SOUND PROGRAM & PROJECT MANAGEMENT ENABLES STRATEGIC DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
In any hypercompetitive business environment, evolutionary changes are occurring around the world in macroeconomics triggered by the employment of emerging technologies, such as smart machines, secure cloud services, and Internet of Things (IoT) integrated into a company’s cross-disciplinary business practices for pressuring business leaders and chief innovation officers to continually innovate and transform their operations into an enabling digital enterprise. Digital transformation initiatives for companies to continuously innovate and remain competitive in the global market place
VIRE Consulting Program Management Mantra
Enterprise Technology Standardization =
Strategic Digital Transformation =
Business Process Modernization
have to become more creative, automated, and inventive based on employment of sound program and project management (PM) practices, processes, and services. The transformation through innovation is no longer a fad, but in today’s digital age has become a requirement to ‘adopt or die’ as a company. Therefore, our process-oriented approach to digital transformation and enabling technology adoption through an Information Technology (IT) Governance framework has become the key to success through employment of sound program and project management practices, processes, procedures, and services. By adopting VIRE’s IT Governance Framework as depicted in Figure 1, organizations can assess their current state, establish transformation goals, and chart a realistic, sustainable path to effect end-to-end digital transformation from idea to reality using quick bursts of planning and continuous evolution through VIRE’s Program/Project Management framework and agile DevSecOps development and deployment.
Figure 1 – VIRE’s IT Governance Framework (for enabling strategic digital transformation of a Business Enterprise through Business Process Modernization)
Through our litany of Program and Project Management Services outlined below, VIRE is able to digitally transform an organization into an enabling digital enterprise through business process modernization.
Based on VIRE’s definition, Program Management is the process of managing several related projects with the intention of improving an organization’s business and operational capability and efficiency through the related business management disciplines of strategic planning, enterprise architecture frameworks’ formulation, business process re-engineering (BPR)/engineering, business process improvement, system requirements management, technical management, systems integration, and business transformation. A program is normally established for delivering an organization’s overall business strategy and managing its transformation into the next level of business and operational excellence enabled by Information Technology (IT). Furthermore, a program is normally a group of related projects being managed in a coordinated manner to obtain the benefit of an integrated business information system that has been developed for facilitating the operations of an enabling business practice from end-to-end. In a program, program management manages the overall scope of these related and discrete projects for meeting an organization’s overall business goals and objectives outlined in its business strategy.
VIRE’s program management framework emphasizes the coordinating and prioritizing of resources across projects while managing and controlling the communications coordination across stakeholders, work scope, staffing resources, integrated master schedule/project schedules, costs, risks, quality, and implementation in support of the program.
Figure 2 - VIRE’s Program Management Framework
Our framework as depicted in Figure 2 provides for the overall macro-management of interrelated projects and focuses on providing an environment where projects can be successfully implemented without any major problems or impediments in project task order execution.
Our program management framework leaves project management to the project managers for project execution while our Program Managers are focused on managing the overall contract, work scope, resources, corporate staffing, program risks, and finances. This proven, responsive and empowered program and project management approach under a single unified management structure ensures single lines of direct communications, coordination, and collaboration from the project managers to the client task managers or monitors and their Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR) for project execution. This approach ensures that task order understanding, coordination, and execution is maximized at the project or task order level and ensures speedy delivery of services within costs, schedules, and performance.
VIRE considers a program to be a larger contract concept where a set of interrelated projects are established for achieving a common business goal and objective within an enterprise. As such, VIRE’s definition of project management is the discipline of initiating, planning and design, executing, controlling, and implementing the agile engineering and iterative development work on a project for improving a specific business function within a customer’s enterprise business practice. Our overall goal in project management is to evolve and produce a working capability which complies with the customer’s objectives and readily delivers the desired business outcome within cost, schedule and performance.
