Rapid prototyping of enterprise software

NTT Data Italia is the Italian branch of a major system integrator Headquartered in Tokyo, with business operations in more than 50 countries and region, providing premier professional IT services from consulting to system development.

In 2013, as part of a strategic project for a large institutional customer, NTT Data needed to develop in a very short time the prototype of a system that would allow the calculation of key performance indicators (KPIs) from measurements manually entered by users. A fundamental requirement for such system was the possibility to freely model the organizational structure and the processes on which measurements and KPI would have to be mapped. Unfortunately, the time and the budget available was insufficient to develop a working prototype in a traditional way, especially considering the requirements on modeling capabilities.

The Livebase modeling environment immediately proved to be perfectly able to represent organizational structures and processes on one hand, related measurements and KPIs on the other hand. In a few days the requirements of the prototype were consolidated and modeled with the Livebase designer, and automatically translated into fully functional web application allowing to (1) configure the system with the organizational structure and the processes to be evaluated, the Measures to be valued and the KPIs to be calculated with the relevant formulas; (2) insert into the system, month by month, the values recorded for each measurement.

Once put into operation, the prototype has been extended with the two algorithmic modules respectively necessary to (1) calculate the value of the KPIs from their formula and the values entered for each Measure; periodically record the current value of measurements and KPIs in an external reporting system based on Pentaho. Thanks to the extensibility mechanisms of Livebase, it was possible to code such modules as Java and plug them into the generated application.

The final prototype, completed and running in record time and at very low cost, has allowed to test and validate on the field an innovative approach to the Enterprise Performance Assessment.