At WSRcg, we have analyzed, assessed and opined on the reasons why a particular project is failing and what can and must be done to turn around that project and prevent failure in the future. We have become independent project consultants reporting to the Board of Directors of one of the parties, or to the Steering Committee consisting of all the parties. We assess current project status and value, and determine the effort and resources it will take to complete the job. We identify root causes of failure, redefine “success” so that all parties can live with that measurable definition, and implement solutions to mitigate problems and risks as the project recovers and renews.
We typically recommend changes to the project charter and reduce the scope of the project, or recommend how to deliver the system in smaller segments – no more “big bang” strategy for this project. In addition, we will recommend adjusting project staffing, party roles and responsibilities, and work with counsel(s) to change or amend the contracts to reflect the new understanding and the position going forward. Finally we customarily will assist the parties to identify on paper the project management and SDLC methodology, testing strategy and environment, and criteria for acceptance and go-live – agreed to by all parties.
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". As a teaser, I am including only the overall graphic of the method, not how to work it, here.
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!
Note that the CPR model, in many ways, follows many of the tried-and-true management processes and doctrines employed in non-systems project turnaround arenas. Each of the 13 steps tie to management principles such as Planning, Discovering, Staffing, Organizing, Coordinating, Directing, Executing, Refocusing, etc. It’s no wonder Baseline Magazine embraced the model in its November 2006 issue in “The Project Management Center” section.
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 every few 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.
We have been asked on several occasions by judges or counsel to determine the value of the software artifacts left behind by the developer/integrator in failed systems projects stopped mid-stream. These calculations involve a lot of experience and cannot easily be performed with typical economic value formulas. I was asked to opine on the value (reusable) of 500,000 lines of code developed for a specific customer and left behind when the project was terminated. I asked myself and explained to the triers of fact: Who would want to continue with another company’s poorly documented software that just failed the system test three times, with no end in sight?
Taking over those 500,000 Lines of code and completing the rest of the program, and then taking responsibility for making the system work and maintaining it, is a form of corporate IT suicide. Accordingly, among other opinions, I gave the code a value of “zero” in court to the dismay of the developer who wanted to value it at its own out-of-pocket cost of $500,000. I also said I was unable to give an estimate of delivery date of the system using the left behind code, even by its own developer without substantially more time – but I did opine that it would take at least 20-30 months or longer than originally planned by the developer at the rate they were going and with the underpowered project team, Project Manager, methodology shortcuts they were taking, and a fundamental misunderstanding of what the system must do.Warren S. Reid
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 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 objectives.
For seven years, Warren S. Reid was on the executive committee of the Caltech-MIT Enterprise Forum reviewing companies and their business plans for mezzanine financing. At these forums, Mr. Reid, along with other financial and legal experts helped companies reorganize, refocus and redirect their plans to help assure they would get the money they need and use it in a savvy, business-like manner to support their growth.