Center of Excellence or Competency Center
The infrastructure deployed to support the lifecycle
of an application is critical to its success and can begin with
the creation of a Center of Excellence or Competency Center, virtual
or real, depending on available resources. An important function
of the Competency Center is to define the standards for application
development and business requirements. A real Competency Center
is an actual department that has been created and is staffed by employees
who are dedicated to working in the Competency Center. In a virtual
Competency Center, staff may be in different departments, but they
are tasked with Competency Center responsibilities that must be
The framework to establish a Competency Center can be brought
to maturity incrementally, while still serving the day to day needs
of an organization. A Competency Center provides a centralized location
for developing and supporting the business requirements of an organization.
A Competency Center, if organized and staffed properly can help:
- Define standards across departments and the organization.
- Integrate the requirements and priorities of departments and
- Enable skills and knowledge transfer.
- Streamline, implement, and support cross-functional projects.
- Reduce conflicts between departments and across the organization,
as a whole.
- Reduce redundancy and increase effectiveness.
- Ensure that information and best practices are communicated
and shared so all staff can benefit.
- Empower business users through coaching and training.
Functional areas of a WebFOCUS Competency Center include:
- Competency Center Management
- Collaborates with Information
Builders to design and implement WebFOCUS architecture and solutions.
- Responsible for setting standards and establishing best practices,
processes, and procedures in agreement with the business community.
- Data Management
Responsible for aspects of the data that
will be accessed by WebFOCUS applications. This includes data definition,
ownership and security, metadata management, and data standards.
- Information Delivery
- Works with the business community
to promote standards, user training, and support.
- Establishes effective channels of communication internally with
the Competency Center staff and with the business community.
Role of Business and Information Technology
Application development standards should take into consideration
the role of business and IT of which there are several models. Companies
employ varying delivery models, where the responsibility for development
varies between the Business and Information Technology (IT). Some
- Hybrid Delivery Model
- Business responsible for development.
- IT sets up data and supports infrastructure.
- All Business Delivery Model
- Business supports development
- Works with data base administrators (DBAs)
for data set up.
- All IT Delivery Model
- Development all in IT.
- Centralized and decentralized IT.
- Non-IT, non-Business Delivery Model
- IT sets up data and
- Business provides requirements.
- Independent group responsible for development.
The list below is based on the assumption that developers
have basic application development skills. Depending on the complexity
of the requirements, the development skill set may include:
- General programming skills.
- Understanding database models for report development.
- Toolset knowledge.
- Knowledge of SQL syntax.
techniques, HTML, CSS, XML, and other development languages.
Developer On-Boarding and Training
Developers will need a defined set of on-boarding procedures
that are clearly documented to facilitate rapid development, including
but not limited to:
- List of required WebFOCUS development tools.
- Standard development workflows, frameworks, and third-party
- Access to development and support forums such as Focal Point.
- Access to the Technical Support Center.
- Access to available education classes.
- Specifications of environments and related software developers
need to support, such as web browsers.
In addition to the development infrastructure, the development
teams should also decide on a list of internal development guidelines,
so all developers can contribute code that can be maintained easily.