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Case Study - Incremental Development Process Saves Release 2

The Scenario: Web site development was behind schedule!

In January 2000 our client hired a global system integration vendor to develop an e-commerce web site. Within a few months, the client was extremely dissatisfied with the vendor's value and responsiveness. Despite paying a premium for skilled personnel, Release 1 was behind schedule and its planned functionality continually shrank. The client needed to switch vendors as soon as possible. It could not afford to pay premium prices for below average development.

The Challenge: Switch vendors while meeting schedule and budget objectives

The client had revenue targets based on the site going live with limited functions in October 2000 and then expanding functions by year end. The cost for the global system integration vendor was budgeted until December. LimNorris was assigned the lead to determine how to switch vendors while meeting the client's schedule and budget objectives.

The Approach: Implement an incremental software development process

After assessing the status in June 2000, LimNorris determined it was too risky to switch midway into Release 1. The old vendor would not have incentive to transfer technical information to a new vendor and a new vendor could not be held accountable for Release 1 objectives. Instead, a new vendor was selected to begin Release 2 implementation while the original vendor completed Release 1. Lower rates from the new vendor offset the higher cost of concurrently having two vendors for three months.

LimNorris worked with the new vendor to define an incremental software development process that ensured Release 2 met its schedule and functional objectives. Each function was independently defined, prototyped, designed, implemented, code-inspected, and tested. Each function also had a business owner who defined the requirements, reviewed the prototype, and approved the final result. The business and development teams jointly selected the functions that composed Release 2.

LimNorris provided the project manager for Release 2 and oversaw all Release 2 activities.

The Result: Release 2 completed on schedule

Release 2 completed on-schedule and within budget. The client was satisfied with the new vendor and extended retained them for several more releases.

Copyright 2002 Lim, Norris & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.