Archive for August, 2013

What is SWOT Analysis?

August 29th, 2013

Source: Internet

SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. By using these four areas to identify an organization’s characteristics and climate, a SWOT Analysis offers a high-level evaluation of your company’s pros and cons. The goal of a SWOT Analysis is to help an organization to identify strategies for success

Generally, strengths (such as the ability to change quickly) and weaknesses (such as a slow customer service response time) are internal to the organization, while opportunities and threats tend to be external (competition, regulations, market share, and so on).
A SWOT Analysis may help an organization to identify a success strategy such as taking advantage of a new market opportunity based on internal strengths, eliminating an internal weakness to make one’s organization less vulnerable to market threats, or some other combination of evaluating strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

While its high-level nature makes it generally not useful for in-depth analysis, SWOT Analysis has many applications. According to BABOK, it can serve as “a framework for strategic planning, opportunity analysis, competitive analysis, business and product development.” It can also help “demonstrate how the solution will help the organization maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses.”

Here are some specific ways SWOT Analysis can help you do your work:

1. Identifying business potential–SWOT Analysis is also great for long-term, broad scope strategy. One site notes, “SWOT analysis should distinguish between where your organization is today, and where it could be in the future.

2. Narrowing your options -When an organization has multiple solutions from which to choose, SWOT Analysis can form a framework for a solution. One site notes that SWOT helps “determine where change is possible. If you are at a juncture or turning point, an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses can reveal priorities as well as possibilities” and help you “adjust and refine plans mid-course.”[4] According to BABOK, “The SWOT analysis helps quickly analyze various aspects of the current state of the organization and its environment prior to identifying potential solution options.

3. Kick-starting a new assignment–SWOT Analysis is easy to do quickly and with little to no planning or preparation—perfect for a project that you’ll begin meeting about almost as soon as it’s assigned. SWOT Analysis can also give structure to a focus group or brainstorming session during discovery or any other phase of a project.

How SWOT analysis is done:
1. Identify what you are analyzing by providing an overview of the problem. You may wish to write this at the top of the white board or whatever tool you’re using.

2. Next, display a grid with four quadrants, with each quadrant labeled with one of the four areas being analyzed. Briefly explain each of the four areas. Advise your colleagues that it will be helpful to give as much quantifiable data as possible to back up the information they contribute.

3. Avoid writing a treatise on any of these areas, both for space and also because SWOT Analysis is by nature not an in-depth exercise. Though in-depth verbal discussion may be useful with brainstorming, ideas must be condensed into concise, simple thoughts.

4. Start by naming organizational strengths that are intrinsic to your organization. Ask yourselves, why do your customers choose your product or service? What do you offer that no one else does? What do you do best? Where are your competitors scrambling to catch up? Are you strategically located? Some ideas for strengths would include a loyal customer base, proprietary software, or experts in the field, to name a few.

5. Identify weaknesses specific to your organization. After checking your egos at the door, ask yourselves, what do customers complain about the most to your customer service staff? What reasons do sales reps get that customers do not renew your service or continue to buy your product? (These answers may be external to your organization and go under Threats as well.) What is difficult for your organization to do quickly? What difficult patterns do you repeat?

6. Next, focus on positive opportunities that are relevant in your organization’s competitive environment and the world at large. Ask yourselves, what areas are we poised to take advantage of? Where do we have a reach that no one else does? How are government policies, technologies, international standards and emerging markets changing to our advantage? As BABOK clarifies, “Opportunities exist beyond the scope of control of the assessed group; the choice is whether or not to take advantage of one when it is identified. ”Examples of these could be developing opportunities in a country or region where you already have an office, or an emerging technology waiting to be utilized.

7. Finally, list the threats associated with the issue, whether they be in the competitive environment or in the world at large. Threats are also outside of the group’s control. Ask your colleagues, in what areas are we especially vulnerable? Are we in a position to deal with global or local economic challenges? How are government policies, technologies, and emerging markets changing to our disadvantage? What are our competitors doing that we have been consistently behind in?

8. Discuss what you’ve identified and brainstorm solutions. Ask yourselves, where do these characteristics cross-relate? Do some of your strengths place you in a position to exploit market opportunities? Can you shore up some of your weaknesses to prevent market threats from possibly harming you? Look for symbiosis between the various areas, such as agility being an internal strength and a new technology being available to bring it to market in your field.