Based on our overall definition, our agile project management approach uses a simultaneous and iterative sequence of unique, defined, and connected activities with one goal or purpose that must be completed by a specific time, within budget, and according to specifications. VIRE’s framework uses the evolutionary incremental commitment approach where requirements and solutions are addressed concurrently, rather than sequentially, using agile development methods in support of an iterative life cycle development model for allowing more flexibility over a linear process that better aligns with the planned life cycle for a system. This technique emphasizes the development and use of tacit interpersonal knowledge as compared to explicit documented knowledge as evidenced by the four value propositions outlined in the “Agile Manifesto” as follows:
Based on these four value propositions, VIRE’s approach embraces the following twelve agile DevSecOps development principles for achieving project success:
a. First, satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software (and other integrating system elements of stakeholders)
b. Welcome changing requirements, even in late development; our agile processes harness change for evolving the customer’s competitive advantage
c. Deliver working software (and other integrating system elements) frequently, from a couple of weeks rather than a couple of months, with a preference to a shorter time scale as iterative development continues
d. Ensure business personnel and developers work closely together daily throughout iterative development
e. Build projects around motivated individuals; give them the environment, support their needs, and trust them in getting the job done
f. Empower face-to-face conversation as the most efficient and effective method in conveying information (co-location) more so than written formal or informal communications
g. Employ working software as the primary measure of progress
h. Employ agile processes for promoting sustainable development with the sponsors, developers, and users maintaining a constant and steady pace
i. Pay continuous attention to technical excellence and ensure good design enhances agility
j. Employ simplicity by employing the art of maximizing the amount of work done
k. Ensure best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams
l. Ensure team reflects on how to become more effective at regular intervals and then have them tune and adjust their behavior accordingly
Based on these principles, VIRE uses the Rational Unified Process (RUP) engineering and agile DevSecOps development framework and methods in support of its projects. Our approach uses four distinct project life-cycle phases that allows the process to be presented at a high level in the beginning and evolve into more detail as the iterations of development are executed. Our RUP project management approach is where we break down and manage the work through a series of distinct iterations and activities as depicted in Figure 1.
Figure 1 – VIRE’s Agile Project Management (APM) Approach
Our approach for our Agile Project Management (APM)-type projects as depicted in Figure 1 involves a significant software component that is highly iterative and incremental in its implementation process where developers and project stakeholders actively work together to understand the domain, identify what needs to be built, and can continuously prioritize functionality. VIRE employs this APM DevSecOps method when project value is clear; the customer actively participates throughout the implementation of the project; the customer, designers, and developers are co-located; incremental feature-driven development is possible; and visual, animated, and graphic screen shot documentation is acceptable. Our typical Project Life Cycle (PLC) development phases for APM DevSecOps projects are:
1. Initiate – this is where we scope out the project requirements for establishing a basis for validating the initial costs and budgets. In this phase, the business case which includes business context, success factors (i.e., expected revenue, market recognition, etc.), and financial forecast are established. To complement the business case, a basic use case model is defined, an initial project plan is established, an initial risk assessment is articulated, and project description of core project requirements, constraints, and key system and technical features are defined. This stage can also include the development of the following multiple analyses as required by the project sponsor and its stakeholders:
a. Analyze the business needs and requirements in measureable goals, objectives and key performance indicators
b. Review current operations and business practices, and identifies operational deficiencies and system vulnerabilities
c. Establish a financial analysis of the costs and benefits to include an initial budget
d. Develop an analysis of stakeholders by identifying the project sponsors, executive managers, end users and support personnel
e. Establish and develop a Project Charter which includes costs, tasks, deliverables, and schedules
f. Provide a SWOT analysis highlighting the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the business
2. Develop – this phase involves the planning of the project to an appropriate level of detail from the preceding analyses in order for the project to take shape. In this phase, the problem domain is highlighted and documented and an executable architecture begins to evolve. In this phase, we will specifically:
a. Develop use case models or diagrams in which the use cases and the actors have been identified and most of the use-case descriptions are 80% complete
b. Describe the project scope by the identifying the opportunity or problem and what results we want to achieve based on the use case scenarios
