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:
Warren S. Reid, the firm's Managing Director and founder, was a developer of one of the world’s most recognized systems development methodologies. He is widely known for his seminal publications http://wsrcg.com/noteworthy-news.php and models http://wsrcg.com/IT-success-models.php for developing/implementing successful systems. Our team can determine to what extent each party delivered per the SDLC and contractual obligations. Also, our team can determine if project managers/leadership made wise choices in tailoring, deviating, and streamlining the measures called for by a SDLC given the project situation on the ground, and the external hurdles it faced.
WSRcg has extensive expertise and experience in COCOMO II, an internationally accepted model 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 Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMi) to determine:
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 planning, organizing, staffing, priority setting, collaborating, coordinating, communicating, executing, estimating, tracking, correcting and budgeting aspects of project 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 business analysts, designers, project managers, coders, testers, documentation specialists, software engineers, database administrators, QA staff, project champions, executive management, and project steering committees. We have set up organizational structures and put into place guidelines & standards for communication, documentation, and handoffs from the development process to Maintenance.
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 scope, staff expertise, SDLC methods, testing, training, & end-of-phase "go/no go live" decisions where risks abound. Most large systems projects have the same predictable risks for each party – left unattended, they appear repeatedly in system failure litigation.
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 to halt user acceptance. Poor definition and management of scope issues are 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.
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. We know how to help parties deal with disagreements about their contractual arrangements, and help the parties resolve their differences.
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 V&V, and internal QA) to determine how and how well a system had been developed, tested and documented, and its readiness for production. He knows all non-trivial systems have some defects; and he can opine on the sources of these defects and estimate the number and seriousness of latent defects delivered under the circumstances using court-approved scientific methods, proving that a party did a good job despite a seemingly high number of post Go-Live defects.
Our senior staff of system architecture and system design engineers can determine whether and/or to what extent core systems were appropriate as a base for modification & configuration. We have shown in more than one case how a core system was not fit for its intended purpose.
Alternatively, we have uncovered re-engineered processes to be consistent with the new system that were never properly implemented thus jeopardizing and compromising the installation and success of the system and the project.
Based on extensive hands-on experience, WSRcg teams fully appreciates that software development challenges 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.
WSR system and software failure experts have hands-on experience and expertise in multiple platform and application domains.
WSRcg strongly believes that an independent QA function and dedicated team (not reporting to the project managers) should conduct and document quality reviews throughout the project, issuing formal reports. Each phase, deliverable, decision-point, and targeted date should be reviewed by a trained IT QA specialist following a master plan of tasks, questions, questionnaires, historical company performance, and industry published statistics. Proper walk-throughs, audits and reviews performed throughout development will likely catch and reduce other hidden problems, risks and defects when they are introduced into the system. This can potentially protect the project from disruption and cost overruns orders of magnitude larger if the problems are not discovered until later in the development cycle.
In each of the above areas, we can identify and trace harmful short-cuts taken by a vendor, consultant, customer, or user. Also, in rendering an expert opinion about a disputed project, we can predict the impacts and explain how various decisions made by each party affected cost, quality, scope, stakeholder expectations, and the schedule.