Ruud Hemmer works for the 'Voorziening tot Samenwerking' (vts) of Politie Nederland (the Dutch Police Force). One of his activities is to professionalize business information management in regional police forces. There, he uses the BiSL® framework: the process model for business information management. At the moment, together with his fellow change managers, he is focusing on improvements in the specification process because Hemmer believes that a lot can still be achieved in that area.
'Dare to ask'
Self-cleaning capacity of business information management
If a business information administrator does not talk enough with the staff from the operating process, he will not have a clear picture of the need for change and the issue or problem underlying it. Users tend to come up with their own IT solutions to their problems. According to Hemmer, it is precisely the business information administrator who could calm this tendency. "By better analyzing what the underlying problem is, he can deal with a lot of these requests in a different way. For example, by a work-around or adapting the operating process. If you look at the problem more closely, rather than adopting the proposed IT solution, you will find that in maybe forty percent of the change requests, the required support is missing. The pipeline for change management will then be blocked a little less often. That's what I call the self-cleaning capacity. Very important during times when IT budgets are under pressure.
By testing feasibility at an early stage and immersing yourself in the problem of the users, you get fewer change requests, which means you have to do fewer analyses, implement fewer changes, will have fewer releases, and therefore have to do less review and testing. This all starts with specifying attention for the process."
Change requests in line with operating process
If the BiSL specification process goes smoothly, the workload of the change management and functionality management processes will decrease. In the police, we talk about a two-stage rocket. In the regional police forces, business information administrators operate, who draft the change requests from their environment and forward them to the national business information administrator. At national level, the change requests are further specified and presented to process owners for prioritization and the establishment of releases. Hemmer: "A critical business information administrator will not immediately relay the question put to him to the national business information administrator. When the need for change is made known to him, he will first want to gather the arguments from the operating process and assess the consequences for IT: how is the operating process being served, do alternate solutions exist, what will it cost? If this analysis is omitted, then business information management in the regional forces becomes simply a mouthpiece. While that very business information administrator is close to the work floor! Before the national business information administrator has gotten settled, he has a list of a thousand change requests."
So does better specification mean fewer change requests? Hemmer: "The number of change requests that flows through to the national process will decline, but so will the number of change requests that lead to a program change. Because of better analysis and more creative thinking about work-arounds or other work arrangements."
"If good specification does not take place and the operating process is not heard in the need for change, then a new release is simply a sum of the separate change requests. The business wants the operating process to be improved as a whole and for it to fit in with the prevailing strategic objectives. The business information administrator does not have to do all this himself; it can also be done by a process or information analyst or an information management adviser. He does have to organize for it to happen! In order to learn how to adopt a critical position, we are currently developing a specification workshop. Here, the participant learns to hold dialog with the business and to draft the change request via information analysis. We teach him to dare to ask, and to continue to ask. Something that is absolutely necessary in order to replace the change request based on previously devised IT solutions with change requests that are based on business and IT considerations."
Walter Zondervan, information management adviser at Ventus, exercises a healthy caution when a user organization complains about the IT supplier. According to Zondervan, users themselves are often the sticking point. In order to tackle that problem he uses a step-by-step plan: 'Directing in three steps'.
'Don't complain, ask'
Better guidance of IT in three steps
Directing in three steps means that Zondervan performs an analysis and determines where the problems are. Which BiSL® processes are and are not correctly configured? He then fills out an RACI matrix so that it is clear who is responsible for what and who should be involved in which process. Finally, on-the-job coaching takes place in order to help those who have to do the work actually to organize the work. In all steps, he makes use of the BiSL model and various best practices.
"IT does not deliver what is asked of it"
In 2007 Zondervan came into contact with BiSL. His customer was the Dutch National Road Traffic Authority (RDW) and he investigated their complaints. Zondervan: 'the IT service provider did not deliver what was expected. And the blame was placed in advance on the supplier. I was not convinced that the problem lay exclusively there, so I set about putting a sketch together. The conversations soon revealed that the strategic BiSL processes were not organized, which led to bottlenecks in the operational processes. There was also little connection between the IT strategy and the strategy of the user organization. Service times, for example: the IT department was available from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm. One of the processes of the RDW is to certify auto manufacturers for European roads. These manufacturers are based in China, Korea, and Japan. The working hours therefore differ from those in Western Europe. When determining service times, this does of course have to be taken into account! What are the specific characteristics of the business and what are their consequences for the IT supplier? These questions had been neglected.'
