Product & Systems Development
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Your business is highly dependent on your software systems – the ones you may sell as external products to your customers and the ones you use internally. When you look at implementing these systems, you and your customers demand flexible systems solutions to the complex problems being solved, delivered on time and within budget. Yet, many times these expectations are not met by your own systems developers or by the vendors and contractors you employ.


The software industry has frequent software project runaways (i.e., not meeting content, quality, cost and schedule requirements) and failures (projects cancelled). And because we have these problems, we have an increasing backlog of software systems that cannot be developed. What are some of the underlying problems causing this crisis?


        Fast-changing business environments; we can’t keep up with the changes,

        Ever-changing and more demanding user expectations; can’t capture requirements correctly

        Huge number of application systems, different technologies, high  need for integration,

        Organizational and systems decentralization – the move to client server and web-based systems; the use of off-shore resources,

        Scalability – functionality, reliability, performance, maintainability of distributed solutions

        Aging legacy applications - their demand for resources, domain knowledge, and integration,

        Growing choice of technical solutions and COTS components and making the right choices,

        Evolving process and technology standards; keeping up with related systems changes

        Failures in systems development and management – ineffective planning and controls (WBS, resourcing, scheduling, costing, risk management), ineffective requirements, design, construction, QA, deployment and support methods

        Ineffective training – not  the right content, for the right audience and at the right time

        Development and QA tool limitations


Do you have one or more of these problems? Do you want to solve them? Heinsights can help you with the implementation of your own tailored Systems Development Model (SDM) that will give you the opportunity to gain control over your systems development environments and make a dent in your systems backlogs. For the context and framework, please reference the Heinsights SDM.


Heinsights helps you develop a practical SDM. By our definition, a practical SDM is one that is used because it promotes software development effectiveness and efficiency; it is not shelf-ware. A practical SDM has the following characteristics: Flexibility, usability, usefulness, tailorability, communicativeness, reliability, and productivity (see the Characteristics of a Good Methodology article on the Common Sense web page for characteristics descriptions).


Heinsights offers the following product and systems development services:


Assessment Services – we help you assess your current systems development model and the practical application of it on your projects. And to determine whether your practices are effective and efficient in producing and maintaining your software products. An assessment is a planned examination using a specific protocol, questionnaire/checklists to determine your compliance to industry software standards and regulations or your own internal software standards and procedures. Depending on your goals and the rigor required in your systems development model, we will make the assessment as formal as needed to help you achieve your goals. In general, we will use the guidance provided by the IEEE software engineering/quality standards and the Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model (CMM). Please reference the CMM. We will also incorporate specific industry regulations and standards, such as FDA, medical device, and nuclear standards, as needed to guide the assessments. Depending on our needs, one or more of these standards may be used to plan and execute the assessments and to guide the succeeding improvement efforts.


Product and Systems Development Best Practices Services – based on the recommendations of the assessment, we help you implement a full Systems Development Model (SDM) tailored to your organization, or help you implement a subset of key processes you desire in the SDM. We follow a process of SDM requirements definition (most requirements will be derived from the assessment), architecture and detailed design (with your review feedback), construction, and testing (using pilot projects), and finally full organizational deployment (with training and mentoring). It is important to note that the final SDM product will also integrate your Project/Program Management practices – see the Project and Program Management web page for details. We consider the following to be key success factors in the implementation of an SDM:


SDM Implementations Turnaround Servicewe help you assess your current SDM and other process implementations that are not meeting your expectations and make recommendations to turn them around. We examine your process goals and requirements and compare current status of implementation against your expectations. We will provide you a report of our findings, including recommendations moving forward. If desired, we will assist you as mentors in your implementation and/or help you refine processes in your implementation.


SDM Education - we assist you in planning and executing all SDM training needs, including new development methods, standards, development and QA tools, operating environments, languages, and more. See the IT Education and Mentoring web page for more details on available training.