Ying Ki Kwong, Office of the State CIO
Modern enterprises leverage software as a key enabler in implementing business objectives, process improvements, and enterprise transformation. However, many enterprises, large or small, no longer develop software in-house, because it is not their core expertise or it is more cost effective to involve contractors. Yet, poor project management and contract administration often result in low quality products, schedule delay, and cost overrun. Disputes with the contractor or even law suits are possible, as is a variety of failure modes – not only for the project but also the careers of people involved. This workshop covers the ins and outs of how to acquire enterprise software systems for your organization. You will learn what to do and – perhaps more importantly – what not to do. Lessons learned from public and private sectors will be discussed, with emphasis on improving quality, reducing risk, and minimizing technical debt. Organizations that must acquire mission critical systems, have the need for strict regulatory compliance, or cannot accept IT project failure will find this workshop especially useful.
When the workshop is completed, the attendees will be able to:
- Understand the importance of good requirements from the acquiring organization’s perspective. Recognize signs of unclear requirements that are often the root cause of project failures. Mitigate the risk of high-level requirements before and after a contractor is on board.
- Design contractor statement of work (SOW) that enables a “trust but verify” mindset. Recognize how to contract or contracting model may be inconsistent with the actual system development life cycle (SDLC) used by the contractor, especially in the case of Agile. Balance the need for accountability with the flexibility to respond to unknowns.
- Understand best practices in “business aware” user acceptance testing (UAT). Develop UAT Plan with thoughtful considerations for test coverage, severity levels and priority levels of defects, regression test, defects trend, and entry/exit criteria.
- Evaluate the risk of legacy systems. Plan appropriately for data conversion for systems being replaced and interfaces/integration with existing systems not being replaced.
- Understand the importance of transition planning from the project to operations. Develop a checklist for things often overlooked.
- Understand how human factors can render Agile, waterfall, and other SDLCs mere idealization of real-world complexity and organizational dynamics. Recognize signs of group dysfunctions and how to respond.