What comes first…Gap Analysis or Use Case development?
It’s a good question and one we often get asked, but like most things in an imperfect World, the answer is “it depends!”
If we look at the OUM Method Pack and examine the dependencies for the Gap Analysis Tasks, then we see that one of the key pre-requisites are Use Case Specifications.
So that means we have to write a Use Case before doing any Gap Analysis…..right?.....well, it depends!!!
Consider the following two examples:
Let’s say you are implementing one of Oracle’s COTS applications, for example, eBS, Fusion or PeopleSoft etc. We might begin by capturing functional requirements by iteratively developing a Future Process Model. During that process you discover that the client has some requirements that cannot be met using the standard features of the application. If those requirements are reasonably well understood, then you would most likely drop into the OUM Gap Analysis “Process”. If the result of that process is a decision to go down a custom development path in order to close the “Gap” then one or more Use Cases could be created in order to fully describe the functional solution to the Gap.
Now consider this scenario. Your client is designing a solution that includes Single Sign-On, Business Intelligence and some components of Content Management. In this type of environment, it’s especially important to ask ourselves “what is the best way to capture functional requirements?” Why you may ask?............well, for projects that are process centric (e.g. Order-to-Cash, Procure-to-Pay) one would tend to favor the development of a Future Process model in order to define functional requirements. However, for projects that are not centered around traditional business processes, then we might want to consider leading with a Use Case approach in order to capture the client’s functional requirements.
In this second example, we probably won’t discover any Gaps until we go through the first iteration of Use Case development. But if we do uncover any Gaps, then our Use Cases will be an ideal direct input into the Gap Analysis process.
So what comes first Gap Analysis or Use Case Development?…..well just like the Chicken-and-Egg story, it all depends!!