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SusanReadMiller
Archer Employee
Archer Employee

In taking interim steps to finalize a generally available release of RSA Archer GRC 6.x, Archer customers have played a critical role in helping us identify issues and providing insightful feedback that has allowed us to address issues and take action based on that feedback.

 

The GRC 6 Beta Program kicked things off with Archer customers in Summer 2015, and continued with a GRC 6 Early Adopter program, GRC 6 Sandbox Trials, and the directed availability release of GRC 6 to new Archer customers in Fall 2015. We’ve continued our efforts to actively solicit customer feedback because it provides us with the opportunity to best meet our customers’ risk and compliance challenges with GRC 6.x.

Task Driven Landing Screen.png

 

The result is a General Availability release that reflects quality, provides a simple upgrade process, an enhanced user experience, an improved look and feel, and new ways of managing content.  We’d like to share some of the observations, feedback and guidance our customers provided regarding GRC 6.x.

 

Pre-Installation

 

Installation

  • The upgrade path is very simple.  As advertised, it is as simple as a normal Service Pack upgrade.
  • One of the issues noted most during the GRC 6.0 Early Adopter program involved Java errors surrounding the use of the Advanced Workflow engine.  In addition, using the certificate in the certificate store revealed some issues. To eliminate this suite of issues in GRC 6.1, we removed the need for Java to run Advanced Workflow and replaced it with .Net technology.
  • A few customers had to perform Web Config file changes during our Early Adopter program. Each situation was unique,  therefore no specific trends or guidance were identified as a part of the process.

 

User Interface

  • Navigation of the user interface has changed – and change is sometimes hard. Users were initially slower in navigating the user interface, but they adapted fairly quickly to the top Mega Menu navigation. While the biggest change is the location of the menu, the actual structure of the pages hasn’t really changed, which helps in easing adaptation to the updated navigation.
  • Originally, the navigational changes were applied to both Admins and end users. However, early feedback suggested that use of the left-hand navigation was more efficient for many Admin-specific tasks. As a result, we have reinstated the left-hand navigation bar for Administrator-only pages in GRC 6.1, while leaving the Mega Menu intact.
  • Removal of the left-hand navigation hampers some users in understanding where they are in the Archer user interface and makes them more dependent on page titles. In the future, Archer plans to add a history bar to help alleviate this issue, as well as an easy way to navigate to previously accessed pages.
  • While customers see the benefits of utilizing the new Advanced Workflow feature, some are unsure how Advanced Workflow will impact their existing workflows and data driven events (DDEs). Keep in mind that upon upgrading to 6.x, existing workflows and DDEs will not change. You can leverage the new branching functionality, visual representation, and troubleshooting tool of Advanced Workflow, but you are not required to alter your existing basic workflows and DDEs.  We suggest starting off using Advanced Workflow to build new workflows. Then, as you gain more experience with the feature and have the business need or desire to change existing business process workflows, you can use Advanced Workflow to accomplish this.  For more information about Advanced Workflow, we recommend that you review the training that is available on RSA Link Everything GRC 6.1.
  • Customers see the value provided by the task-driven landing screen.
    • Much of the information on the task-driven landing screen is driven by utilization of Advanced Workflow as well as the Task Management application.  As customers have adopted Advanced Workflow, the concept of “one place to easily see and manage your work” has come to fruition for them.
    • Admins are looking for more control over when this screen displays and what it displays.  Based on this feedback, we made changes to allow Administrators to control the default landing page for their users. We anticipate additional changes in regard to this feature in future releases.
    • We plan to continue evolving this feature, adding more functionality to benefit end-users with their daily workload.

 

Defects

As one of the primary objectives of the GRC 6 Early Adopter program, a number of defects were identified in 6.0 and have been fixed in preparation for the 6.1 release.

 

Best Practices

Upgrade

  • Upgrade – Follow the install guide. Sign in and acclimate to the new user experience.
  • Explore – Explore the new features and functionality. Review available training documents and videos available on the Community.
  • Utilize – While existing workflows remain unchanged upon upgrading to 6.x, start using Advanced Workflow for your new business process workflow needs. Once you feel more comfortable, use Advanced Workflow to rebuild existing workflows.
  • Leverage – Take advantage of out-of-the-box enhanced functionality for Operational Risk Management, Issues Management, and Business Impact Analysis delivered in GRC 6.1.

 

Note: Upgrades to GRC 6.x must start from RSA Archer GRC Platform 5.3 SP1 or higher.  If using an earlier version, you must first upgrade to the latest version, RSA Archer GRC Platform 5.5 SP4, prior to upgrading to GRC 6.1.

 

Non-Technical Tasks

  • Plan – Decide on your timeframe to implement the upgrade to GRC 6.1 and identify impacts throughout your organization.
  • Train – Ensure that Admins and users are trained properly, utilizing the provided videos, in-product contextual Help, and formal RSA training classes.
  • Assess – Review training documents that you have created for your business users to assess what impact the new user experience will have for your users.
  • Document – Update internal documentation and training as needed.
  • Test – Perform internal testing to identify issues.