It’s Time for IBM Datacap Design

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It is no secret that IBM Datacap is a robust and highly powerful imaging platform. Using Datacap, one is able to build just about any imaging application imaginable. This can be anything from the simplest of straight forward form capture solutions to the more complex AP, sales orders, medical claims and EOB’s (Explanation of Benefits Form). The power of Datacap is rooted in many ways it can be configured and customized and therefore the need to follow a well-defined process is paramount.

Since MagicLamp Software began implementing IBM Datacap, we have completed just north of eighty-seven successful projects. Our approach is solid, our team is dedicated and we are guided by one of Datacap’s finest, Tom Stuart, as our Vice President of Development.

What makes a Datacap Project Successful?

Every Datacap Project that MagicLamp undertakes is based around a solid approach of the System Development Lifecycle (SDLC) methodology and a significant effort placed on requirements / analysis, design and proper UAT. Because Datacap is capable of addressing complex business requirements close attention is needed at all levels of the lifecycle.

How Should a Datacap Project Work?

MagicLamp’s core values of LISTENING, UNDERSTANDING, BUILDING and TRANSFORMING begin at the sales cycle and never really end. Over time MagicLamp has been able to create project accelerators in the areas of

  • Accounts Payable,
  • Sales Orders,
  • Medical Claims and
  • Explanation of Benefits.

An accelerator is best described as a base Datacap application that contains features and lessons learned from all of our previous engagements in that particular space. The value of an accelerator is that it is designed to lower the overall project cost and timelines of a project from inception to production.

During our time MagicLamp has also learnt a few key tips to success along the way and are outlined below:

  • Manage Expectations: the client must understand exactly what they are going to receive once the project is over.
  • Well Defined Requirements: Well-defined requirements are also important to any successful project. Even though some clients may provide a BRD (Business Requirements Document) during the project onset, a due diligence exercise must be undertaken just to ensure the requirements do make sense. This task should take at minimum 120 hours to complete consisting of onsite workshops, document writing / review / updates and signoff
  • Detailed Design: Next to UAT design is probably the most important part of a project. During design architects must focus on the following items:
    • Ensuring that the Datacap DCO is comprehensive
    • Trying to ensure that every Field in the DCO contains at minimum one Clean and one Validation Action
    • All business logic must be evaluated through Datacap’s Automated path and its Manual Verification path. Reuse should be the goal during this process knowing that it is not always possible
    • The actions of each Datacap process Scan, Page ID, Profiler, Verify, Export & Audit must be laid out in bullet form. Datacap Developers already know their craft therefore bullet form is just fine
    • A well-defined Audit process ensures that both the DCO is complete and that all of the business logic has been considered in order to ensure that the Audit information can be accounted for. This task should take at minimum 120 hours to complete consisting of design work, document review / updates based on feedback and signoff
  • Implementation & Configuration: The implementation of any Datacap project should be straightforward at this point. All developers and testers should be following the requirements and design document as roadmaps. Architects must perform periodic code reviews just to ensure that everything is being implemented correctly as outlined in the design document. Testers should also be creating a confirming their test case library against the requirements document to ensure that nothing has been overlooked.
  • Solution Playback:  The value of a playback session is that it presents the opportunity for client feedback. Items can be evaluated and discussed during the playback and should a change be required this is truly the best time to do so.
  • UAT: UAT is the most important yet understated task within the entire process. UAT should be the longest task in the lifecycle and MagicLamp recommends nothing less then 4 weeks for UAT.
  • Test Cases: The client is ultimately responsible for generating test cases. A set of test cases must be created for the implementation developers to use, which should be a subset of the greater test case library and cover all of the different scenarios that the solution needs to address.
  • Go Live: Lastly is Go Live. The biggest tip for “Go Live” is to ensure that there is a “Go Live” checklist. In most enterprise environments there are a large number of moving pieces and because of this it is very important to ensure nothing is missed. So follow the checklist to the letter and all should be fine.

Founding Partner, Product Specialist for MagicLamp, Sales Order Automation Solution

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