In the first quarter of 2014, EMP set out to improve and document selected Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) processes and procedures. As a result of rapid growth the company needed to create transparency and clarity with respect to roles and responsibilities as well as process steps and activities.
Digiterra Consulting recommended its IT Service Management process improvement approach. This required an initial assessment of the core Change Management process, after which a prioritised list of action items would be addressed to close any gaps.
IT Change Management is the core controlling process for any organisation that needs to ensure changes are recorded, properly assessed and planned as well as thoroughly tested before risking business critical operations. The assessment compared existing EMP capability and maturity aspects against international IT Infrastructure management best practice guidelines (ITIL V3) and produced results for all governance, people, process, technology and quality assurance aspects of Change Management at EMP.
EMP achieved an overall Maturity and Capability rating of 1.9 which meant the process lacked clarity, was informal, depended on individual performance and that there were limited level effectiveness and satisfaction with its performance.
The ITSM Assessment highlighted various areas for improvement including, amongst others:
- Management commitment
- Process ownership
- Roles and responsibilities
- Policy and scope definition
- Process documentation
- Technology fit
- Meaningful reports
- Process metrics
- Ongoing Improvement strategy
An action plan to address these items was drawn up and an EMP improvement team assigned to address these, together with an ITSM Consultant from Digiterra.
The idea was to spend up to 8 hours per week over a 6 month period and then to taper this down to 4 hours per week, to further refine the process and to monitor activities e.g. CAB, while in use.
QCS – (QUALITY ASSURANCE SOFTWARE SYSTEMS (PTY) LTD) – System review, support and management
Pathogen and Environmental Solutions (PES) is a provider of pest control products with seven distribution and sales centres located across South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and Nigeria.
The Quality Assurance division within PES makes use of Quality Assurance Software Systems (QASS) to monitor and track pest control units within a geographical space. The QA division was looking for professional ongoing maintenance and development of their application.
Digiterra’s review highlighted both positive and negative elements in respect of the system and highlighted risks in respect of maintainability, quality, predictability and key-man vulnerability.
In order to address these risks the software development aspects of the product needed to be located within the formality of a repeatable and maintainable process and the code base quality issues needed to be addressed in a systematic way.
- A review of the system
- Documentation of requirements for future enhancements, development and maintenance.
- Introduction of quality testing as a key discipline (code based unit testing as well as functional regression testing and performance testing).
- Formal, management of system deployment and release cycles
- Monitoring and management of the quality of service
Digiterrra continues to perform ongoing maintenance and management of the QASS system.