Zondervan had previous experience with complaints from the user organization, but they themselves did not actually know how to formulate what they needed. If that was also the case here, he wanted to make it clear in a structural way. He already had a lot of experience with ASL and ITIL but, because the problem this time revolved around the bottlenecks in the information management organization, he set to work using BiSL. Zondervan: 'I looked at all the BiSL processes and examined how they were organized at the RDW. Some processes, such as portfolio management and strategic user relationship management, did not seem to be configured. And in several other processes, people had been designated as the contact between business and IT but they had no mandate. They were passed by both users and the IT department. The business managers went to talk to the IT department themselves, with no coordination.' Some processes were given a high priority in the improvement phase: the processes that could be the most profitable. These were improved by coaching. This was the only way to achieve a professional information management organization.
Directing in three steps
Based on experiences with the RDW, among others, he developed the method of 'directing in three steps'. Zondervan: 'The nice thing about this method is that these are three individual steps that make full use of the BiSL model and can be implemented in a modular way. For example, a customer can choose to carry out step three himself, or with the help of another consultancy. If you use the BiSL model, you do not have to reinvent the wheel. For BiSL, there are a great many best practices you can use.'
1. BiSL as a basis
'In step 1 I conduct an analysis. Using interviews, I try to build up a picture of the current situation. I look at the processes, results, and actors and I show the potential areas for improvement. Together with the customer, we determine the follow-up phase.
2. Determine where you stand
In step 2, all parties have to be named. First, I work with the BiSL Self-assessment to determine the current levels of maturity. For the customer organization, I use the INK model and, for the IT department, ITIL and ASL.
Together with the organization, we map out who should be responsible for what, who should be involved in what, and what should be the results or products of a process. We draft a RACI matrix and we determine the ambition level, both for the customer organization and for the IT department. Of course, there is no point if the desired maturity levels are too far apart. That makes you more Catholic than the Pope. The RACI matrix is mainly intended to make divisions clear. Often, tasks are implicitly done, but there is no explicit description that a task is in a certain place. In the business, the information provision organization, or IT department. Now everyone is more aware of his own role but, more importantly: they know what others' roles are. This is the only way not to step on each other's toes and you know whom you should approach for what and from whom you can expect input to be able to fulfill your own tasks. This is important, particularly in tactical processes such as Planning and Control. An annual plan for the provision of information has to be delivered. Of course this is only possible if there is another process that tells you, based on business need, what the developments and expectations in the business are. If that input is not there, this kind of annual plan has no basis.'
3. On-the-job coaching
In step 3 Zondervan coaches the people who are responsible for certain processes in properly configuring these processes. If a line manager has to configure a process but he has never given it any thought, he needs people with practical experience to help him do this. Zondervan: 'It is a good idea to read the BiSL book, but it doesn't automatically give you all the answers to how everything should be configured. For example, at the RDW, they had no clear picture for user consultation and the subjects that should be discussed there. The decisions that should be taken and how often people should meet. I work with people to see how the areas for improvement should be translated into their situation, based on the theory. Ultimately, the configuration has to suit those who have to implement it. Only then can you be in a position to achieve the ambition level formulated in step 2.'
'I am often called in when something goes wrong in the customer-supplier relationship. Often, the use of a package is involved and then it always seems to be that the sticking point is the customer, not so much the supplier. One of my assignments was for a temporary employment organization in the agricultural sector. I was asked to make a package selection. The package they had was only one year old, but the customer still wanted rid of it. I could not believe that the problem lay solely with the supplier. Eventually, it emerged that the customer was not sufficiently able to determine his own information needs. The supplier was not controlled and had to weigh up all kinds of things himself. I found this out by talking to the supplier. In another assignment, I found that the supplier was suspicious during an initial visit. When I asked to what extent the customer organization determined its own needs and preferences, that supplier completely came apart. Of course, a supplier can also let things slip. , But, using ASL and ITIL he can organize until he is blue in the face: if a customer organization provides no guidance, that relationship will never be successful. It is just as if I wanted to become the salsa dancing world champion. I can look for the best partner in the world, but if I never take any lessons myself, we won't get very far.'
Petra Fleurbaaij, chief department Central Business Information Management UVIT, uses BiSL® to organise business information management within the new Insurance Company.