c. Divide the project into tasks, identify the deliverables, and create the work breakdown structure (WBS)
d. Identify the activities needed to complete the deliverables and estimate the resources requirements for the activities
e. Develop a preliminary project plan with a schedule and assign time estimates to each iterative activity in the WBS
f. Determine project and technical specification standards and procedures for ensuring architecture and technical compliance in development, engineering, and testing;
g. Identify potential risks and assess the consequences of those risks
h. Develop a preliminary budget that summarizes the planned expenses and forecasted revenues related to the project
i. Develop a statement of work for the baseline project plan that describes the work to be accomplished and the overall expected outcome of the project
j. Develop a baseline project plan that estimates the required resource requirements for the project tasks and activities
3. Build – this phase is where we build the system through the development of a series of components. It involves proper allocation, coordination and management of resources such as personnel, materials and budgets. This phase is where the coding and system configurations take place through the construction of several iterations where the use cases have been divided and developed into manageable segments that can produce demonstrable prototypes. The output of this phase is where the first working software segment is released. The project management techniques employed in this phase include:
a. Executing the baseline project plan by initiating the implementation of project activities, acquire and assign resources, orient and train new team members, keep the project on schedule, and assure quality in project deliverables
b. Managing changes to the baseline project plan as a result of necessary design modifications, differing site conditions, material availability, personnel emergencies, value engineering, and impacts from third parties, to name a few through a change management process for ensuring compliance with architecture and standards
c. Managing the project workbook by maintaining complete records on all project events for producing project status reports and reviews
d. Continually communicating the project status through daily standup meetings, weekly activity reports and monthly status reviews/reports with the entire project team so that everyone understands how the plan is evolving, what risks are being mitigated, and what working software segments are working. .
e. Measuring the ongoing project activities and where we are relative to schedule
f. Monitoring project variables (cost, scope, effort and performance) against the project plan and the project performance baseline for measuring earned value
g. Identifying corrective actions for addressing issues and risks properly
h. Influencing factors that could circumvent integrated change control so only approved changes are implemented
4. Deploy and Release – this phase includes the transit of the working system from development into production. This includes making it available to and understood by end users. The activities of this phase include training the end users and maintainers and beta testing the system for validating that it meets end user and stakeholders expectations. In the beta testing of the system, a System Acceptance Test (SAT) and User Acceptance Test (UAT) are formally conducted for transitioning the system into production. In addition, this phase includes:
a. Closing down the project by notifying all interested parties and stakeholders on completion of the project and finalization and transfer of all project documentation and records
b. Conducting post project reviews to determine the strengths and weaknesses of project deliverables, the processes used to create them, and the project management processes and developing lessons learned for increasing efficiency and effectiveness in future endeavors
c. Closing the contract for ensuring all contractual terms have been met and administrative and project or task order final invoicing and payment has been completed.
Most importantly, VIRE uses the Rolling Wave planning process on APM projects for evolving and engineering a solution over the time period. This technique produces better results in meeting requirements and achieving performance than a sequential phased approach like “Waterfall”.
Our process is where planning of a project is progressively done in waves as depicted in the Figure 2 and the project incrementally unfolds. Short term iteration activities are planned at a more detail level while longer term activities which are further away are planned at a lower level. Our Rolling Wave planning approach is particularly useful when the requirements are dependent on the outcome of some or all of the near term planning. This planning technique allows us to acknowledge that everything is not known at the start of a project and we allow the project to unfold over time. This agile planning process produces better results and greater performance than the phased approach where project improvements would have to be accomplished after implementation and deployment under a System Improvement Plan. Rolling Wave planning permits work activities to move forward on current and near term deliverables while planning is still ongoing for the latter work packages. This approach is particularly useful when the availability of the information needed to plan future work packages in detail is predicated on successful completion of previous iterative project phases. This technique helps shorten time by making it possible for productive activities to begin without waiting for every detail of the project work to be determined in advance; and by eliminating downtime for additional planning in the middle of a project since planning is done continuously.
