Opening a new code base involves changing source code control labels, pushing code, creating build and release infrastructure and database work and the contribution from people in CM, Product Packaging, AdminIT, dBA, Dev and QA
In 2007 50.8 weeks of elapsed time was spent opening 4 code base suites with the longest taking 14 weeks
This was unacceptable to the business and a Lean Six Sigma process improvement activity was initiated to redesign the process with the goal to reduce the time to execute the open code base tasks to 2-3 weeks.
Opening the code base for EMR 9.10.1 piloting the new process and involved 10-15 people across approximately 10 organizations
Incorporates the lessons learned from the Lean Six Sigma activity with the focus on project planning, formal project management, better task ownership and communications management
Project Scope Statement
To deliver a new code base with the new source code labels, build and test infrastructure in place so that Dev can check in and test their code.
Companies large and small have their own Project Management models whether they are formal or informal, heavily structured or very flexible but they all have one thing in common………they can be mapped to all phases of the project lifecycle
Phases of the project
Identify and commit to project.
Begin to define and formalize it
Develop a plan to accomplish the goals of the project
Carry out the plan
Monitor project status, performance against plan and corrective actions
Acceptance and closure
Every project large or small goes through all phases of the project though different tools or techniques may be used based on the size, complexity or duration of the project.
It is not one size fits all, the management of a project is tailored to fit the needs of each project.
Communication with team members throughout the day
Manage the plan
Track tasks completion actual vs planned and adjust plan accordingly
Track task effort estimates vs actual
Take Corrective Action
Took action if any of the project variables started to go off track
Some actions taken were:
Elicit expertise from other teams to provide input on specific issues
Add additional resource to activity when true nature of it was understood
Meet with stakeholders to get their input on plan to change scope of activities for this project
Manual upticking of EMR files was taking over twice as long as originally planned and an additional resource was added to help mitigate the risk
This task is a excellent candidate for automation and the decision needed to be made whether we complete the manual work and do the automation after the project was completed OR invest in the automation as part of the current project
Stakeholders agreed to investing in the automation as part of this project
The project was considered a SUCCESS by everyone involved
Project completed in 17 days against an original target of 15 days, a huge improvement over the 13 weeks, on average, it took previously
Planning was key to the project success.
Identifying key items that needed to be addressed before the execution phase began saved a huge amount of time later on.
Having a milestone review meeting before leaving the planning phase forced the key decisions to be made
Management commitment to providing dedicated resources was crucial. It had to be firmly managed daily as there was ALWAYS the temptation for people to pulled off onto some other activity
Having a strong sponsor helps get other organizations attention if not getting the necessary focus
Value of Process Improvement
This was the pilot of a process that was designed as part of a Lean Six Sigma process improvement activity. The value to the company is reduced costs, greater predictability and more effective use of resources.
Should always be looking for ways to improve
Clear ownership of deliverables
During planning phase all tasks were identified and single owners assigned to the tasks based on discussion among team. This allowed there to be precise communication between team members and warm hand-off of tasks.