Ready..... Set..... Launch?

3 years ago we started with the requirements gathering session that included a brief overview of UML 2.0. The Working Group were an eager bunch and very passionate about their business. I thought this was going to be easy........

Having an engaged Working Group is the dream of any BA. These people were / are very detailed and thorough. I was in heaven. The requirements would literally write themselves. The users would do it all. My job was to ensure that the Junior BA captured the requirements as the users had described them. I soon learned that it was not going to be as easy as I thought. We soon got mired in the details of their operations that really offered no value to the project. My facilitation skills were pushed to the limits in trying to rein them in and focus everyone on the task at hand and then try to move on to more relevant topics.

The original schedule, which we knew was aggressive, was for a year from requirements to implementation. The requirements took the scheduled amount of time, approximately 6 months. The design proved to be more challenging and we decided to use an implementation of Oracle’s BPEL with a Java front-end. Design completed within 6 months and then it was time for the build.

AAhhhh the build. Yes, it was challenging to say the least. When we started, BPEL was new and unknown to our client’s IT department. Hell, it was new to our developers as well. But nonetheless, we soldiered on. It has taken 2 years to build the application but that includes interfaces to 5 external data partners (we go and get information from them) and 2 external requesting agencies, that automatically request information from our system. Essentially, we ended up building 8 applications for the price of one. The application is by no means perfect and defect free, but it blows the old application out of the water.

3 years in the making and we launched on October 15th. The development team couldn’t be more ecstatic, the client (sponsor) is very happy as well.

The users? Well, I guess they’re ok with it. It’s kinda anti-climactic when a state-of-the-art, amazing application that interacts with no less than 8 other distinct and very different systems (I wish I could give you the deets), is received with a yawn, maybe even a snarl, from the users. It’s not your regular user apathy, it seems like true distain.

On to the next fantastically unappreciated project.......


Aidan said... / July 5, 2010 at 8:12 PM  

I'm dealing somewhat the same scenario at the moment. We should coffee some time and share war stories.