APM project management that is undertaken using Rolling Wave must have a well-defined project scope from the outset for ensuring success. Otherwise, as planning is elaborated, scope creep is more likely to occur. VIRE’s Rolling Wave planning takes place in the following four (4) easy steps for ensuring project success:
1. Create the WBS and Project Scope and acquire Project Charter approval
2. Divide the project into iterative development phases based on use case diagrams and document into an iterative Project Plan
3. Provide a realistic level of detail in the earlier project iteration versus the latter
4. Once the first phase is complete, go to Step 1 for performing the second iterative development phase and continue
Many of our clients’ personnel become project managers simply by receiving additional responsibility or by promotion into the role without the prerequisite training. In addition, assigned project management support personnel are often unknown to the very individual managing the project. As such, assigned project managers and members of their integrated project teams (IPTs) require augmentation in important project management functions. VIRE can provide the following project management knowledge area services in support of Federal clients for bringing their project to life and ensuring project success of their Integrated Project Teams (IPTs).
Figure 3 – Knowledge Management Areas (for Ensuring Project Success)
For ensuring project success, VIRE can assist client project managers and members of their IPT in carrying out the following PMBOK knowledge area management functions as depicted in Figure 3 for ensuring APM DevSecOps success and readily enabling customer business functionality in accordance with stakeholders’ needs and expectations.
Our VIRE team will also understand and is familiar with ISO 9001:2015 standards and will employ them on all project activities. Where we see opportunities for actionable business value, and with the approval from client leadership, we will integrate our CMMI Level 2 and ISO 9001:2015 processes and best practices into our Project Life Cycle (PLC) approach. This means we will always be looking for continuous improvement opportunities in the execution of a client’s modernization efforts. All projects will be assigned an experienced expert that is highly qualified in performing the work. Our QA office will be responsible for maintaining the Configuration Management (CM) Library (in MS SharePoint) for all required project life cycle documentation, as well as coordinating and overseeing monthly program and project reviews with the overall client’s Program, Project, and Task Managers and their respective CORs.
According to the Standish CHAOS Report of 2016, approximately 83% of IT projects are in distress and will most likely fail by not meeting time, cost, performance, and scope targets. Only 17% of projects will be completed on time, within budget, and deliver measureable business and stakeholder outcomes. The report states that customers operating an established PMO is one of the top three reasons that drives successful project delivery. VIRE typically deploys an enterprise program PMO that is supportive of a program manager and its project managers. Our PMOs play a supportive but controlling role in managing a program and their respective projects or task orders. This supportive role acts as staff augmentation to both the program manager and the project managers for ensuring a program and its projects is within project scope and it meets or exceeds the key performance indicators of quality, scope, schedule, budgets and business outcomes and benefits.
VIRE will leverage its robust standardized processes and toolsets through an assigned PMO by employing professionals that will continuously refine and tailor the project management processes, procedures and techniques to its Project Life Cycle (PLC) methodology used in conjunction with employment of the latest Project Management Institute (PMI) processes, Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) procedures, and Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) frameworks for ensuring that the customer needs are met or exceeded.
VIRE’s PMO will be staffed with experienced project management professionals and specialists with program and project management, quality assurance/quality control, process reengineering, human resource, budget management, technology engineering, and operational services’ management expertise. These professionals and specialists will be highly dedicated to assist program managers and project managers in managing the delivery of best-value services and engineering solutions based on the innovative application of science and technology. Our PMO will be highly motivated to drive mission-oriented results and promote an environment of continuous improvement, operational efficiency and cost effectiveness through sound program and project management support practices. We will leverage our people, processes, technology, customer outreach, and comprehensive best-practice frameworks to deliver sound program and project management support services for the implementation, deployment, support, maintenance, operational execution, and enhancement of a client’s business information system within a customer’s enterprise operating environment.
Part of VIRE’s overall management approach is to deploy an enterprise PMO under our Program Manager for supporting the integration of management, human resources, cost, quality, and performance information in support of our proven, responsive and empowered business management framework that emphasizes a single unified management structure where centralized governance of the contract is at the contractor Program Manager’s level with decentralized project or task order execution being accomplished by empowered Project Managers or Task Leads at the project or task order level. This enterprise management approach ensures single lines of direct communications, coordination, and collaboration between the lowest level of the client and contractor project or task execution parties and the contractor project or task implementation managers. This decentralized project task order execution approach maximizes and enhances the understanding of the task order requirements at the lowest level and ensure speedy delivery of services within costs, schedules, and performance across the customer’s operating environment through project management empowerment.
