Taming Project Chaos

Client: One of Austria’s largest insurance companies
Team Members: Kurt Milam (working for fecher GmbH)
Service Areas: Process Consulting
Software: Sharepoint

Do you need help taming chaos in your company’s software projects? xioup’s experienced professionals can help you implement the tools and workflows that will make project chaos a thing of the past. Contact us today to learn more!

Background:

Mr. Milam took over insurance policy generator and related software projects for this client’s Italian and Slovenian subsidiaries from another colleague who had left the company. While the software our team produced for this customer (a Web-Based Insurance Policy Generator) was itself interesting, this success story focuses on the Process Consulting side of things.

Problems:

  • As is often the case, these projects suffered some degree of chaos during the initial transition period
  • Projects were running over budget and behind schedule
  • Non technical customers were demanding finished products while concurrently submitting must-have change requests (classic scope-creep / moving target problem)
  • The bureaucratic nature of the customer (a large insurance company) did not allow a transition to a more iterative development process

Solution:

Define a process based around an online Issue Tracker, scheduled milestones and tightly defined release requirements to get the projects back on track.

Mr. Milam served as the software architect and project leader on these projects. He developed a suite of SharePoint tools, including a modified version of the SharePoint Issue Tracker, that was customized to fit the requirements of our projects with this client. We developed a workflow around this suite of tools and negotiated for the necessary buy-in from the customer, the Software Engineers and Testers.

Mr. Milam trained the customers and his fellow team members to follow the workflow closely and treat the milestones as real deadlines.

Results:

  • In a few short weeks, all of the various projects were back on track
  • Quality improved immensely, as the moving target problem was eliminated
  • Chronically late projects were completed in a short time (no more scope-creep), and the clients were again pleased with our output
  • The clients and our team members were overwhelmingly convinced by the success of this approach, and a foundation was laid for smooth-running projects well into the future
  • We reused this approach successfully on future projects, avoiding project chaos from the beginning