Now here’s a question. Can RA practices be standardized (or bottled) into a one-size-fits-all solution?
What do I mean by the above statement? Should it be imperative that every issue/leakage raised by the analysis of underlying data yield a “bigger-picture” analysis, or should each issue raised be closed on a case-by-case basis. It is still a fairly common practice to reconcile data on atomic levels (xdr levels) by performing transferance checks through all the downstream systems. In effect, we could say that we are going to re-validate the expected business process defined for a particular product. However, is the effort and time that we would need to put into this exercise worth it? I am not of the opinion that we do not need to validate transferance, but do we need to be matching each and every xdr and check for its presence in the downstream systems? The number of analysts required to crunch the outputs of such large data correlation check and the time that would be going into it would not be, in my opinion, a correct and efficient use of the resources at your disposal.
If we go by the KPIs defined in “GB941-A_KPI_Metrics_Wookbook” (from TMF), we could see a fairly good set of indicators for monitoring the overall health of a system. However it is my opinion that it has been formulated from the viewpoint of an operator with a good level of maturity in RA, with emphasis on a process-driven methodology. Would this approach be accepted by every operator who wants to setup a RA department? In my personal opinion, I do not think they would. Over a period of time, once the intial steps have been taken, then perhaps the operator would gravitate towards a more standardized approach, but in the initial few months everyone runs around trying to justify the RA function. This is essentially a period of “controlled chaos” where we are looking for all the quick-win scenarios. Unfortunately, the emphasis is only on discovery and not recording the methodology for ascertaining best processes towards progressive maturity. Even though this is a period of individual heroics, it could lead to the development of a viable process by various learnings that one gains.
I was thinking along the lines of a set of KPIs at each stage of the maturity progression, with emphasis on capturing key learnings at each stage. Any thoughts on this?