We have managed projects from a large bio-terrorism alerts system to mail migration and upgrade projects that were performed by the companies employees. Sometimes it's just direction that is needed. We can explain to the end user what is possible, how it can be done and most importantly, what returns the application will provide.
We can manage the Domino servers so the staff can spend their time supporting the end users. We monitor and schedule updates to the server in order to keep them in optimum operating proficiency. Migration to new version, applying the correct hotfix.
Are you thinking of upgrading to a newer version of Domino? We can help with the planning, implementation and staff training to make the upgrade as seamless as possible. We can show you the benefits of upgrading and help avoid any problems.
The support staff can call at any time when they need to escalate a problem. They can now concentrate on knowledge that will help them everyday, instead of learning something that will be used once a year.
Initial assessment is no small task, and should be given every bit as much consideration as any other stage of the project. While you-- the client-- usually have a pretty good idea of what you're looking for, it can take the consulting team a good deal of work to understand the internal project language and all the unsaid design goals. Corporate culture can be the enemy of a successful project if you're not careful, because all those things you take for granted as "the way things are" may be unknown to your consultants. In our model, we ask the client to agree to a small, fixed cost set of discovery tasks that culminates in a detailed requirements specification and more complete cost estimate. There are two distinct deliverables, first is the requirements and implementation plan. This makes no mention of cost, and has value in its own right as a road map to the completed project. The second deliverable is a quote for the implementation of that plan, and includes the information the client needs to understand the cost and time involved in implementing the project. This is almost always done on a short duration fixed cost basis, allowing the client and consultant to build a mutual understanding of the tasks at hand, and the capabilities of both teams.
The Development Phase is usually where the bulk of the time is spent. It is the implementation of the project plan developed in the Discovery Phase, up to the point where the application is feature complete according to the initial specification, plus any mutually agreed changes that have been accepted by both the client and the consultant. This phase can be billed on a fixed price or Time and Materials (T&M) basis. The decision on the type of billing largely depends on how well scoped and defined the development effort can be.
This is the client's first real exposure to the application and, like it or not, it will produce change orders. Any misconceptions or omissions from the discovery phase will be most apparent here. By using the Agile Programming teams, with direct customer contact, we hope to reduce the errors that occur from miscommunications. The team will comprise of 1 to 3 developers along with a customer representative. The customer representative should have a good knowledge of the business side of the application so they can make decisions on the usability of the applications. The goal is to deliver the application in small definable deliverables that can be tested and validated. These deliverables are defined during the discovery phase. This method of development allows the customer to see the progress without the overhead of a Project Manager.
Unit Testing Phase
This phase is where those projects that get into trouble really begin to show the signs. Often, the client feels that many things should have been done in the development phase and is reluctant to pay for them in this phase. At the same time, the consulting organization often feels that the customer is taking advantage of the "bug fix" nature of this phase to change or add functionality. By using the Agile Programming method it will be the team's duty to decide if that is a bug or added functionality and if the solution is cost-effective for the loss or added functionality. These decisions will be presented to management when ever they cause an impact to the cost or functionality of the applications.