Motivation for using BiSL
From March 2007 onwards Petra Fleurbaaij manages a department of business information managers and projectmanagers, who are active for declaration services. In that period she went into the BiSL-model: “Why we went ahead with BiSL? It was time to organize our own house and to organize our processes. We were being engulfed by all kinds of changes: the basic insurance, a new application Oracle Health Insurance. We were mainly busy with the description and support of processes and activities of and for the business. Due to this we did not have time left for the improvement of our own processes. And then an external model convinces more than inventing something yourself. BiSL had already been devised, there are training programs, we can be certified and the interfaces with application and technical management have already been clarified. In addition the BiSL self evaluation model motivates for further development. So why would you invent something yourself?”
UVIT decided to tackle the implementation of BiSL with a project-based approach. “We prepared an implementation plan, we set up workgroups and worked in accordance with Prince2 as much as possible. By enforcing something like that as a projectbased approach you force people to get going and for mutual agreement to be sought between different departments and processes. The business with suppliers, but also with stakeholders like the internal audit division and De Nederlansche Bank, our supervisor. The department of Business Information Management provides projectmanagers and business analysts to the business, next to providing business support. They work alongside the business manager, whereby the added value of business information management becomes visible: we actually provide support, we are able to make a better translation of the business requirements to the IT-requirements and we can execute expectation and relation management better. In this way business information management really serves as lubricant for the business. Exactly as it was meant to be."
“While describing and organizing our business information management processes we decided to start with the processes at the operational level of BiSL. Because it is the closest to the business and most of the gain can be obtained there. We decided not to tackle all the processes at the same time, not everything one by one, but in a tile approach. Especially because of the relation between the BiSL-processes. We started with the set up of 'User Support' and continued like that until 'Transition'. Now we have described and implemented all the processes.”
Central Business Information Management
After the merger from VGZ, IZA, Trias and Univé to UVIT, Petra Fleurbaaij got a new employer. With four merger partners it is difficult to set up one organization for business information management. Not every partner recognizes the same processes and functions: for one the focus is on the IT and for the other on key-users who execute that user support. Meanwhile BiSL has been accepted in the whole UVIT-organization and we can continue with the reorganization and conversion of the processes. What are the pitfalls, which are reviewed in this case?
“What the pitfalls are? The shop must remain open, whatever it may cost. The business must be served. If we get into trouble with the resources, the user organization must ultimately be supported anyway, while we are also trying to bring order to our house. Each work group is chaired by a member of the management team, which is positive and indicates the importance thereof. The people in the workgroups invent the things. By thinking in roles and processes, developments are experienced mainly by the members of the workgroups. We have to ensure even better that everyone is on board, otherwise a subsequent implementation trajectory will have to be performed” , tells Petra as the new chief of the Central Business Information Management department who directed the operational control of suppliers, contract management and the management of business information and release management.
Suzie Grinwis has introduced the concept of 'business information management' for the Association of Insurers. An uncontrolled transition to version 2.0 of a business critial application led to so many incidents there that business information management was placed high on the agenda.
'Management was the supplier's job'
In 2008, one hundred and thirty-two incidents led Suzie Grinwis to offer to help the Association of Insurers. She was asked to organize business information management some time after a new supplier had come along: 'There are three business-critical applications: a document management system, a CRM system and an extranet. All management activities took place within the external supplier. The supplier went bankrupt and the person who took over management said, "you have to go to 2.0 because we no longer support 1.4." That happened without testing and the result was a dreadfully unstable system. The secretaries, the key users, worked according to 1.4 in a 2.0 environment. As a result of the instability, the Association could no longer satisfy its core business, serving its members. Even the supplier was surprised by some of the error messages we received.'
Understanding the incidents
Since the Association did not have content-related knowledge of the applications, the system owner had always given responsibility to the supplier. In the past, this had been agreed with the previous supplier. Grinwis had to make sure that this was changed: 'the new supplier did want to help, but needed a good contact within the Association. Then I was asked to help. The biggest problem was the incidents. First, I made a good incident list, after which we could get down to making agreements with the supplier. Eventually, we gained some insight and the problems could be resolved. Then the organization realized that business information management was available. People submitted changes but did not think properly about their goal or what the alternatives were. And everything had to happen immediately. So it became a new job.'
And then the other processes
Grinwis got to work configuring the process of change management: procedures, forms, work agreements: 'I used the Change Request Form. I was able to make sure that the users gained more insight into what they were actually asking. They had to think about the original problem, alternatives, work-arounds, and costs. "Do you have the money?" was an inevitable question. Eventually, I configured all the processes of functionality management and the connecting processes. When I left after nine months, a permanent business information administrator took over my work. The change process is still running smoothly and in any case less money is being wasted than before.'
