WSRcg IT Consulting Expertise

On this webpage we present:

WSRcg Litigation

Our IT Expertise Used for Both Litigation & Consulting Assignments

The WSR Consulting Group, LLP (herein after “WSRcg”) team draws upon a wealth of experience and expertise, to give clients powerful insight, foresight and hindsight into information technology issues, projects, challenges and disputes. Our experience, training and expertise enable us to perceive, confirm, and articulate the critical success factors that advance technology projects and to ascertain the causes of problems.

In the context of disputes, our expert witness’s insight authoritatively makes clear to the client, jury, court and adversary the actual causes of problems on a project. That insight enables the parties to settle a dispute, and if the dispute goes to court, it helps the court to reach a fair decision.

In the context of consulting engagements, our experience and expertise enables clients to make well-informed decisions about their information technology strategy, issues and projects. Our insight helps our clients to proactively anticipate problems and to effectively avoid pitfalls.

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Scope of IT Consulting Services:

Executive IT Consulting

WSRcg provides timely consulting advice regarding a wide range of computer technology issues and problems. WSRcg has been responsible for overseeing more than 100 systems in 15 industries for companies of all sizes, including overseeing the testing, implementation, acceptance, and development of controls for the LOTTO lottery games for the State of California. We have covered virtually all aspects of computers and technology including:

  • SDLC - systems development life cycle, (i.e., requirements development; system selection; contracting; establishing qualified project teams; analyzing, designing, programming testing, documenting, converting and implementing successful systems solutions),
  • working with high-technology companies to raise equity capital and financing,
  • creating IT Departments and Project Management Offices (PMO),
  • assisting companies in aligning their long range systems and IT plans with their business strategy,
  • identifying/implementing recommendations to overcome clashes between and conflicts within the IT constituents (i.e., Acquirers, Vendors, Consultants, Integrators, Users, and In-House IT and Maintenance groups) to establish project success, relationship success and contract success,
  • assisting companies in developing appropriate high-technology contracts for acquisition, licensing, distribution, development support, and protection of intellectual properties and rights.

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General IT Consulting

In addition, as general IT, systems and software consultants, we are frequently asked to:

  • Assess the “real status” of a computer system or software development/implementation project, including its deliverables & estimates-to-complete,
  • Evaluate adherence to project management standards and systems development life cycle (SDLC) methodologies & “best practices”, and providing such training to groups as necessary,
  • Analyze software architecture, design, coding, testing, acceptance & implementation strategies and suitability issues;
  • Make tactical and strategic recommendations to improve IT department or project staffing, budgeting, organization responsiveness, and alignment with stakeholder needs.

  • Develop long-range systems plan(s) to compliment the business strategy; review client’s “business case” and adjust as necessary; make recommendations on how to develop/use new software & technologies to improve corporate profits, reduce staff turnover, increase vendor success on new product introductions or managing projects, and reduce costs,
  • Evaluate go-live and post-go-live defects resolution, maintenance, and help desk systems, processes and procedures,
  • Evaluate readiness for the product and the organization to bring the software live,
  • Assess the suitability of project results to the problems it was to address; compare to benefits and costs projected in the business case

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Board & Steering Committee Consulting Services

WSRcg also provides IT Steering Committee Services or we act as special consultants to the Technology Steering Committee of the Board in mid-size organizations. With these services, WSRcg's experienced team has bridged the gap for Board members and executive managers who either do not have the time to closely monitor systems development projects in their companies, or who need additional mentoring to understand the complex technology, IT strategic plans, IT and business strategy alignment, IT budget initiatives and requests, and/or critical project issues.

We have acted as a Board’s eyes, ears and support system, to augment the Board’s and executive managements’ crucial oversight on strategic planning projects, software/computer implementations, the consolidation of data facilities, and on massive outsourcing initiatives of IT staff and assets. We have been asked to help assure that the project manager is acting effectively in directing the day-to-day functions of the project team, and has what he needs to be successful. Through this consulting service, WSRcg makes certain that accurate and important project communication flows freely, that risk management practices are in place, that quality control and assurance issues are being addressed, and that roadblocks are not prohibiting progress toward the company’s business needs and IT bjectives.