Based on VIRE’s typical management approach, our supporting PMO framework allows us to align the management of our clients’ program and project work to their corporate digital strategy and enabling business objectives for ensuring benefits’ realization through deployment of modern business practices enabled by agile and modern business information systems. Our notional PMO organizational support arrangement as depicted in Figure 3 allows us to provide and equip our program and project managers with the necessary methodologies, processes, procedures, standards, and tools for ensuring quality delivery of our clients’ modern business information systems and associated deliverables.
Figure 1 – VIRE’s Notional PMO Support Framework
Based on a client’s contracts, VIRE will tailor its PMO with a combination of the following services for augmenting a program manager and its project managers in executing the client’s contract work. Our framework can provide the necessary support to the program manager and project managers based on the project work by equipping the organization with the necessary expert services for ensuring the delivery of the client’s enabling business services. VIRE is capable of providing the following services through its PMO framework in support of its clients and/or supporting contractors:
Planning Step Description
Identify the Program Issue(s)/ Need(s)
What is the compelling issue or need that the program must address based on the organization’s overall Strategic Plan? How does it relate to the overall mission of the organization? What other organizations within the Community of Practice is working to address this particular problem, issue or need? What is it about the new or revised program that makes it compelling for the community or larger market to solve?
Define the Project Scope
After identifying the program need(s), VIRE will next develop and define high level Project Scope of Works for assisting the customer in understanding what the program aims to achieve and in what time period. Our Project Scope of Works will identify and document the specific project goals, objectives, deliverables, major tasks, costs and project deadlines. Our project scope will also identify and explain the boundaries for the project, establish responsibilities for each project team member, and describe the procedures on how the completed work will be validated, verified and approved for Sign-Off.
Conduct Stakeholder Analysis
After defining the Project Scopes in support of the overall Program, VIRE will perform and provide an analysis on the implementing services for determining if community support or partnerships are required in order on deciding the most feasible and cost effective route for accomplishing the program goal(s). Our analysis will assist the program planners and their project managers in understanding their allies, neutral parties, and opponents’ positions on the program and litany of projects required for meeting the program goals and objectives.
Conduct Resources’ Assessment
After completing the Stakeholder Analysis, VIRE will conduct and assess the existing community of practice needs and resource requirements that must be leveraged to accomplish the program goal(s). VIRE will also conduct an internal assessment that analyzes the program and associated projects’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) for evaluating the overall organization’s program and business venture. Our internal SWOT factors will address Product, Price, Publicity, Place, Personnel, Financing, etc. along with external factors that may include macroeconomic matters, technological change, legislation, high-level policies, and sociocultural changes to name a few. Our SWOT analysis will be effectively used to build an organizational strategy to explore new solutions to problems, identify barriers that will limit goals and objectives, reveal possibilities and limitations for change, decide on an effective direction, identify the best organizational and system plans, and enhance “credibility of interpretation” for use in presentations to program and project sponsors, key supporters, and organizational leaders.
Develop Estimated Program and Project Budget Forecast(s)
Once the resources of personnel costs, training, space, equipment purchase, rental, leasing, travel, copier, telephone, general office supplies, etc. have been identified for accomplishing the Program based on the Project Scope(s), VIRE will create and develop program and associated project budget forecasts across multiple business years for securing resource funding of the program and its associated projects by the client’s organizational leadership and program sponsor. Our budget spend rate will be forecasted evenly across all years for sake of financial forecasting and determining total costs. Any unanticipated costs will be funded as a result of a contract change request or system improvement program after program goes live with a Product Backlog capability.
