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International Bank

case study
Helping IT Operations Staff run their systems more effectively

The Client
This 2005 project was carried out for a major International Bank, with offices located internationally.

Project Summary
Developing a means of communicating details of the Bank’s main trading platform – developed in house – from the software development team to the IT operations staff to help them to understand the complexity of the system and be better able to run it on a day to day basis.

The Challenge
The Bank’s in-house software development team had developed a main Trading System that had been in operation for some years. Having successfully completed development and testing, the challenge was to find an efficient and cost-effective means of communication between the software development team and the IT Operations Staff. Due to the critical nature of the system and its complexity, the day to day running fell to the development team, rather than the IT operations team. But the IT operations team needed to take over running of the trading system. How could this changeover be accomplished most effectively?

Fintecs Solution
The Fintecs solution was to employ the Visual Documentation techniques pioneered by Fintecs in the Banking industry, specifically to facilitate knowledge transfer.

Tony Gratton of Fintecs, who led the visual documentation team explains, ‘We devised two visual maps of the new trading system. The first is the Logical View which shows how the system is constructed and how the various application servers communicate with each other. The second is the Physical View which shows the hardware and networks on which the system actually runs.’

‘The physical map looks very much like a traditional network diagram. The logical map however, tells operations staff everything they need to know about the logical organisation of the software and which parts depend on which. We have achieved the high level of information density needed by using a large number of intelligent filters so that it is possible to ‘see’ the whole map at once. This means that when you’re looking at the electronic version you can filter out any information that you’re not currently interested in and thus simplify your view.’

In any large scale application software development, it is inevitable that the development staff will spend considerable time running the system before handing over to IT Operations staff. Often, crucial experience is lost during this handover. The Fintecs Visual Documentation approach means that knowledge and experience of this kind can be transferred quickly and effectively between teams.

In this case, Fintecs visual mapping is successfully speeding up the hand over from development to operational use and enabling both development staff and operations staff to concentrate on what each does best.

So successful has the visual documentation project been that the Bank has now created a new specialist team of its own to take on the task of developing and updating visual maps of the system in-house.

About Fintecs

Founded in 2001, Fintecs is a Banking IT consultancy that combines in-depth expertise in Banking and the Financial industry with a unique approach to the visual documentation of systems, business processes and people.

The Fintecs visual approach to IT documentation has been developed in association with one of Europe’s leading banks. It is designed to help financial institutions of all kinds to rediscover the value of their hardware and software assets and to:-

· Transfer vital knowledge among staff
· Match IT systems more closely to the needs of Business
· Understand fully how business processes interact
· Plan future systems with confidence

Fintecs draws on a wealth of experience with all kinds of financial institutions from private banking to trust administration including specialities such as asset management for private and institutional clients. Fintecs has carried out consultancy projects in countries throughout Europe as well as in the US and Canada. Staff are English-French bilingual and have extensive experience of the Swiss banking system.

Fintecs consultancy work has included business process analysis from front-office to back, data flows, databases and a wide range of software applications, with extensive experience of Project Management, Project Implementation, Systems Integration, and Systems Replacement.

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