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Computer Crisis Consulting & Software Project Turnarounds

WSRcg provides expert guidance and project management in turning around runaway computer, systems and software projects using its proprietary “CPR” methodology, as seen in the featured article on HGExperts.com's legal article web page at: "CPR (Cooperative Project Recovery) -- Reviving the Drowning Large-Scale IT Project".

CPR is a tested and proven four-tier, 13 step model which focuses executive management and project team leaders on very specific assessments to be made and actions to be taken to help turn around and overcome, and compensate for deficiencies in project management, methodology, system technology and functionality, and staffing in live, ongoing projects — before your project is scrapped, your staff is fired or quits, your window of opportunity has closed, and/or you move to litigation!

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Valuing High-Tech Assets

WSRcg’s extensive experience working with a wide range of software companies, provides us the knowledge and experience to be able to appraise the value and the long term viability of software companies. WSRcg has developed a proprietary methodology for valuing IT assets, IP assets, and most things “high-tech”.

Developed by Warren S. Reid, founder of WSR Consulting Group, LLC and based upon his MBA studies at The Wharton Graduate School of Finance and decades of experience, experimentation and refinement, this methodology explores and estimates business value based upon in-depth knowledge of the IT, IP and high-tech industries, and applying seven often overlooked criteria in traditional valuation techniques.

Mr. Reid has been invited to teach this method for the past two years at the University of Southern California, in their Graduate School of Engineering. See “There are Six Sides to Every High-Tech Story” for an overview of the methodology.

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Essential ERP, Software & Computer Project Knowledge Cornerstones

Our areas of IT expertise were developed through years of training and hands-on in-the-trenches experience as developers, designers, programmers, testers, documentation specialists, implementers, integrators, project managers, project directors, and CIOs on various systems at major clients. These experiences provide much of the basis for our consulting work and our IT, ERP, software, computer and internet expert witness work. Some of our consultants and expert witnesses have also developed new models and methodologies that have been well accepted by clients and peer reviewed journals. Lastly, some of our consultants and experts are asked to regularly guest lecture for university PhD software engineering programs and at computer law courses in Law School.

Our areas of IT expertise are built upon cornerstones of successful systems and software development/implementation projects introduced below:

  • Systems development & implementation methodologies and project life cycles
  • Large-scale project cost and schedule estimation
  • Project management, planning and schedule tracking
  • Project staffing and executive management
  • Risk management and quality management
  • Scope management and configuration management
  • Contract audits, crisis management and dispute resolution
  • Test planning, execution, and acceptance management
  • Architecture, design, and software engineering
  • Post go-live operations
  • Sampling of WSRcg platform & application domain expertise

Expertise in Systems Development & Implementation Methodologies and Project Life Cycles

Warren S. Reid, the firm's Managing Director and founder, developed one of the world’s most recognized systems development methodologies, and is widely known for his seminal publications and models regarding systems methodologies and approaches. Our team can determine to what extent parties to a computer systems project took seriously the implementation of a systems development methodology, and where they simply paid lip service. Also, our team can determine if project managers and project leadership made wise and prudent choices in tailoring, adjusting and streamlining the measures called for by a systems development methodology given the situation on the ground of the project, and the external hurdles it faces.

Expertise In Large-Scale Project Cost And Schedule Estimation

WSRcg has extensive expertise and experience in COCOMO/COCOMO II, one of the two (2) internationally accepted models for scheduling, costing and planning large scale systems projects. We couple that expertise regarding project multipliers and scale factors with our in-depth knowledge of the internationally recognized Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model to determine:

  • how long a project and its component tasks should have taken from the beginning under different scenarios
  • how long it would have taken from the point the project was terminated
  • how specific decisions made by each party during the contract impacted the system schedule, cost, quality, functionality and chances of success

Expertise in Project Management, Planning and Schedule Tracking

Our WSRcg team understands that if you do not plan to succeed, then you are planning to fail. Poor project management can cause otherwise good systems and good projects to falter as important resources and efforts are deflected and wasted. We review the planning, organizing, staffing, setting of priorities, coordinating, executing, communicating, estimating, and budgeting aspects of project management. In doing so, we recognize when project managers are just guessing at time and effort estimates, and when they have patched together a loose plan. We also carefully analyze project management measures such as critical paths, earned values, variance analyses, and responsibility sharing. Thus we are able to reveal the reasons why the execution of the project varied from the plan and we understand where, when and how faulty project and risk management has caused a project to run out of control.