Develop a Logic Model (for evaluating effectiveness of program and its associated projects)
In Step 6, VIRE will develop a graphical depiction of the logical relationships between resource inputs, activities, outputs, and program and project outcomes. Our logic model will include assumptions based on addressing the beliefs of stakeholders about the program, the people involved, and the context and way the stakeholders and project sponsors think the program will work. Our model will address the distinguishing differences between the short-term, medium-term, and long-term results and between direct and indirect results. In its simplest form, our logic model will address the following basic four components:
Develop High Level Program Timeline and Project Schedules
Based on the Logic Model and Program and Project Schedules, VIRE will develop an overall high level Program Timeline and Project Schedules by identifying the major activities or tasks required for delivering the services, the expected outcomes, the major dates on when accomplishments should occur or deliverables are rendered, and identify who is responsible for execution. Our constructed high level timeline will link the activities and deliverables directly to the goals and objectives of the program.
Develop a High Level Staffing Plan
Based on the proposed program budget, estimated resources required for executing the major events or activities, overall program plan timeline, and major dates on when accomplishments and deliverables should be rendered, VIRE will develop a Staffing Plan based on what personnel are needed, what skills are required, what years of experience are desired, and what training credentials are needed. The Staffing Plan will then be adjusted to current qualified staff available and identify the new staff to be hired and trained. VIRE will ensure that time is adjusted so that staff is not overburdened with existing full time responsibilities by ensuring that project activities are achievable by the planned staff forecasted.
Develop an Organizational Structure and outline Roles and Responsibilities
After developing the high level Staffing Plan, VIRE will develop a Program Organizational Structure and outline the Roles and Responsibilities for the key personnel. Based on these roles and responsibilities, VIRE will then develop job descriptions and their credentials for all employees for recruitment and hiring. Our job descriptions will help the program manager and its project managers understand how the work fits together, how the common goals will be achieved, and how the organizational structure will serve the larger mission of the overall organization.
Develop Organizational Policies and Procedures (in support of the Program), if required
While a program and its projects are under the umbrella of a larger business organization who often has its own subset of policies and procedures to guide program operations in the context of the larger organization’s governance and policy structure, VIRE will develop supporting program policies and procedures on the program for presenting to the overarching organization for their understanding and providing guidance based on their governance policies and procedures.
Table 1 – Program Planning Steps
As with most program and project plans, updates or changes will be required as the project progresses and/or changes are approved. Changes and updates may also be required due to changes in personnel, scope, budget, or other reasons to include technical. Additionally, updates may be required as the project matures and additional requirements are identified and needed based on approved change requests. Thus, the program manager is responsible for managing all proposed and approved changes to the communications management plan. Once the change is approved, the program manager will update the plan and supporting documentation and distribute the updates to the project team and all stakeholders via a revised Communications matrix. This methodology will ensure that all project management leaders, project stakeholders and technical team members remain aware and informed on any changes and/or updates to communications management.
However, all programs and projects are subject to limitations and constraints as they must be within scope and adhere to budget, scheduling, and resource requirements. Communications planning and documentation are no exception to this rule. There may also be legislative, regulatory, technological, or organizational policy requirements which must be followed as part of communications management. These constraints must be clearly understood and communicated to all parties. While communications management is arguably one of the most important aspects of program and project management, it must be done in an effective manner and within the constraints of the allocated budget, schedule, and resources.
Therefore, all project communication activities will occur within the program’s approved budget, schedule, and resource allocations. The program and/or project managers are responsible for ensuring that communication activities are performed by the project teams within available resources. Our communication activities will occur in accordance with the frequencies detailed in our Communication Matrix in order to ensure the program adheres to budget, schedule and resource constraints. There will be no deviation to the timelines that could result in excessive costs or schedule delays. Any of these issues will be brought to the attention of the program and/or project managers for determining course(s) of action for resolution. Any deviation will immediately be brought to the attention of the project sponsor for approval, if any.
1. Compile a ‘job success profile’ – after creating the job description, VIRE develops a job success profile that identifies the necessary technical skills and professional attributes that are required for selecting the candidates most likely to succeed in the specific position. This technique allows us to specifically match candidates against a specific profile for increasing our chances for success in support of our client.
2. Draft ad(s) describing the position and the key required qualifications - based on the specific job profile(s), we develop recruitment announcements describing the position(s) and the required key qualifications for recruitment.
