Industry Best Practices: A Roadmap for Efficiency and Improvement

Abstract

In response to external market pressures and internal organizational changes, the CIO of a large reinsurer was challenged to improve organizational quality and software delivery efficiency across its primary product area. With SDLC Partners’ direction and assistance, the company evaluated its existing Software Development Methodology (SDM), identifying risks and operational gaps in methods and current procedures, and transitioned that data into a vision for continuous improvement in accordance with industry best practices.

The Challenge

A history of misalignment between IT and the Business, as well as current disconnects between IT and both internal and external application development partners, led executives to question the viability of the company’s internally developed Software Development Methodology. Recent advances in software engineering convinced the CIO that change was immediately necessary. Prominent questions included:

  • Would rising demands on the application development staff outstrip their capacity and capability to deliver?
  • Would current software development methods and tools produce applications that will satisfy the demands of the business?
  • What is the IT organization’s readiness to adopt and institutionalize industry leading methods and tools?

The Solution

SDLC Partners assisted the company by conducting a comprehensive assessment with emphasis on several key objectives:

  • Comparing the current Software Development Methodology to best practices and generally accepted industry standards embodied in leading IT frameworks such as CMMI, COBIT, and PMBOK
  • Assess currently utilized software engineering tools and also determine the organization’s readiness to transition to industry leaders such as the Rational tool suite
  • Examine the IT organization, as well as business structure, to determine its impact on the effectiveness of implementing the methodology

The SDLC Partners’ consulting team, working collaboratively with the organization’s key stakeholders, conducted interviews and analyzed applicable SDM documentation and example project deliverables. Significant industry research on RUP, COBIT, and ITIL was also gathered, assessed, compared and contrasted. The synthesis of the findings, observations, and recommendations were grouped by process areas within the following categories: engineering, project management, process management, and support. Finally, ranking criteria was applied to each recommendation to prioritize the benefit to be achieved through a phased implementation approach.

The Results

SDLC Partners was able to present a roadmap for efficiency and improvement. The resulting recommendations will enable the organization to realize improved and consistent solution delivery to both internal and external clients, as well as significantly increase quality across both IT and the Business.

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