Abstract

Application quality and business unit satisfaction had declined as a $5.5 billion dollar client’s software development practices had become increasingly complex, burdensome and unable to meet timeline demands of the business. Transformation of the company’s software development lifecycle was in order.

SDLC Partners’ business consulting team assessed the client’s current practices and introduced industry-proven techniques to enhance collaboration, consistency, and agility. Working with the client, SDLC Partners planned and implemented a disciplined organizational change initiative to introduce and institutionalize the new practices.

Business and IT project teams using the new practices reported unprecedented levels of collaboration and stakeholder engagement that led to improved solution quality and schedule success.

The Challenge

A large national healthcare organization needed to recharge its IT software development lifecycle in order to increase solution quality and business unit satisfaction. IT was facing challenges including:

  • Burdensome and inflexible software development practices: Practices were laden with unnecessary complexity and imposed barriers to achieving efficient software delivery
  • Lack of cohesive guidance: Inconsistency from project-to-project frustrated business customers and eroded confidence in IT’s ability to deliver quality software development services
  • Lack of measurement: Project results were perceived to be unacceptable but measures to demonstrate satisfaction of business requirements were not available
  • Compliance Issues: Audit findings warned that software development practices were not compliant with company standards

The Solution

The client called upon SDLC’s high-performing team of IT effectiveness experts to transform the company’s software development lifecycle. The transformation specialists utilized SDLC’s Value Creation Model to deliver:

  • Assessment & Gap Analysis: Assessed current-state software development practices against industry-leading practices, identified, and prioritized opportunities and gaps
  • Recommendations & Roadmap: Developed recommendations to close key gaps with road maps to achieve the recommendations
  • Transformation Program: Developed a set of defined improvement initiatives to achieve maximum value and address critical risks first
  • SDLC Knowledge-base: Implemented a methods knowledge-base enabling the client to effectively define the firm’s software development practices, project roles, and responsibilities
  • Tailored Delivery Processes: Enabled three software project delivery approaches (waterfall, iterative or scrum-based) to be selected based on project attributes, all using common requirements techniques
  • Agile Requirements: Introduced techniques to infuse the SDLC with agility, including:
    o User Stories as a consistent, business-focused format for business requirements
    o Collaborative business requirement prioritization to align project activities with business priorities
    o Iterative techniques to manage projects
  • New Wave Project Management: Introduced agile project management techniques that rejuvenated project planning, tracking and scope management using requirements size and burn-down metrics
  • Organizational Change Plan: Developed the organizational change plan to communicate adoption accountability, assure stakeholder engagement, measure adoption rates and isolate adoption issues
  • Process Support Structure: Established an SDLC support structure including an SDLC training program and structured mentoring services that fully prepared business and IT leadership, management, and professional staff to achieve improvement objectives

The Results

Projects that executed the new practices experienced unprecedented business engagement and business/IT collaboration, increased business requirements delivered by 100% over prior methods, and increased customer confidence in IT’s ability to meet project schedules by 40%.

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