My approach to problem solving

I often tell clients that I am not really a Deltek Vision expert, but am rather an expert Business Analyst.

What does that mean for you as a client who has Vision installed and needs help from me?

To give you an idea of what that means… here is a brief explanation of my approach:

1. Usually it starts like this:
You have a problem, you’ve asked me to find a solution

2. I start with this question:
What is the problem? What are the symptoms? What have you tried already?

3.  Then I proceed to this question:
What is the way that Vision is supposed to work in this case?  I may not always know the answer to this question so sometimes it takes a little research. A lot of consultants claim to always have these kinds of answers in their back pockets, but if you’ve done a little research of your own, then you’ll find out you get different answers for the same problem when you ask different consultants or Deltek employees. Sometimes the documentation will give you yet another answer!
I work around this by asking lots of different people, reading the docs and doing a little of my own research and/or experimentation. This is why in step 2 I always want to know what you’ve tried first.

4. So  once I think I’ve located the “right” answer to how it’s “supposed” to work… sometimes there is more than one solution, then I ask this:
What is the best approach in this particular case… your case? How does it affect your users and your data both short and long term? How does it affect legacy data? (legacy data = anything you’ve put into your system up until now). How does it fit with what you plan on doing long term with Vision?

5. How can we best implement it?
This is where I put the previous 4 steps together to come up with a solution, and a plan/schedule for implementing that solution.

6. What is the deliverable?
This means… how do we know when we’re done?

Then… with your permission and go ahead I implement it. I am the one actually doing the work, whether it’s configuration, automation, or reporting.
I tend to divide up the effort (effort=time=cost) into 3 sections:
1. Discovery (steps 1 through 6)
2. Implementation (doing the work… the programming etc.)
3. Testing, refinement (this last part is the collaborative process of you testing the solution in your system… you know your data best, so it really doesn’t make sense for me to test it as much as you)

The three sections tend to take about 30%, 35%, and 35% of the time respectively.

I hope this makes sense to you and is an approach you can understand and appreciate.

Feel free to contact me with questions or projects!

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