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Beaver Computer Consultants Limited - Consultants in systems engineering for business, mission and safety critical systems

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Home   >>   Life Cycle Overview   >>   Implementing - Build, Test, Operational Readiness, Deploy, Review, Support, Project Management and Change Control



Build and Testing

Given the other work flow activities the build or procurement is based on a proven model, with the developers using the same development process as described and conducting tests which are directly linked to the requirements and analysis models. Whats import is that such testing is not done against the design specification its self as that will not ensure the design meets the higher level requirements. Tests must be being focused very much at the user and maintainer level, to ensure the business process will run as anticipated and the business benefit is realised. If multiple suppliers are involved - hardware, communications services or facilities as per ASP or ISP for example, then integration tests become critical and are our focus.

Beaver also provide services in subsystem and system integration functional and non-functional testing. We preprate test strategys, test plans, and scripts based on the user or system specification and the identified scenarios, and working with a sample of users and maintainers under take the tests to ensure compliance. We can implement bug tracking and close out processes.

Operational Readiness

Before deployment people must be able to use and maintain the system. Even from the modelling phase an early user and maintenance model is established and run past the actual systems users. While forming part of the prototyping activity it also starts the training, rules, job description and organisational updates, and the general operational readiness preparation. It may also include updating job specifications and descriptions, organisation trees and reporting lines, and data migration and testing as data moves from the old to the new system, as the cut-over day approaches.

As well as training the support environment such as maintenance will be started up off line to prove they themselves are ready and also test any contingency plans. As well as final training and initial support for going live it also includes the softer issues of over coming barriers to change acceptance and seeks to raise awareness, ownership, and motivate the eventual users towards the changes. This is important because at the end of the day people are involved and if they do not buy in or can not or will not use the solution, the actual benefits will not be realised despite the solution having been delivered.

Deployment

Once deployment starts service, support, and maintenance must start as well, monitoring the build up in confidence, with contingency plans ready for immediately implementation - in fact is often worth while in the operational readiness phase to test these as described earlier. As many deployments will be iterations gathering feedback on functionality, usability, and performance, to provide data into latter iterations is also important.

Post implementation review and feedback

Finally reviews are needed - has the business benefits been realised and what lessons about the process have been learned? If monitoring has really been ongoing rather than the single end point then changes to market trends, customer needs, and competition and opportunities may also have been noted and this intelligence already fed into each iteration of the above. Longer term the market is studied, the solutions performance monitored, to identify changes or areas in which to improve delivery, reduce cost and manage issues such as obsolescence management, where manufactures cease to produce certain products or services your solution needs, which require your architecture, applications, or services to be changed. As you can see the process now starts again, back at business analysis.

Project Management Support Activities

What we have described above are specific work streams. As you have seen a lot of co-ordination and monitoring is needed, a means of glueing these activities together. This is provided for by the use of various support activities. Activities such as project management, configuration management, and change control, together with the management of contract, staff, and political environment must be provided for to ensure a smooth and comprehensive project is achieved.

We have considerable experience in project and programme office set-up and staffing, including the preparation of schedule, cost and resource plans based round the PRINCE method, and operating configuration and change management processes. In addition to project monitoring and change control this work stream produces some key documents, including the initial business case and benefits statement, produced from drawing to together initial products of each work stream, and on which the project is approved, and also the Project Initiation Document (PID) or Programme Plan, described the project work flows, products, and taskings. To see our skills capability in this area see here.

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