3. Post the ad(s) in a communication mediums most likely to potentially reach the most qualified candidates – VIRE posts the job openings in a number of recruitment mediums from recruitment sites on the Internet, industrial technology forums, industry publications, professional staffing agencies/partners, and local newspapers. We also distribute our job announcements internally within the company and across our current customer accounts for soliciting any referrals from our in-house professional employees.
4. Develop a series of phone screening questions – VIRE complies a list of job relevant questions for asking potential candidates over the phone for quickly identifying the qualified candidates and eliminating those that aren’t relevant based on the job profile. Phone screening helps us eliminate those individuals that are unqualified based on the job profile.
5. Review resumes received and identify most potential candidates - once VIRE posts the ads, resumes will start coming in with many more than you most likely anticipated. Therefore, the job profile then becomes important in weeding out those initially lacking the experience, education and technical skills and quickly identifying the most potential candidates.
6. Screen most qualified candidates by phone – Once VIRE narrows the resumes stack for most potential candidates, we then call the candidate(s) and phone screen their qualifications using the phone-screen questions and the job profile for further narrowing the field for the most qualified candidates.
7. Select candidates for interview – after narrowing the field for the most qualified candidates from phone screening, VIRE then based on their answer to the questions in the phone interviews and the job profile select the best qualified candidates for interview.
8. Schedule and conduct candidate interviews - Once VIRE has narrowed the field for the best qualified candidates of two to three candidates, we schedule and conduct structured interviews using our program and project managers and subject matter experts (SMEs). We use a structured interview approach of about six (6) to ten (10) questions for comparing applicants. We also examine their behavioural traits and cognitive reasoning capability as to whether the individual is conscientious or lackadaisical, introverted or extroverted, agreeable or uncompromising, open to new ideas or close-minded, or emotionally stable or anxious and insecure. In addition, VIRE runs a background check to uncover any potential problems not revealed by the phone interview and initial screening.
9. Select the best qualified candidate – after completing the interview and background screening, our program or project manager and technical SME makes a selection by matching the best applicant to the profiled job description for potential hiring.
10. Make an offer to the best qualified candidate – after the program or project manager and/or SME makes their decision, VIRE makes the best qualified candidate a job offer based on interview insights as to starting compensation levels, benefits, and training needs.
Furthermore, we intuitively determine if the person will fit into our organization and its culture first before VIRE starts the hiring process. This screening is normally performed before the initial phone interviews through informal discussions by the Program Manager and/or Project Manager with the applicant relative to questions on his or her resume. Our overall goal is to ensure that our qualified applicants will fit into the company’s culture first before starting the hiring process. VIRE’s comprehensive people strategy is to attract, hire and retain quality employees in support of our clients. Our well-thought-out, structured process here-in will allow us to match the right people to the right jobs in our company while providing exceptional support to our clients.
When details on a deliverable are not sufficiently known, VIRE develops a resource planning package where the deliverables within the package are considered known unknowns, or risks. In these instances, the work has not been fully decomposed. As such, known planning events as well as known unknown planning packages are assigned individual resources and durations that have been established by the people doing the work. The only difference is in known unknown planning packages, the duration and resource estimates will typically be less accurate and VIRE will use historical information or industry best practices in estimating agile DevSecOps development for providing a higher degree of confidence. VIRE recognizes that it is not necessary to have all deliverables decomposed in agile DevSecOps development for assigning resources because we can establish a baseline schedule using the Rolling Wave planning approach by standardizing on a time duration and certain number of resources for each wave. As the project(s) progresses, the known unknowns become clearer to the project team and accurate changes can be made to the project baseline schedule and resource planning estimates. VIRE also recognizes that most projects are always unique due to the culture of the company and are temporary endeavors. VIRE trains its project managers to work in a world of unknowns with resources changing throughout the project lifecycle. Thus, VIRE continually manages a customer’s program and its project resources throughout the program or project life cycle for ensuring optimization in utilization of resources and efficiency in cost of operations.
