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Application Development Case Study

Problem

Over the past twenty years a large energy generating company developed mission critical applications on their mainframe. Recently the company made a strategic decision to replace their core business applications with a new ERP system. The new system would be more robust enabling the company to improve productivity and customer service. In addition the annual costs of the software licenses for the mainframe would be avoided.

Fifteen applications supporting the core business were not included in the original project scope. These systems needed to be addressed as a separate but concurrent conversion effort. A strict timeline was defined for the applications to be implemented at the same time as the core ERP system. The time frame for all conversion efforts was based on the need to beat the hardware termination date of the mainframe in order to avoid incurring a large annual licensing fee.


Challenge

CAI needed to understand the business drivers and associated business rules of the energy company. The implementation had to work within the existing technology framework and meet the customer's needs. CAI needed to employ a structured process in which deliverables would be provided at the end of each phase and scope creep would be managed to negate any slip in completion date. CAI also needed to employ reliable timelines with fact-based estimates. Finally, the company wanted to maintain all systems once they were implemented. As a result the company's employees needed to receive the appropriate training and be capable of application support after rollout.


Solution

CAI selected a team with the appropriate skill set. Each application was addressed as a separate conversion project with a team leader who reported to the overall project manager. Once all applications were converted, CAI provided training for the company's staff to enable application support. By defining and accurately estimating concise units of work and tracking these units through each phase of the development life cycle, CAI was able to deploy all converted systems on time and within budget. This company is now capable of supporting their applications without external staffing assistance.


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