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From a business-value standpoint, however, the decision to
go ahead with the online application form may not be quite
as straightforward.
The value of including an Agile business analyst
If the business users had been given an opportunity to pair
with an Agile business analyst prior to the requirements
review session, the Agile business analyst would have been
in a position to question key business elements of the
requested online form with the business users before the
meeting with the Agile development team, including:
Are all 55 of the information fields required to process
the application form? What about the 32 mandatory
fields? Can the form details be streamlined?
What is the actual business process for assessing each
application? Are there information fields needed that
are not currently on the form?
Is there supporting information that applicants need to
provide during the assessment process, for example,
copies of their annual report, balance sheets? Can any
of these details be provided as attachments with the
application form?
Should applicants be able to save draft forms and
return to them later? (In which case, there would be a
number of technical implications to discuss with the
Agile development team for saving temporary form
details, creating and authenticating user accounts,
removing draft forms after a specified period of time,
etc.)
Are there any policy or regulatory mandates that
govern the application process?
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How many applications are received in the eligibility
period on average? Of the applications received, what
portion proceeds to undergoing a full assessment?
What does the application review team do with
application forms that are invalid or insufficient?
How much does it cost the organization to process each
paper-based application?
Who receives the checks mailed in by the applicants?
How is the check amount reconciled against the
application form?
The outcome of these questions may simply have been a
confirmation of the business users' originally requested
online application form capability with, perhaps, a bit more
insight into the overhead costs for processing the paper-
based forms, and the net gains the online application
process can provide for the organization. Conversely, the
outcome of these questions may have revealed information
that substantially impacts the business value of developing
the online application form, including:
Of the 2,200 applications received each year, only 390
applications are from eligible organizations. This
means including an information page with the paper
application form that explains the application criteria
more clearly could reduce the number of applications
received by 60 percent, which could substantially
decrease the overhead costs of processing the
applications.
21 of the 55 information fields are only used in the
application assessment process where the applicant has
an exceptional circumstance. These fields are
unnecessary for most applicants.

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