1. Develop an Information Investigation Plan (IIP)

I developed an Information Investigation Plan (IIP) to collect and analyse relevant data and information to understand the problem domain and identify the root cause of the problem.  The IIP included the following:

  • Develop an information investigation plan: I identified specific information needed to understand and analyse the problem, determined the information sources, and outlined the methods for collecting and analysing the data  
  • Conduct research and gather data: Described my plan for collecting information from various sources such as interviews with stakeholders, surveys, review of documents, and observation  
  • Analyse the data: Described how I planned to review and interpret the data collected to identify patterns, trends, and insights that will help in understanding the problem and its root causes  
  • Validate the information: Described how I planned to check the accuracy and completeness of the information collected and identify any gaps or inconsistencies
  • Report preparation: Outlined how I planned to document the findings from the investigation and present them clearly and concisely for stakeholders to review
  • Communicate and share findings with stakeholders: Outlined how I planned to share the results of the investigation with stakeholders to get their feedback and input 
  • Stakeholder management: Created Stakeholder List, RACI Matrix, Onion Diagram and Factional Scale to assist with stakeholder management

For the project’s duration, I continued to add to the IIP. It’s a necessary foundation document for all business investigation and analysis projects. The IIP was a critical component of the investigation and definition phase of the project, and it provided me with a roadmap to develop a solution to mitigate workplace fraud and theft.

2. Investigate and Define the Problem

Following the IIP, I conducted a thorough investigation into the problem.

Document Analysis: I reviewed company documents such as incident reports, policies, and procedures related to fraud and theft. I analysed data on incidents of fraud and theft. This data included the frequency, types, and locations of the incidents, as well as the impact on the business.  

Employee Interviews: I interviewed employees and management to gather information on their experiences, perceptions, and insights related to the problem.   

Through this investigation, I identified several causes of the problem, including:  

  • A lack of clear policies and procedures for reporting and addressing fraud and theft
  • A lack of internal controls, including basic checks and balances 
  • Inadequate training for employees on how to detect and prevent fraud and theft 
  • A lack of oversight and monitoring of activities in the warehouse

I developed a problem statement that clearly defined the scope of the problem and identified the critical issues for the project to address.   

Problem Statement: “The problem at hand is a persistent issue of workplace fraud and theft. The root causes of this problem include the lack of clear policies and procedures for reporting and addressing such incidents, inadequate employee training on detecting and preventing fraud and theft, and insufficient oversight and monitoring of warehouse activities. As a result, there has been a significant financial loss and a negative impact on the company’s reputation”.  

Vision Statement: ”The vision for this project is to create a secure and trustworthy work environment. By effectively addressing the root causes of the problem, the company will have clear policies and procedures in place for reporting and addressing fraud and theft. Employees will be well-trained in detecting and preventing fraud and theft. There will be effective oversight and monitoring of warehouse activities. Implementing the above measures will significantly reduce financial loss and protect the company’s reputation. Employees will have a sense of security and trust in the company, and it will be a safe workplace”.  

We used the Problem and Vision statements to guide the rest of the project, helping to ensure that the solution developed would effectively address the root causes of the problem.  

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Roadmap for the
Business Investigation and
Analysis System

There are Ten Steps in the Business Investigation and Analysts System and Three Checkpoints when a decision is made to stop at that Step or continue onto the next Checkpoint.

1. Develop an Information Investigation Plan (IIP)

Prepare an information-investigation plan to determine the solution. First, we identify the information needed to define the problem and solution. Then, where can we find the information? Next, how can we obtain the information? Finally, what order to get the information?

Output: Document Analysis. Information Investigation Plan (IIP).

2. Investigate and Define the Problem

In this step, we define the problem owner, prepare an information-gathering plan to determine the problem, and elicit information about the problem. We then analyse the information, determine the real problem to be solved, and confirm that with the problem owner.

Output: Root Case Analysis. Problem Statement. Vision Statement.

3. ​ Define the Solution and Product Scope

We develop a vision of the solution and acceptance criteria with the problem owner and determine stakeholders. Then, conduct risk analysis and justification for solving the problem. Finally, we identify solution constraints, functional goals, and business objectives. 

Output: Decision Documents (product scope, business case, project charter).

4. ​ Confirm Alignment and Financial Justification (CP Alpha)

We review organisational vision, mission statements, strategic and business plans, and policy to ensure the solution or product aligns and supports achieving goals and objectives. In addition, we provide financial justification for solving the problem.

This step if Checkpoint Alpha, a decision is made stop here or continue to Checkpoint Bravo.

Output: ROI Analysis. Cost/Benefit Analysis. Risk Analysis. Feasibility Study.

5.  Define and Model the Problem Domain

Obtain information to describe and diagram the problem domain. First, we understand completely why the problem exists and what conditions cause the problem. Then, we determine the functional areas impacted by the problem and its solution. Finally, we identify neighbouring constituencies, intersecting processes, and ancillary benefits.

Output: Current State Baseline of the Problem Domain. Problem Domain Diagram or Model.

6.  Determine the Best Solution

Analyse the information to determine potential solutions for the problem. First, we analyse and model the solution. Then, we create the necessary models and diagrams. Finally, we confirm our analysis with the affected product stakeholders that the part of the solution that affects them will work and is acceptable.

Output: Entity Relationship Diagram. Data Flow Diagram. Activity Diagram. Use Cases.

7.  Write the Solution Documentation (CP Bravo)

Confirm with the stakeholders that the solution completely and accurately solves the problem. First, we get parts of the solution confirmed as they are defined. Then, we check the technical and project feasibility and validate requirements with the solution team and stakeholders. Finally, we get the solution document approved by the executive decision-maker.

This is Checkpoint Bravo, a decision is made here to stop here or continue to Checkpoint Charlie. 

Output: Solution Diagram, Data, Process & Behaviour Models. Requirements Documents. Business Rules. Event Analysis. Gap Analysis. User Stories.

8.  Implement Monitor the Solution

Turn the solution definition into an operational system or process. First, we work with the solution team throughout product implementation. Then, we make sure the solution document matches the solution, and document, evaluate and review any changes. Then, we prepare user test cases and ensure the solution successfully transitions into the business environment.

Output: Requirements Changes. Acceptance Testing.

9.  Confirm the Business Problem Has Been Solved

Prove that the product has achieved an acceptable level of confidence that it will behave as expected under all circumstances of interest. First, we establish the basic criteria against which quality assurance judges the quality of the product. Then, we confirm that the final definition of correct behaviour (the solution document) matches the delivered product. Finally, we make sure the product solves the original problem and proves the solution is effective and stays effective by measuring the results.

Output: Unit, Integration, System, and Acceptance test results. Bug/Defect Report.

10.  Manage Transition and Change (CP Charlie)

Prepare the business for a successful transition to the new process. First, we create a sense of urgency for change, create a guiding coalition, and develop a vision of the changed environment. Then, we communicate the change vision and empower action to affect change. Finally, we generate short-term wins, consolidate gains, produce more change, and anchor new cultural approaches.

This is Checkpoint Charlie, it marks the end of the project. At this stage Lessons Learned regarding the Business Investigation and Analysis Project should be conducted.

Output: Change Management Plan. Change Impact Diagram. Training Plan. User Manuals. Help-desk. Updated Baseline Requirements Document. Lessons Learned.

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