Assessment and recommendations which, over time, vastly improved the timeliness & quality of the major system provider deliverables.
Challenge: A major network mobility equipment supplier was experiencing chronic issues with missing release and feature commitment dates across their customer base. In addition, their software releases had ongoing quality problems, necessitating numerous maintenance releases before customers could accept them, exacerbating the disruption caused by late initial deliveries.
Action: SkeensMcDonell was retained by the supplier, and conducted a two-pronged assessment of the client’s end-to-end processes, practices, and culture. The first focus was on the Front-End Planning process and overall Gates Process. This included Product Management and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Program Management, overall release planning, resource planning, and commitment. The second focus was on the client’s software development and quality processes, across all engineering, test, and delivery teams, both in the US and in India.
Findings: SkeensMcDonell identified half a dozen critical issues related to requirements management, release planning, program management, and QA planning. We also determined that the organization suffered from a leadership vacuum and a culture of “rule from the top” that disempowered teams and led to chronic over-commitment of resources.
Results: The client brought in a new General Manager for the business unit, and also transferred several well-respected director-level managers from other BUs into key leadership roles. The organization established five “Quality Initiative” teams to create and implement action plans to address the assessment findings. SkeensMcDonell embedded staff with these Initiative Teams over the next six months to support their work. Within three releases, the client was able to deliver on their committed date with only a single maintenance release required to achieve acceptance.