Federal Government Practice Enterprise Wide System Delivery

Background

In order to provide the country with a new service while creating cross-agency synergies, the U.S. government created an umbrella department to oversee numerous previously-independent U.S. Government offices and agencies. To fully realize cross-agency IT synergies, the department established an office under the CIO to streamline IT management. This office was chartered with providing technical architecture planning, the delivery of enterprise IT services, improving efficiency of application delivery functions, improving enterprise IT integration and migrating off costly unsupported platforms.

As a new organization, this office will need to implement highly effective lifecycle processes that enable rapid service delivery, along with an effective customer engagement strategy to accelerate stakeholder adoption. This is a substantial task, and one that Blackstone understands well given our combined experience delivering solutions within both the Department’s Headquarters (HQ) and its Components.

The Challenge

Participating in the establishment of a new enterprise IT service office within the Government, Blackstone was tasked with both providing full life-cycle IT services and defining best practices for the continued management of the office. Supporting multiple customers across this newly integrated agency, Blackstone is constantly reassessing its performance to more swiftly and efficiently distribute new capabilities and services via this office across multiple Government Agencies to meet the demanding temporal requirements set out in the mandate of the Agency itself.

Performance

Blackstone is successfully guiding the client to achieve a managed, robust, integrated and agile IT environment that provides the full synergies and efficiencies that were designed in the creation of the Department.

Results

Blackstone has been successfully delivering services and solutions to stand up a new full lifecycle development capability within this new organization. Blackstone is delivering in the following areas:

  • Program/Project Management – Blackstone has been developing and implementing a customer-centric business model for developing/testing enterprise IT services
  • Requirements Management – Blackstone is developing and implementing a comprehensive requirements management process leveraging tools such as the IBM Rational Suite to maintain traceability of requirements across the full lifecycle.
  • Application Architecture Guidance – Blackstone is providing support for the definition of application architectures, and the evaluation and definition of application and technology standards
  • Application Design and Development – Blackstone is leveraging various .NET and open source technologies to support the rapid development of enterprise application services.
  • Testing – Blackstone is developing Testing Shared Service that will supply development and implementation teams with a range of testing services and capabilities necessary to rapidly develop high-quality applications. This service includes the full range of testing capabilities including, but not limited to, test planning, automated test execution, continual integration testing, functional testing, stress/load testing, and 508 compliance testing.
  • Business Process Reengineering (BPR) – Blackstone is developing and implementing a comprehensive BPR service for the department. To ensure the success of these initiatives, Blackstone is following an agile BPR approach, emphasizing frequent collaboration with system users to promote the intelligent refinement, simplification, and continuous improvement of business processes. These efforts assist the CIO’s office in supporting general business process improvement efforts in line with Department trends and policies. This will ultimately enable the BPR Shared Service to decompose business processes and identify candidate services for implementation.
  • Release Management – Blackstone is developing and implementing a comprehensive release management approach, supported by automated tools and services support mechanisms to include Rational ClearQuest, VMWare, and Serena. Blackstone’s Release Management approach includes processes and mechanisms for releasing software at various stages within the System Engineering Life Cycle (SELC). In addition, release management schedules and cycles are aligned to events and gate reviews described in the SELC, and further tailored to support delivery approaches selected for each individual service requirement (i.e., waterfall, iterative, agile). Blackstone’s release management process also defines rules, processes, and tools used for deploying “snapshots” of a system’s code base to multiple platforms to assist in design, development, testing, and production deployment.
  • Training – In support of this new office, Blackstone is developing a comprehensive training approach that can be tailored based upon the level of experience of customer audiences and the type of application service. To verify the impact of training, Blackstone’s approach captures system measures related to system usage before and after the training. These results are regularly analyzed to support continuous tailoring and improvement of training material and delivery mechanisms.