Our Approach to Computer, Software, ERP & Internet Project Failure Litigation

On this webpage we present:

Software Failure Litigation

Methodological Approach

WSR Consulting Group, LLC has achieved an enviable reputation as expert witnesses in computer, software, ERP and Internet project failures in part because our assignment of the appropriate expert and consultants to each matter, our internal quality assurance process, and our proprietary methodology which is tailored the areas on which our expert will opine.

Along with our extensive knowledge and hands-on experience with IT and software industry best practices and standards, we also apply WSRcg’s methodology and library of metrics, tools, and practices for evaluating each of the key aspects that most frequently contribute to software, ERP and Internet project failure including:

WSRcg’s Methodology & Libraries include Access to Relevant
Industry Standards, Tools, Metrics & Checklists Covering All SDLC Aspects
  • Proper project planning,
    • Quality of software/systems requirements elicitation, GAP analyses and requirements development processes and deliverables,
  • Quality of the request for proposal (RFP) process including preparation, evaluation criteria, and real world contracting issues,
  • Development of strong, understandable, detailed, accurate and measurable contracts,
  • Development and use of relevant work breakdown structures and task & staff estimating standards,
  • Proper commitment to/use of proper SDLC methodologies, automated tools, document repositories, project management standards:
    • planning and schedule tracking
      o critical path and earned value analysis and estimates to complete each task
    • project staffing and executive management
    • reliable time and task reporting; accurate status reporting and steps to get back on course or to chart a new plan
    • risk management
    • quality management, assurance and control
  • Use of appropriate alternative approaches to software development (waterfall, spiral, prototype, agile, etc.),
  • Effective use of a Steering Committee and escalation process,
  • Good decision-making process regarding what to configure vs. what to customize,
  • Appropriateness of test planning, execution, and defect tracking/fixing,
  • Proper use of automated testing tools, the change control board, and software acceptance management procedures,
  • Proper deployment of hardware, network and peripheral devices,
  • Effectiveness of application of go-live planning criteria and decision-making; readiness of system and software to “go-live” into production,
  • Quality and effectiveness of user training and organizational change management,
  • Proper setup of security, access, privacy codes,
  • Reliability and recoverability of the system and interfaces in the event of failure,
  • Completeness, accuracy, reliability and difficulty of data conversion,
  • Quality, reliability and difficulty of interfaces with other software,
  • Reliability/accuracy of acceptance test results,
  • Effectiveness of setup, staffing and reporting mechanisms for help-desk services, data archiving and data warehousing,
  • Appropriateness of staffing, environment, budgeting and handover to the software maintenance teams whether in-house, outsourced, SAAS, hosted, etc.;
  • Reliability of procedures for maintaining, fixing, updating and distributing software for customer.
  • Determining whether and to what extent, if any, IP infringement occurred:
    • software copyright infringement
    • misappropriation of software/IT trade secrets
    • idea theft
    • source code comparison
    • functional, design, look-and-feel comparisons
    • patent infringement
    • forensic software fingerprinting
  • Valuing high tech companies, Intellectual property, intellectual capital, software, technologies and technology products, soundness of M&A opportunities of high-tech and/or computer software technologies.

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Discovery Approach

In addition, we are very active in assisting counsel with his/her discovery requests.

First, we are expert in helping describe how, in what format(s), on what media we want the electronic documents to be distributed to the appropriate parties -- so that the discovery meets the then current rules for e-discovery, and so that it are readily usable in its delivered form and format.

Secondly, there are approximately up to 55 categories of documents that can be categorized as “helpful to critical” in understanding what really happened during large-scale computer, software, ERP and/or Internet project failure matters. Some may seem counterintuitive at first, such as requesting corporate marketing plans and old websites, but in our experience, we have seen these become important underpinnings of the whole case.

A few of the standard ones are listed below. The counterintuitive ones are part of our proprietary methodology -- none of which is ever available on our website.

  • Systems develop method promised; used
  • Specific standards used including standards for:
    • architecture,
    • infrastructure,
    • database,
    • network, and recovery and restart,
    • progress and status reporting,
    • programming,
    • testing, project management,
    • quality assurance
  • Systems requirements and specifications including:
    • Features,
    • Functions,
    • “-abilities”,
    • performance parameters,
    • current documentation,
    • RFP responses,
    • Promises made during Conference Room Pilots,
    • Functionality promised during demonstrations,
    • Industry, government, regulatory requirements
  • Changes to requirements above
    • Reasonable vs. actual (creep; gallop; stampede)
  • All Deliverables + acceptances (real, promised, per contract)
  • Roles & Responsibilities of the Parties (and changes in writing and course of conduct over time)
  • Estimation approach/guidelines, metrics, actual estimates & changes
  • Risk mgmt plans and actions taken
  • All signed, sign-off and/or accepted deliverables
  • All “relevant” e-mails w attachments in native format and metadata
  • Training materials and reference guides
  • Relevant current and historical websites
  • Database(s) used
  • Acceptance tests: strategy, plans, conduct, results
  • Escalation problems and issues
  • Escalation/termination/post-term docs
  • Relevant SEC filings

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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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