Henk van Twillert works with the raw material operations (GSB) of Corus. His task is to reduce the 'patchwork' in applications and to establish professional management in order to prevent patchwork, so he uses ASL® and BiSL®.
A difference of opinion concerning the production result
Corus has eight work units including blast furnaces, the steel plant (where metal is drawn into plates and profiles) and raw material operations (GSB). Besides, there are a number of service units and a plant that manufactures packing steel as well as cans. The GSB prepares coal and ore so that they can subsequently be used in blast furnaces. The GSB is the largest work unit, comprising a dozen people. It is made up of several separate plants having their own information systems and control of machines. When all information sources were coupled to each other, problems arose. Henk van Twillert: "There appeared to be differences in information about the chains. The financial division, for example, derived a production result from the difference between input and output, whereas the production division had another interpretation of the production result."
The last coking coal can also be ejected
"Earlier, when all plants were independent, there was control of information and machines by plant. If changes needed to be made, the business just walked over to application management, and the matter was settled. With GSB’s existence, there was need for co-ordination of information. If something changed somewhere in the chain, there was no insight into what the impact of this change was elsewhere in the information chain. Take the coking plant, for example. This plant has an ejection machine which pushes the coke out of the furnace. This process operated correctly; however, sometimes some coke was left in the furnace. The user wanted the furnace to be able to eject for a slightly longer time. The manager adjusted this factor immediately. A few months later it appeared that production had fallen for some reason. No one knew why. Five hundred furnaces times a couple of seconds appears to have had a considerable impact."
Connection between functional and application management
"Changes were not guaranteed and recorded. No one could therefore retrieve (records of) this adjustment. A couple of years later, with a new manager, this happened a second time. The time was thus ripe for good management. Since the problem existed primarily in change management, we started there. I used the process models from the ASL framework and BiSL framework and mapped where the links between the management areas were. For the change process we now have a clearer understanding of which party does what and at what point transfer should be done between parties by activity. Business is now once again the direction pointer. Key users with their good-to-haves list are present here. Functional managers then closely examine change requests, evaluate them and make specifications. In the past, key users just walked over to application management to have their changes implemented. They were often small changes, but had a large impact on financial liability, for example. Now that the roles are described and the transfer points between the roles are clear, we prevent changes which are not guaranteed from being implemented. Therefore, functional management once again has contro. And management clubs once again do only that what they need to do, with clearer control from business."
9,100 people are employed at Corus in IJmuiden. Twenty years earlier there were more than twice that number. Furthermore, more steel is produced now than then. A clear sign that professionalism has borne fruit. Anything done serves the operating processes. Henk van Twillert: "The two blast furnaces here are the best in the world. The Raw Material Operations are now the best in Europe. In order to become World Masters, we are completely occupied with further professionalizing the processes. Off to the laboratory!"
Tom Heisterkamp is professionalizing business information management at the Dutch Tax Department. He uses the BiSL®-framework and several best practices.
Business information management at a dead end
The Tax Department is an organization with frequent reorganizations. After the last reorganization of management and automation in 2001 it appeared that a part of the demand of the information system had been housed in the IT department: business information management got to a dead end. From 2007 onwards business information management is again in the spotlights and program manager Tom Heisterkamp received the assignment to reorganize business information management. He hopes to be finished by the end of 2009. “In the past years the Tax Department has been frequently in the news in a negative way. We appeared to be masters in the repair of damage, but appeared not to be able to solve the structural causes. What did not go well? In any case, there was something wrong with the relation between B/CICT (the Center for ICT, the internal supplier, ed.) and B/CA, the Tax Department/Central Administration (the business, ed.). We decided to use the BiSL-framework. Also in the NORA, the Nederlandse Overheid Referentie Architectuur [Dutch Government Reference Architecture], BiSL is recommended. We have used the reference work of Van der Pols in combination with several best practices. That is how we used the role description to set up our own function matrix and the book to get a complete picture of all the processes and activities to be executed.”
The same business domains
To improve the communication between B/CICT and B/CA the Tax Department has decided to use the same subdivision in business domains. B/CA distinguishes five business domains: return, assessment, customs, benefits and data. The B/CICT now also uses this subdivision, due to which the cooperation can be streamlined much better.
