree on what will be included.
Typically, this is a negotiating process where some of the people involved will advocate for certain requirements and be willing to make concessions for others. This can include deprioritizing requirements that may not have a high enough ROI or meet the required business need.
Ultimately you want all participants in the requirements workshop to feel that their voice was heard and that they added value to the discussion. An added benefit to achieving consensus is that it helps drive ownership and helps make participants champions for the new system. The finalized requirements will then set the scope and allow the stakeholders to understand what will be included in OneStream and how it will impact their daily lives.
The first step in a successful OneStream implementation is to bring stakeholders together to agree on features and functionality that need to be included in the application. While there are many ways to do this, a requirements-gathering workshop is usually the most effective.
When conducting a workshop of this type it is important to remember the 3 keys:
- Invite the right people – Involve a cross section of stakeholders within your company
- Identify what can be better and what works – Focus your discussion are these two topics
- Develop a clear vision for the future – Come to agreement on what requirements will make the final list
Following this process will provide a strong foundation for the design and build of OneStream.
For more information on best practices for gathering requirements or to learn about other OneStream topics please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.