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Thinking Inside the Box

Thinking Inside the Box

Guy McClintock, Solution Architect Stream Lead, FINEOS

At the start of every FINEOS implementation there is an oft heard mantra “we want to stay close to base product”.  As a product company, FINEOS is at the forefront of pushing this mantra. Within FINEOS over the past five to ten years we have lived and breathed the benefits that our customers can realise if they live by it; reduced upgrade costs, lower cost of ownership, and the opportunity to leverage 7000+ days per year invested in new features within FINEOS; to name but a few.

But should it be more than just words, and should it be more than just a goal that the implementation starts out with? As a Solution Architect in FINEOS, I truly believe that it should. One of the primary goals of the Solution Architect role is driving the maximisation of product opportunity on implementations. This can mean the creation of new features driven by an implementation, but, maybe more importantly, it can also mean using the features that are already there to achieve the business requirements that have been specified.

So far, so good, right?  But what happens when the business community is asking for something that the base product doesn’t appear to provide?  This is when the mantra really gets put to the test.

Here are some pointers that I have learnt to push back on the business community in order to determine if there really is a business need for the features they are asking for and indeed if there is really a gap to be filled:

  • What is the business problem you are trying to solve?
  • Are you replicating something from your old system that doesn’t have any business value?
  • How many people would be affected by not having the feature?
  • Is there a cost of ownership that outweighs the business value?
  • Is there an option within the FINEOS base product that can be leveraged?

Before jumping to the conclusion that new features are required, let’s all take a step back and assess the landscape.  More importantly, let’s take the opportunity to reaffirm the mantra we started out with “we want to stay close to base product”.  Get that mantra on project documents, get it on posters in meeting rooms, even get tattoos of it for all the project staff 🙂