Size requires differentiation
It was furthermore decided to house the activities of the BiSL process cluster Use Management with B/CA and that of the process cluster Functionality Management, whereby the information system is changed, to be housed with the B/CPP, the Centre for Process and Product Development. “Because of the size of our business this split can be easily made. For Use Management alone we expect to deploy two hundred fifty people. For some question flows, such as request Declaration of Employment Status, all user questions can be answered by one person. But for assessment taxes, for example, we expect to need forty people, only for answering user questions. We have also prepared separate role descriptions by process. An officer performs either the process User support or Business data management or Operational supplier management. With the book in our hand we went ahead to make a good description of what an officer should do exactly. Take, for example, the proactive monitoring of the data integrity. That is something we are not doing at the moment. So we include it in the function profile.”
Soon the tasks will be better distributed. Everyone knows of one another who is responsible for what and where he can go with his question. Who knows, maybe the Tax Department will return to the situation of before 2001, the demand will be back again with the demand and the repair of damages will be something of the past.
René van de Hesseweg has developed the BiSL® best practice “Role description Business information manager,” a product that he himself uses on a regular basis for a variety of purposes.
ICT imposes requirements on the requesting organization
As a senior business consultant, René has performed a number of jobs for a wide variety of clients. His specialty is the organization and improvement of management organizations in terms of technical, application and business information management. He was asked to provide a small insurance company with support in professionalizing its ICT department. During this process a number of requirements emerged that the ICT department wanted to impose on the business. This resulted in a follow-up assignment to further professionalize the requesting organization. “Tighter monitoring of budgets and the fact that the ICT department received a budget for each individual information domain meant that only a limited amount of requests from the departments could be granted. Consequently, the desire for change must be better substantiated, i.e. the reason, the consequences in the event of refusal, and a cost/benefit analysis.”
Business information manager promotes interests of the business
During the professionalization of the ICT department, the need arose for greater clarity on the role of the business. In order to realize this, René began describing the roles of the various staff members. René: “The role of business information manager already existed, but it had not been assigned specific tasks. There is a wide range of role descriptions for ASL, such as change manager and incident manager. Business information management roles each cover a large number of tasks, which makes it difficult to know what one can expect from an individual. During this process, we therefore developed a description for the role of business information manager. The role description ensures that the employee knows what is expected of him, particularly in his position with respect to the ICT service provider. As a result, this relationship has been rejuvenated. The definition of these tasks has made people realize that business information management on behalf of the business defines the role of ICT, and that business information management promotes the interests of the business. This is a considerable change.”
Many possible applications
The role description was subsequently combined with another practical example, which has since become a best practice. René: “I use it myself and I know that the role description is used for a variety of purposes:
1. in preparing job listings.
2. in reorganizations: If supply and demand are separated, application administrators are often assigned business informationl management activities. In such cases the role description helps to clarify the changed duties.
3. in separating focus areas for large information systems, for instance. In such cases one administrator is appointed to provide day-to-day operational user support, while another is appointed to keep the change process on the right track.”
The DVOM/I (Service organisation of the Public Prosecutor/Information management) is an organizational division of the Public Prosecutor, which wants to use a standard checklist for the control of information supplies to get a view of the risks. Bas van Dijk has used the ´Checklist for Commissioning New Services´ to develop a specific checklist.
Consequences of reorganization
Bas van Dijk works as an independent consultant and has been engaged as project leader and consultant since March 2008 with DVOM/I. DVOM/I is a startup organization, which performs management tasks in the area of computing for different Public Prosecutor divisions. He advises DVOM/I management about implementing business information management processes and uses the BiSL® model as a reference framework. Bas van Dijk: “As a result of reorganization in the Public Prosecutor, DVOM/I, as a shared service organization, has assumed responsibility for the business information management of the different information systems. In the short term, a substantial number of existing information systems is maintained. And in the meantime there are already newly built systems, which are ready to be maintained.”
DVOM/I has the task of guaranteeing the continuity and quality of information supply within the operating process at execution level. DVOM/I can visualize the achievability of these objectives by doing a kind of quality check during maintenance, and, if necessary, make adjustments to it or provide support to the delivering party. Bas van Dijk: “Since I had done similar work with other organizations, I knew that there was a checklist of the ASL BiSL Foundation for the maintenance of new services. I used it as a starting point for the checklist of DVOM/I. As far as I am concerned, that is also the idea of a best practice: experiences from other organizations that you can customize to your own organization or contract.”
