Making the Most of Modeling Software

Simulation software can add some welcome velocity to your application development efforts, but it’s not a bandage you can just stick onto the problem. You’ll also need to lay some groundwork with your people and examine internal processes—you won’t see the results you want. Here are some tips from early adopters:

>>Shift your culture. Tools alone won’t fix a broken design process. Citibank had to start by rethinking its requirements definition process and leading a culture change to make sure business analysts designed with the software user’s needs in mind.

>>Train your analysts. Prepare to invest time and money in order to get the tool in place. BMO Financial Group knew that if it didn’t train its analysts thoroughly in using simulation tools, they would not be able to effectively interpret the results with customers. "It’s not the tool which will solve the problem, it’s the process, and the quality of the people, their skill set," says Jesse Hanspal, BMO’s director of development technology services.

>>Establish a performance baseline. Develop metrics to show how your software development process worked before you started using the simulation tools. If you don’t have a measurement in place detailing your performance now, you won’t be able to measure genuine improvement.

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