SWOT Analysis has many applications, and is an easy-to-learn, easy-to-apply evaluation method to add to your arsenal of business analysis tools. It also has the potential to involve stakeholders, your colleagues and other members of your organization in the brainstorming and planning process, helping them invest in the final solution and help them take ownership of its implementation.

8 Things To Remember to Become a Better Tester

August 23rd, 2013

Source: Internet

1. Test for quality over quantity: “Here’s 5,000 bugs… good luck!” Testers, please don’t ever shoot for quantity. Identifying the most important bugs and glitches, and helping the company or developer make sense of the bugs is ten times more helpful then testing for mere volume.

2. Learn to prioritize: In line with “quality over quantity”, prioritizing what you test is extremely important. Testing the mission critical parts of an application before the minute details of an app will help you to identify the most valuable bugs first. This will also allow the development team to fix the most imperative parts of their application as quickly as possible.

3. Practice and improve your written communication skills: Good testers must have excellent written communication skills in order to write good test cases, bug reports and so on. These testing artifacts are an essential part of QA and must be detailed and easy to consume.

4. Learn from your own mistakes – and from others too: Everyone makes mistakes, but learning from others and from your own will make you better tester. How can you improve your bug report next time? How can you prioritize better during the next test cycle? How can you communicate better with the development team? These are questions you should constantly be asking yourself, and your fellow testers.

5. Don’t be humble with software… think out of the box: Explore the software, ‘test to break’ and be willing to suggest improvements; these are all attributes that make up the attitude of a good software tester.

6. Question. Everything: Does this work as intended? Does it work on all devices? Does it work under every possible use-case, every time? Question. Everything.

7. Think like the user: Remember; your job is to find bugs before the software reaches the hands of users. Pair your technical skills with an end-user’s mindset and you will find the best, most valuable bugs possible.

8. Increase the effectiveness of bug reports: Attaching screen shots and providing detailed bug reports will give the developer the information he or she needs to understand the bug and fix it. Where did it occur, when, how many times, on what devices, running what operating system and under what circumstances? Without the right details a bug is useless to a development team.

What are the Components of SAP R/3 Architecture?

August 14th, 2013

Source: Internet

Database Server

The database server is the most powerful server in an R/3 system. R/3 uses the database management system as central storage for all R/3 data and R/3 metadata information. This central storage, the basis for the tight integration of all R/3 application modules, guarantees consistent data storage.
Three important factors govern the decision-making process for selecting data storage options.
• Adequate protection from data loss
• Appropriate speed of access
• Sufficient storage capacity to accommodate growth

The application server

While SAP uses the generic term application server to define a computer that receives connections from SAP clients, the actual connections are managed by SAP dialog servers.
A dialog instance is a software program that is running the SAP kernel (similar to an Oracle instance), and it is the job of the dialog instance to execute the ABAP programs and manage the requests for data and services. While there is generally a one-to-one mapping between an application server and a dialog instance, it is possible to have more than one dialog instance on an application server.

Instance

An instance is a group of R/3 services that are started and stopped together
The central instance
The central instance is a concept that is unique to SAP. The central instance is a combination of hardware and software. It contains a physical server (the application server) and numerous software components, including a message server, a database gateway (a pre-established connection between SAP and Oracle–or another database), and various update, enqueue, dialog, and spool facility software. In most generic SAP architectures, there are numerous application servers but only a single central instance. However, in addition to managing the SAP interfaces, the central instance can also serve as an application server.

Work Process

A work process is where individual dialog steps are actually processed and the work is done. Each work process handles one type of request.

The work process types are:
Dialog, for executing dialog programs(processes only one request at a time)
Update, for changing database entries( primary or secondary )
Background, for executing background jobs( started at a specified time )
Spool, for print formatting (generated online or during back ground processing For printing ) and
Enqueue, for executing lock operations

Dispatcher
Central process on an instance. It is responsible for starting work processes and distributing transaction load across work processes.
Message Server

Independent program that maintains a list of all instances in a SAP system. The message server determines which instance a user logs on to and organizes communication between instances

Gateway
Interface that converts one communication protocol into another.

Explain work processes
A work process is where individual dialog steps are actually processed and the work is done. Each work process handles one type of request.

The work process types are:
Dialog, for executing dialog programs(processes only one request at a time)
Update, for changing database entries( primary or secondary )
Background, for executing background jobs( started at a specified time )
Spool, for print formatting (generated online or during back ground processing For printing ) and
Enqueue, for executing lock operations