Expertise in Project Staffing and Executive Management

WSRcg has extensive experience in training and managing internal systems staff, outside professional and internal business experts for critical roles on projects and ongoing IT operations, including systems planners, analysts, designers, project managers, coders, testers, documentation specialists, software engineers, database administrators, business process experts, quality assurance staff, super-users, project champions, executive management, and a project steering committee. WSRcg staff have set up organizational structures and put into place guidelines and standards for communication, documentation, handoffs and development processes. Technology is still about people, their expectations, experience, fear of change, availability to work on the project as needed, availability for training, and their ability to make timely decisions. In that regard, our WSRcg team has created SoftWare Adjudication Teams (SWAT) to resolve small but mounting disagreements and issues between project teams, implementers, integrators, vendors, users and customer management before they accelerate and end up out of hand.

Expertise in Risk Management and Quality Management

WSRcg is adept at identifying project, process, product, personnel, technology, and legal risks. We know how to manage and mitigate such risk factors before they materialize or have great impact, especially in areas of functionality scope, customization, conversion, training, and "go/no go live" decisions where risks most often ambush a project. Most large-scale systems projects have predictable and similar risks for each of the parties -- and accordingly, most litigated systems failures include complaints that blame each party for failing to mitigate these risks.

Expertise in Scope Management and Configuration Management

WSRcg has developed a solid approach to the management of project scope. Our team is trained to spot ambiguity and lack of completeness early in requirements and specifications that have the potential of bringing user acceptance to a halt. Poor definition of scope and poor management of scope issues is at the forefront of disputes and discord that erode goodwill between systems developer and customer. When such disputes end up in court, we know how to distinguish in-scope change from out-of-scope change, and we have experience in explaining the difference to a judge and jury.

Expertise in Contract Audits, Crisis Management and Dispute Resolution

Our WSRcg team has extensive experience with a wide variety of contractual arrangements. We have consulted with attorneys in the creation of numerous systems development, acquisition, implementation, support, outsourcing, and services and service level contracts over the years. We can help to craft viable and sustainable commitments and principles to match the business proposition of a systems project. At the same time, we know how to help parties deal with disagreements about their contractual arrangements, and if confrontation erupts, we know how to help the parties resolve their differences.

Expertise in Test Planning, Execution, and Acceptance Management

Mr. Warren S. Reid is known internationally for his work in the computer and software testing field, and he has successfully used the areas of testing (and related areas of static testing, independent verification and validation, and internal quality assurance) to determine how and how well a system had been developed, tested and documented, and how ready it was to be turned over to the customer for use in production. He also understands that all non-trivial systems have some defects; he can opine on the sources of these defects and what defect metrics and qualities are reasonable under the circumstances.

Expertise in Architecture, Design and Software Engineering

Based on the review by our senior staff of system architecture and system design engineers, we can determine whether or not and/or to what extent core systems were appropriate as a base for modification and configuration to meet the needs of typically diverse users. We have seen in more than one case how a base system was unfit for its intended purpose in the first place.

Alternatively, sometimes users agree to re-engineer their business processes to be consistent with core system design, architecture, and functionality. We have also uncovered such re-engineered processes that were never properly implemented and thus jeopardized and compromised the installation and success of the system and the project.

Expertise in Post Go-Live Operations

Based on extensive hands-on experience with systems projects, our WSRcg team fully appreciates that the challenges of software development do not end at go-live. We have strong expertise in setting up and managing the critical first phase of implementation, during which errors and omissions make themselves strongly felt, and have the potential of undermining a company’s business. We know what it takes to set up a competent transition team to support the system, and we have experience in helping the users accept and adopt the new business procedures needed to make the implementation successful, and to maximize the business benefits of installing a new system.