View of weak areas
“In our end product we have included controls with respect to project progress, such as the control whether one or no check has been performed on the business case, and whether there is a project file, for example. We also check the suitability of the user’s organization, and whether the point of contact is known to the supplier. The end result has not become a ‘show stopping report’. Thus, if something is missing, we still accept an object for service and maintenance. What is important, is that we know where we need to pay attention in order to be able to guarantee the continuity and quality of the information supply. And at times we get things where we can still do something before we control an information supply.” The checklist is momentarily applied to all systems which need to be controlled. The list is also used with the initiation of newly built systems. Due to this, account can be taken of the requirements and good-to-haves of the management organization in the project. A good example of a best practice which leads to a new best practice!
In order to gain greater insight into the available and required capacity, Ruud van Ravenswaaij used the BiSL® best practice“Planning & Control Process Description.”
Harmonization between various business unit
Ruud van Ravenswaaij works as a team leader in the central business information management department at Fortis. This department manages corporate-wide applications such as office automation, and manages the service level agreements of the decentralized management departments (such as Claims, or Healthcare and Income) with the internal supplier (IST). Ruud: “We make the agreement with the IST, and the individual business units subsequently prepare their own “Agreements and Procedures File” within that framework. We also ensure harmonization between the different business units when they have similar requirements with respect to output, for instance. Using the best practice “Planning & Control Process Description” has enabled us to harmonize these changes more effectively. In the past we would start running if an assignment landed on our desk. We are now better equipped to make choices and identify the relationships between assignments in advance.”
Greater insight into scheduled activities
I now look into the future more actively and have a better grip on the work I am assigned with the capacity required for it. This enables me to deploy the resources available to me more effectively and efficiently. Planning enables me to make choices. Take the calculation of healthcare costs, for example. This always involves tight schedules. In November, the new premium structure must be determined for the following year, and offers must be made. If the organization misses this deadline, it will already have lost the insured to another party. On the other hand, being too early poses the risk of the premiums being too high or low. We therefore take this into account when planning the capacity. During this period of the year, there must always be room for change with respect to the new premium structure. We also take these seasonal events into account in the budget, as there must of course still be sufficient financial scope.”
Relationships to other BiSL processes
Before the start of a new calendar year, we make agreements with the IST regarding the amount of capacity and the timing. The requirements of the business form the basis of these agreements. Financial management determines whether our available budget is sufficient to do what we have to do. If this is the case, the plans can be achieved. This then becomes input for contract management, i.e. definition of our expectations of the IST for the year in question. This enables both us and the IST to gear the capacity plan to the needs of the business, to the greatest extent possible.”
Hans Silbeek uses the BiSL® best practice 'Operational activities manual' to keep national and regional business information management in sync.
Hans Silbeek is employed by the Central Services of the Netherlands Police. He is the national business information manager of their tracking systems and, in particular, forensic tracking systems, which are used for fingerprint recognition, iris scans, speech and handwriting recognition and photo identifications, among other purposes. Hans: “As national business information manager, I coordinate the business information management activities for a maximum of 26 police forces supraregional level. For example, the National Tracking System (LSV) is currently being used by three police forces. After this pilot program, the system will be implemented nationally. My responsibility will be to ensure good coordination of the business information management of all the different forces.
National and regional activities
A portion of the business information management activities of each individual force is performed by the regional business information manager. The rest is my responsibility. It is important that we make clear agreements as to who does what. The business information management of tracking systems is often performed by operational staff in addition to their normal duties. They have little BiSL knowledge, which means it is all the more essential to provide a good description of the activities required to support users as well as possible. I therefore used the best practice “Operational activities manual” as a guideline when creating an national handbook, as it provides a good, complete summary of all the business information management activities. To this I added background information from the BiSL book in order to explain the processes, and I also divided the activities according to the level of detail. I then specified which subactivities are performed by whom: the regional or national business information manager. For example, the regional business information manager prepares test specifications, I help him do that and I create the national test plan. I regard this best practice as a guideline that should be fleshed out to the necessary level of detail for each information system.
Benefits of structure
The pilot will be used to examine whether the national handbook is detailed enough, and whether Hans’ proposed delegation of duties works in practice. What has this product achieved to date? Hans: “It made writing my handbook much easier. It provided me with a structure that facilitated the writing process and kept me from leaving anything out. In addition, I hope that if all national business information managers use this guideline, the regional business information managers will be able to identify with it more. If a business information manager has experience with one type of information system, they will be able to more readily understand the business information management of another information system, if they both use the same structure.