Consultancy for Stalled Project

Business Need

A client approached HSD with a need to secure the future development and support of a system, a line of business Java application.  The system is a bespoke Java application that supports the critical day to day operations of the business unit.

The system was developed over a number of years by the department working closely with individual contract resources.  When those resources moved on, the CIMS project stalled and the department was faced with finding a new provider.

In seeking a new provider, the department was keen to find a partner that would assume technical stewardship of the project, to avoid the dependence on individual contract resources.

At the time the project stalled, there was a release of the application that was pending deployment to production.  All activity relating to the deployment also stalled, which presented an additional challenge – the new provider would have to build relationships with the department’s various IT providers to co-ordinate the stalled deployment.

Approach

HSD followed a conventional approach to the consulting assignment.

A preliminary Fixed-Price Discovery (Fact Finding) phase was conducted, which involved a senior HSD consultant working on-site for a number of days.  During this time, meetings with key stakeholders and SMEs were conducted to enable HSD to hear first-hand the issues they were facing.  In addition, HSD conducted a technical review of the application to confirm version information of the key software components: Windows, Java and Oracle Database.

At the conclusion of this phase, HSD delivered a report summarising its findings, which included a roadmap of the issues to be addressed by a proposed future work package.

The department contracted HSD to proceed with an initial package of work, which was aimed at addressing the highest priority issue.   Namely, completing the stalled production deployment of the application.

HSD worked collaboratively with the department’s IT providers to complete the long awaited deployment of the application.  This was made difficult by the fact that new relationships needed to be forged with the providers to gain their confidence.

In the intervening time, HSD has delivered subsequent work packages to build a new release of the system, featuring enhancements and change requests to bring the application up to date with legislative changes and fix long-standing bugs.

In addition, HSD has provided ad hoc technical support to the department as it has negotiated upgrades to the standard desktop operating environment, including a major upgrade to 64-bit Windows 10 and Java.

Benefits

The department has since found the partner it was seeking when it first went to market.  This partnership has enabled the team to move forward with development and support of the system and clear a backlog of work that was impacting productivity.

By so doing, the department has been able to preserve the investment in the system and extend its life, while keeping the technical solution current with changing requirements and infrastructure upgrades.

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