Sampling of WSRcg Platform & Application Domain Expertise

Our senior managers, IT expert witnesses & CIO expert witnesses have had extensive experience in the following hardware and application domains:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning/ERP Systems – SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Lawson, JDEdwards, Seibel Systems, Cerner, Retek, Microsoft, IBM, among others
  • New economy, internet, web-based & e-commerce(B2C, B2B, ISPs, SaaS, SEO, social nets, websites, e-commerce)
  • Legacy mainframe systems; Three-tiered host-client-server architectures
  • Distributed systems/databases; Relational databases (RDMS); Data warehousing; Data archiving
  • Networked PCs (including mobile, wide-area, local-area, broadband, and satellite networks)
  • Robot-controlled manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution facilities; army bases; automated guided vehicles; robotic conveyor systems
  • Specialized hi-tech hardware, software, operating systems, platforms/configurations, CASE & Project Management tools
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) & Supply chain management (SCM) systems
  • Full-functionality POS systems; COWs (Computers on Wheels)
  • Ticketing Systems : lottery; legitimate theatre subscriptions; movie theatre; internet ticketing systems for sports teams and events including secondary market
  • Healthcare and hospital management systems including Electronic Medical Records management systems (EMR)

In each of the above areas, we can predict the impacts and explain the consequences of various decisions and choices regarding the cost, quality, functional scope and schedule of an active project. Also, in rendering an expert opinion about a disputed project we can identify and trace short-cuts taken by a vendor, consultant, customer, or user in the areas noted above, and we can explain the manner in which those decisions and choices affected the conduct and outcome of a project.

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WSRcg Industry Expertise

WSRcg expert witnesses and staff have deep experience and expertise in the following industries, among others:

Industry Areas of High Experience & Expertise Expertise
Level

 

Distribution

Wholesale & distribution: warehousing; transportation Expert
Retail: Big box stores; regional department stores & grocery chains Expert
Restaurant & fast food service including sophisticated POS systems Expert
e-Business: new economy; internet; web 2.0; e-commerce
Expert
Gaming: casinos; hotels & hospitality High
Lotteries Expert
Ticketing: legitimate & movie theaters; sporting events; on-line ticketing Expert

Financial Services

Insurance; banks/e-banks; real estate investment; mortgage lending High
Stock exchanges Expert

Industrial

Manufacturing
Expert
Energy & petroleum High
Automotive; Aerospace High/Expert

Public

Hospital/health care systems/HIPAA/3rd party administrators
Expert
Government: federal, state, local High/Expert
Law enforcement Expert
Higher-education Expert
Military: embedded systems; robotics & smart buildings Expert
Utilities High

Other

Software and high-technology
Expert
Professional service firms High/Expert
Advertising Expert
Not-for-profit organizations High/Expert

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WSRcg Senior Manager/Expert Witness Employment Levels & IT Experience

Our senior managers, IT expert witnesses & CIO expert witnesses have served in one or more of the following roles among others over the past 20-35 yrs:

Role
Titles Achieved

 

Executive

Big 6 consulting managers or partners
Vice-President of corporate information technology
CXOs of their own IT consulting practices
Member on Boards of Directors of high-tech companies
Executive Committee Member of the Board of the CalTech/MIT Enterprise Forum

Management

Chief Information Officers (CIOs)
IT department heads
ERP project directors/managers
Software project partner, project manager, project director
Software project staffing & estimating consultants
Quality management consultants & auditors
Project Management Office (PMO) staff
IT Steering Committee member

Leaders

Creators of industry standard system development life cycle methodologies (SDLC)

Business

Long range systems and software planners
Software project test directors/managers
Business information systems, business intelligence systems consultants (bi)

Consulting

Data center consolidators; data center recovery consultants
Business/systems alignment planners, business/it restructuring consultants

Technical

High tech litigation counsel
Software analysts and designers
Database designers
Software engineers and system performance improvement engineers

Legal

Software developers and software configurators

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For More Related Information

Click on one of the following areas for more information:

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Call Warren S. Reid at (818) 986-8842 if you have any questions or wish to discuss your case.

WSRcg

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