Based on our ABB budget management approach, we will be assessing overall program and project performance in the earned value metrics of Present Value (PV), Earned Value (EV), Actual Cost (AC), Cost Variance (CV), Schedule Variance (SV), Schedule Performance Index (SPI), Cost Performance Index (CPI), Estimate At Completion (EAC), Estimate To Complete (ETC), and others as required by the customer.
Our team also understands and is familiar with ISO 9001:2015 standards and will employ them on all projects and product services delivered. Where we see opportunities for actionable business value, and with the approval from our client’s leadership, we will integrate our CMMI Level 2 and ISO 9001:2015 processes and best practices into our Project Life Cycle (PLC) approach. This means we will always be looking for continuous improvement opportunities in the execution of our client’s modernization projects. All projects will be assigned an experienced expert that is highly qualified in performing the work. VIRE will also be responsible for maintaining the Configuration Management (CM) Library (in MS SharePoint) for all required project life cycle documentation, as well as coordinating and overseeing monthly program and project reviews with the overall client’s Program, Project, and Task Managers and their Contracting Officer Representatives (CORs).
Our structured CM program ensures that documentation for items, components, subsystems, and systems are accurate and consistent with the actual physical design of the CI item before we can proceed with processing configuration change requests. Our CM practice will handle changes systematically so that a system maintains its integrity over time.
VIRE can manage, operate and run automated vulnerability scanning against any clients’ information systems on the network on a continuous or periodic basis based on client policies. Organizations that do not scan continuously for vulnerabilities and proactively address discovered vulnerabilities or configuration flaws face a significant likelihood of having their information systems compromised. VIRE uses SCAP-validated vulnerability scanning tools that look for both code-based vulnerabilities (such as those described by Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures entries) and configuration-based vulnerabilities (as enumerated by the Common Configuration Enumeration Project). We also correlate event logs with information from our vulnerability scans to fulfill the goals of verifying that the activity of the regular vulnerability scanning tools is itself being logged and correlating attack detection events with prior vulnerability scanning results to determine whether the given exploit was used against a target known to be vulnerable.
In addition, VIRE can deploy automated patch management tools and software update systems in the operation of operating systems and sustainment of third party software on all systems. We can ensure that all vulnerability scanning is performed in authenticated mode either with agents running locally on each end system to analyze the security configuration or with remote scanners that are given administrative rights on the system being tested. We can also operate and manage security information and event management (SIEM) software systems and provide real-time analysis of security alerts generated by applications and network hardware. Our SIEM services are also using big data platforms, such as Apache Hadoop, for Security Information Management (SIM) to complement its SIEM operation by extending data storage capacity and analytics flexibility for providing our clients with the following capabilities and services:
Our overall risk management approach entails the execution of the following four major steps with continuous communications between and among all stakeholders, parties, technical teams, and project management groups through communication means outlined in the client’s communication plans:
Our process of implementing risk response plans, tracking identified risks, monitoring residual risks, identifying new risk, and evaluating risk process effectiveness over the life of the project is the foundation and cornerstone to our risk management approach and one of our center of excellence practices.
As a result, VIRE works with higher education institutions and their on-line educational programs in the development of professional training programs in support of our clients. We concentrate on using continuing education programs that are generally characterized by the issuance of a certificate and continuing education units for use in applying toward their advancement in obtaining a professional certification within their technological field of work or a professional undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Our employees complete an Individual Development (IDP) within their first year of employment for discussion with their manager(s) for enhancing their technical and operational skill sets for bringing greater value to the customer.
Knowledge Management – our PMO framework employs an organizational and techno-centric approach to knowledge management (KM) with a focus on how an organization can facilitate the best use of information knowledge processes and practices and technology that can enhance information sharing and intellectual capital creation. VIRE promotes an integrated approach to its framework by identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing of its enterprise information assets across the organization. Our assets include policies, procedures, White Papers, “Concepts of Operation” papers, “How To” papers, configuration papers, engineering papers, lessons learned papers, After Acton Reports, and un-captured techno-centric expertise and experience in individual workers, to name a few.