usability by stariya


									                Usability Testing & Systems Implementation
With the wealth of products available at similar prices and with the same functions, usability is now
one of the most important features for customers investing in new systems. Many large organizations
enhance in-house systems to improve business effectiveness. Whilst many of these systems appear
to achieve that goal, the final match between the desired and the actual can be worlds apart.
Acacia will assist at any stage of this process from concept through to implementation and ensure
that the emerging system is cost-effective and appropriate for the business activities and local
working procedures of your organization. In essence, Acacia undertakes these activities by
conducting an independent assessment of both the Customers needs and the options available to
satisfy these needs. In the event that the Customer is producing a new system, Acacia will assess
the suitability against the intended organizational structure and target population. Both of these
elements include formal or informal user trials and acceptance tests.
Whether your organization is large or small, if you are considering developing or purchasing a system
to improve your business effectiveness, Acacia will work with you in partnership to ensure you
achieve your goals and reduce the risk of such activities.

                                                          individuality and use it as the basis for identifying
What can go wrong?                                        the need within an organization.
Many companies and organizations view a new               The process comprises three inter-relating stages
system, particularly an IT system, as the saviour to      (though any can be selected in isolation if the need
their problems, without fully realizing the               exists):
implications that may arise. These could include:         Stage 1 – Front End / Customer Analysis
-   Purchase of an inappropriate system that does         By far the most important aspect of the overall
    not meet the conceptual beliefs;                      process is the Front End / Customer Analysis. This
-   Hidden support costs of a new system;                 requires a detailed understanding of your
                                                          organization in terms of the long term goals or
-   Unforeseen and costly changes to working              mission statement and where the new system
    practices;                                            relates to these objectives. It further aims to
-   Inability of Staff to use the system due to           understand how your organization currently
    inexperience and insufficient training.               operates and identify the skills and abilities of its
                                                          personnel. An audit trail of the information
The process employed by Acacia will assist in             collected during this stage, and subsequent stages
mitigating all these aspects and ensures your             are always provided for assessment.
organization has a new system that meets its
business goals.                                           The Front End / Customer Analysis utilizes three
                                                          main processes: a Business Goals Analysis; an
The Process what we actually do                           Organizational Process Analysis; and a Target
                                                          Audience Description.
The employees of Acacia have pooled their
                                                          The outputs from this first stage consists of:
respective knowledge and skills sets to produce a
structured process for Usability Testing and              -   Business Goals and Mission Statement;
Systems Implementation. Whether evaluating the
                                                          -   Organizational Structure and Information Flow
options for new systems or building in-house
applications, this process can be adopted at any
stage and provides for a systematic and structured        -   Details of the Personnel, in terms of
approach for ensuring that the most appropriate               demographics, skills and knowledge, etc.
and cost-effective system is implemented.
                                                          -   Details / Requirements of the proposed system.
The use of this structured process does not assume
that all companies and organizations have the same        Stage 2 – Options / Suitability Analysis
requirement, far from it - the uniqueness of each         The purpose of the second stage is to review the
in terms of business activities, working practices,       marketplace in order to assess the most
and in many occasions the level of staff proficiency      appropriate solutions available, based on an
will vary. What the process does is draw out this         understanding of the requirements from Stage 1. If

Tel/Fax: +44 (0)20 8549 9427        e-mail:                            Page 1 of 2
the system is an in-house application, this activity       -   Every element of the work is auditable as we
assesses the suitability of the proposed solution.             appreciate that you are the real experts on
                                                               your company / organization.
In both cases, this stage will provide an early
identification of the System Implementation Issues         -   The basis of the process is quantifiable analysis
that may arise. This could include changes to the              with statistical data.
company structure and operating procedures, or a
                                                           -   The Usability Testing phase provides the basis
need for further training. With experience of
                                                               for technical documentation and / or changes
specifying and implementing large-scale systems,
                                                               to working procedures within the company /
particularly from the Support perspective, Acacia
will provide an initial identification of the hidden
costs associated with the new systems                      -   The Usability Testing provides the basis for the
implementation.                                                identification of training requirements to the
                                                               relevant company / organization personnel.
The Options / Suitability Analysis uses two
processes to achieve the above objectives: a
System Fidelity Analysis; and Business Process             Why Acacia? what makes us qualified
Modelling.                                                 Many companies / organizations already have a
The outputs from the second stage are:                     similar process to that described above already in
                                                           place in their organizations, though we believe we
-   Option Selection / Suitability Report;                 can provide this service better for the following
-   Provisional details of Implementation Issues           reasons:
    and Hidden Costs.                                      -   We are independent and have no pre-conceived
Stage 3 – Usability Testing                                    bias and ‘political’ opinions.
The final stage within the Usability Testing and           -   We are not affiliated with any software houses.
Systems Implementation Process is the Usability            -   We pride ourselves on our professionalism and
Testing itself. By far the most understated                    integrity providing a service that is high quality
activity, Usability Testing often carries on after the         and auditable.
new system has been implemented. Scenarios will
be developed from the Information Flows, Business          -   We have extensive experience in running
Goals and Requirements, and used by Acacia to test             company / organization wide projects across
and assess the performance of the new system.                  multiple departments.
The aim will be to reduce the emerging risks to the        -   We have experience in large systems
business activities, and assess the usability of the           implementation together with all the
system with respect to the end personnel.                      associated support requirements. We are
Emerging from the Usability Testing will also be an            further experienced at testing complex
identification of any implementation issues that               systems.
the introduction of the new system may cause,
together with any hidden costs.                            -   Finally, we are experienced at providing the
                                                               appropriate amount of information for every
This stage will utilise the process of Usability               level within the Management Chain, be that
Testing.                                                       detailed analysis to executive summaries.
The outputs from the Usability Testing Stage are:
-   Usability recommendations for the system;              Who should use us?
-   Emerging System Implementation Issues                  Any company or organization large or small that is
                                                           considering bringing in a new system or developing
In addition, Acacia can also provide assistance in         an in-house application to meet its business goals,
writing the of operational manuals and training.           would benefit form a partnership with Acacia. This
                                                           holds particular true for companies / organizations
The Benefits of such a process                             looking to embrace the benefits of IT within the
                                                           new millennium.
The benefits of using Acacia and our process are:
-   New systems will integrate better within the           Further Information who to contact
    company / organization.
                                                           For further information on how Acacia Consultancy
-   Companies / Organizations are armed with a             can assist you in defining cost-effective training
    better appreciation of the true costs of a new         solutions, please contact Tony Fitzgibbon.
    systems implementation.

Tel/Fax: +44 (0)20 8549 9427         e-mail:                           Page 2 of 2

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