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Blog: do you want to improve decision making within your business?

By John Chapman, Programme Director | Friday 11th September 2015.

John Chapman
A customer wanted to improve their decision making. Their implementation of SunSystems had a number of different business units and there was not a common chart of accounts or analysis code structure in place.

The analysis of data was difficult and involved copying into spreadsheets, manual manipulation and amendment. This was time consuming, prone to error, mundane and by the time the analysis was completed it was out of date.

Whilst looking to improve this situation the questions raised were:

  1. What changes would be made?
  2. What were the business benefits?
  3. What software features were needed from the system to assist in this delivery?

The Cranfield School of Management has an approach to modelling system benefits using Benefit Dependency maps. These can be used to show the link from software features, the enablers, to business changes and then then investment objective.

Benefits Dependency Map

For this particular customer a benefit dependency map was drawn. The enabler was the implementation of the common chart of accounts, the investment objective to improve decision making.

By having such a diagram it is easy to see how the enabler changes (the common chart of accounts), link through the enabler features to the changes in the organisation; and from this the benefits that are delivered.

It is said a picture is a thousand words. By using Benefit Dependency maps we can portray, in a simple, straightforward and understandable schematic, how the investment objective will be delivered.

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