About the Engagement
In June 2013, following the occurrences of Hurricanes Irene and Lee, and Superstorm Sandy, a state-level disaster recovery organization was created to focus on recovery and rebuilding efforts for effective areas of New York State. The agency’s aid focused on four areas: housing recovery, small business, community reconstruction and infrastructure.
The agency’s division for organizational systems & performance is responsible for delivering agency-wide technical needs from infrastructure and software to maintenance and technical support. As the agency matured and needs became increasingly complex and intertwined, there was a need to create stronger and more disciplined portfolio management, project management and business analysis capabilities and support the agency in critical technical decisions.
The common challenge across the agency was a lack of centralized strategies, techniques, and frameworks which presented unique complexities. Examples of these include varying customer service and support strategies for both staff and applications, varying frameworks and processes (or the lack thereof) resulting in missing quality assurance and quality control procedures for critical applications and departments, and maintaining varying agile, hybrid-agile and waterfall software development lifecycle approaches, since multiple systems, or lack of, were used daily, but were not maintained appropriately.
Project Impacts and Outcomes
The engagement team provided agency-tailored technical portfolio, project management, business analysis and quality assurance services, including strategy, training, coaching and hands-on delivery. By the end of the project, the duties of the staff were defined and understood. Project Managers and Business Analysts were maintaining a consistent hybrid-agile framework, leading to on-time and prioritized software delivery, which resulted in high levels of quality assurance, thorough and comprehensive testing, and ensured applications were delivered bug-free to the end users. Customer service and communication were consistent and very well received by other departments. The division maintained a transparent and aligned portfolio of initiatives. The division leadership and agency executives made clear and strategic technical decisions that were aligned with core priorities.