August 6, 2015

Project Management Office (PMO)

Shaw Systems recognizes that developing and deploying a software solution is a major investment and potentially a significant impact to a client’s business strategy and operations. Shaw Systems leverages the expertise and discipline of its Project Management Office (PMO) organization to deliver projects that meet customer’s expectations for scope, schedule, budget and overall product quality. The Shaw PMO utilizes PMI certified project managers and emphasizes project management best practices, (PMBOK) as well as industry standards to implement robust customer centric solutions that bring consistent value to our clients.

Project Staging – Engagement First 30 days
Upon execution of an implementation contract, the Shaw PMO starts a 30 day clock culminating with an onsite meeting with the client to begin the projects “Discovery”. In the first 30 days the following activities are initiated:

  • Forming the Shaw core project team which is led by a PMI certified project manager
  • Triggering Shaw’s internal process to begin setup of client hosting environment (if applicable)
  • Setup of a joint project repository (Confluence) for client and project team collaboration
  • Ensuring that the customer support ticketing tool is activated (JIRA)
  • Initiation of the projects foundational documents
  • Establishing the agenda for the onsite client project “kickoff” meeting
  • Scheduling the Shaw teams onsite visit with client: Project Kickoff

Project Resources

The Shaw Project Management Office begins forming the core project team at the time that an implementation contract has been signed. Resources are identified and staffed from the PMO, product teams and Shaw’s deep bench of product consultants. Shaw can augment a client’s staffing needs, work a cooperative implementation, or provide a complete turnkey solution.

Core competencies* include:

  • Project Management (PMP)
  • Database Analysis / Administration
  • Business Analysis
  • SAAS Engineering
  • Product Development
  • Infrastructure Engineering
  • Business Strategy
  • Network Engineering

*Additional staff can be augmented or scaled as needed to meet the specific size, scope and delivery requirements of a client.

Project Methodology

Shaw uses a traditional phase gated SDLC approach to project implementations. Shaw has a robust and mature product line and, in most cases, requires very little in the way of pure product code development. Many customers find that the existing functionality can meet their needs with minimal modifications. Product development work, when required, generally revolves around 3 keys areas:

  • Data conversions resulting from the migration to a new servicing product (i.e. Retail or Collections systems)
  • Vendor engagement-integrated capability in utilizing enhanced servicing capability (i.e. payment processing)
  • Custom application functionality-enhancements to existing Shaw product capabilities to meet client business process needs (i.e. specialized billing or fee servicing options or custom bankruptcy administration)**

** For internal product development, Shaw uses an iterative development methodology to align enhancements to implementation requirement needs.

Project Phases

Implementation Projects follow three main phases:

Planning Phase: In order to ensure a successful implementation, emphasis needs to be placed on identifying key client requirements, ensuring an optimal technical solution, as well as a reasonable project delivery schedule. The Planning phase consists of all of the activities necessary for completion of 3 sub phases:

  • Initiation – Starting a project through assembling the Shaw team and preparing the client project kickoff deck. A project charter (“what” is to be delivered ) is initiated as well as a project management plan (“how” it is to be delivered).
  • Scoping – Holding an onsite client kickoff, updating and documenting the projects scope, and identifying and documenting all of the requisite business requirements (including vendor integrations), as well as completing a gap analysis.
  • Analysis/Design – Formulating and documenting the approved technical solution, integrations points, conversion strategy, system mapping, assembling the team to build out a complete project implementation schedule and completion of a planning phase exit review.

Development Phase – The purpose of the Development Phase is to convert the outputs of the analysis and design sub phases into a working information system and business processes that address all documented system requirements. These include mapping conversion data, building any requirements not in base delivery, integrating vendor capability, performing testing, validating mock data conversions, training users, and staging production environments.

  • Construction – Includes the activities to configure the Shaw products to the client’s requirements, perform the necessary system integration activities to facilitate 3rd party capabilities, reporting capability, initiating any product conversion work and validation of results.
  • Testing – Performing code unit testing, systems integration testing, user acceptance testing, conversion validation, mock conversions, systems data validation, development of a training plan and training of end users and system super users.
  • Implementation – Preparation of production systems, deployment walk through, Go/No Go decision, completion of a development phase exit review.

Warranty Phase – A post implementation phase that allows for the scheduled and orderly transfer of ongoing application support and maintenance from the project team to the Shaw operational staff prior to closing the project

  • Closeout – The last phase in a project’s lifecycle. This begins with a drive to resolve and closeout all implementation related issues (through use of the JIRA support ticketing tool), transition to the post production support team, provide any final user training, and complete the remaining project administrative activities.

Project Controls

Shaw utilizes industry wide practices governing the monitoring and controlling of a project’s execution. Key elements include:

Schedule Management – Shaw employs the use of Microsoft Project to perform all task and resource level planning and to track key activities, deliverables, and milestones. Schedules are developed during the project’s “Scoping” sub phase. A complete baselined schedule is reviewed and approved at the end of the planning phase as a deliverable from the project’s phase exit review.

Risk Management – Project risks are identified, reviewed, and managed through the use of a risk management plan which is documented through a RAID (Risks, Actions, Issues, Document). Risk assessment, mitigation, and issues resolution occurs throughout the project lifecycle and is reviewed weekly as part of the project manager’s tracking and oversight duties.

Change Management – Changes to approved scope, schedule, resources and budget are managed through a formal change control process. Scope change is initiated at the end of the “Scoping “phase when business requirements are completed and approved. The Shaw project manager will review any requests and will complete an impact analysis prior to submission for approval through the change control review board. This board consists of both Shaw and Client representatives.

Phase Exit Reviews – Shaw project managers perform 2 key phase exit reviews with the client to ensure that the project is ready to move forward. Reviews are performed as the end of the planning phase and also at the end of the development phase, as part of the Go Live readiness review. These reviews are intended to ensure that all planning has been completed and also to verify that the project is ready to move into a production state. These reviews require approval from both Shaw and client stakeholders to move forward to the next phase.

Project Governance – In order to maintain proper tracking and oversight, effective communication, as well as regular project continuity, Shaw project managers hold weekly project meetings with the core and extended project teams. This action is intended to monitor progress toward ongoing tasks completion, review risks, and address any outstanding action items.

Communication Management – In order to provide accurate, consistent, and timely reporting of the project the Shaw PM’s provide stakeholders a weekly status report as well as on demand stakeholder reviews. This report highlights the project’s current status, health conditions, list of milestones, and current and upcoming activities. The top risks and issues are also noted.