AIT Group Project Methodology

AIT Group is an expert at solving complex document management and workflow problems by developing solutions that are built upon industry experience and proven technologies. We have integrated content management and workflow systems in both large. And small-scale companies in the areas of Localization, Commercial services, Accounting and Auditing, and in other major markets. AIT Group is able to provide its clients with practical working knowledge combined with content management and workflow technology experience.

About Our Project Methodology

AIT Group developed its own Workflows Solutions Projects Methodology specifically designed for content management and workflow projects to provide our customers consistent quality. Our Workflow Solutions Project Methodology is used directly or indirectly on all of our projects. Included in this methodology are the project management, risk management, business analysis and design, system development, testing and quality assurance, change control, and implementation strategies. The components of AIT Group's Workflow Solutions Project Methodology which guide us on every system we implement include:

•  Project management.

•  Project plan maintenance.

•  Progress monitoring and reporting.

•  Risk and change management activities.

•  Systems infrastructure assessment.

•  Business requirements and process definition.

•  Content management and workflow design.

•  Business procedures and process changes.

•  Development and unit testing.

•  System and integration testing.

•  User acceptance testing.

•  End-user training.

•  System implementation.

Project Management

At AIT Group, we believe that one of the critical success factors in a project is the quality of the project management and the administration of the project team members. A well-managed project uses a structured approach where the project is planned out to clearly identify roles, responsibilities, task assignments, deliverables, communication methods, and acceptance criteria. These factors are critical in mitigating the risks associated with the implementation of content management and workflow systems.

Project Teams

AIT Group's consulting teams bring to each project not only expertise in the systems integration area, but practical working knowledge as well. AIT Group's project teams have the skills and experience needed to successfully perform all project roles. We are experts in the key disciplines required for the project including project management, work process re-engineering, and workflow and content management system development and implementation activities. Additionally, we work closely with our customer to analyze, design, develop, train and implement a solution that best meets their strategic business and financial goals. This approach allows us to form a partnership with our clients, while enabling client self-sufficiency through knowledge transfer and hands-on training.

Project Communication

Open and thorough team communication is one of the critical success factors to any project. At AIT Group, we believe it is important for our clients understand the progress of the project at all times. To ensure this, on every project we have ongoing informal and regularly scheduled meetings with appropriate client staff members. Both the AIT Group and client project team members are encouraged to share information with the entire team to ensure that everyone has a working knowledge of the project progress, issues and timelines.

Written communication provides an audit trail of the progress, issues, and risks on the project. As part of our regular team communication, AIT Group prepares a weekly project status report that documents the accomplished tasks and date of completion; scheduled items that could not be completed and the reason; upcoming tasks; areas of concern or outstanding issues; budgetary items; and project schedule impacts or changes. This information is shared with our client management to ensure that they have a thorough understanding the project progress.

Project Planning

A good project plan provides a framework by which tasks are managed, monitored and accomplished during all phases of the project. Each of the project assignments are administered and monitored in accordance timeframes identified in the project plan. Included in each project plan are the following:

project start and end dates

project activities and tasks including start and end dates for each task

project staffing and resource assignment for each task

project milestones and deliverables

As part of the management of the project, AIT Group monitors and maintains the project work plan to ensure that it reflects the customer's defined scope and goals, and keeps the entire team informed as to the project progress and direction.

Quality Assurance Reviews

At AIT Group, it is our standard practice to review all deliverables produced by the project team to ensure that all items delivered will be of the highest possible quality. At a point in every project, AIT Group conducts an internal project review to discuss scope and direction of the project; allocation and use of project resources; project strategic direction; areas of concern; opportunities for growth; technological and software issues; and other related topics. These meetings will be held off-site with AIT Group senior staff and project members.

Business Process Analysis and Design

Throughout the project we work closely with our customer to analyze, design, develop, train and implement a solution that best meets our client's business and financial goals.

Business Process Analysis

During the business requirements and analysis phases, we conduct a series of interviews and working sessions with our client's business users to better understand their manual processes, work assignment and distribution needs, internal and external routing requirements, business forms and usages, system security, document retention and legal reporting requirements, system performance expectations, operational or logistical concerns, legacy integration needs, and other related items. Our interactive working sessions are intended to solicit the business process information from our clients, while we assist the client understand the capabilities and features available with content management and workflow technologies.

Solution Design

Since incorporating a workflow system into an organization re-designs the way business is conducted, it is important that the system design decisions be considered strategically rather than simply as technical solutions. Using the information from the Business Process Analysis sessions and client's business requirements, AIT Group will design a solution to incorporate data, documents, legacy systems and automated processes into a comprehensive and maintainable content management and workflow system. We review the design with our clients to ensure that it meets the business, strategic and financial requirements of the organization.

Business Process Improvement

Incorporating a content management and workflow system into an organization provides an opportunity to take a fresh look at the existing business practices, flow of information, and infrastructure to determine how these items can be optimized. During the project, AIT Group assists the client understand and recognize the inefficiencies in their current manual processes. We then re-engineer the paper-based processes to employ more efficient work practices and better utilize the automated features available in the document management and/or workflow system.

Workflow Systems Development

AIT Group's programming conventions standardize the applications developed, and facilitate software maintenance and compatibility throughout the system's lifecycle. Where acceptable, the program naming conventions, standards, error handling, directory structures, etc. follow our customer's pre-defined application development policies. In cases where our customer's standards do not apply or are not applicable, AIT Group uses Microsoft Application Development Standards. Programming standards are used for all applications development and include the following:

program and data field naming standards

structured programming conventions

system edits and program verification methods

common error handling

standard log on to database and FileNET® server components

integration of online help

use of version control software

code reviews of developed software, database tables, and system integration components

unit test process and criteria for acceptance

method for program migration to system test environments

Testing

The purpose of testing is to validate that the document management and workflow components meet the business requirements and system design specifications. Most of our projects involve two levels of testing: (1) system/integration testing, and (2) user acceptance testing. Both testing levels require a well thought out and communicated test plan, and continuous management. Together these techniques ensure that all participants understand the test goals, test activities, timelines, and acceptance criteria. For both the System/Integration and User Acceptance Test cycles, the AIT Group assists its customers in carefully planning the following items:

Identify a test plan that includes goals, timelines, roles and responsibilities

Establish a test environment

Identify test participants and assign roles and responsibilities.

Manage timeframes to develop and write test scripts

Define test criteria and method of acceptance

Establish timeframes for conducting and completing the test

Load test case data into the testing environment

Devise a process for tracking and re-testing failed test scripts

Determine system acceptance criteria and approval processes


Training and Documentation

Implementation of an integrated workflow system changes the way an organization conducts its day-to-day processing activities. As a result, end-user training must not only define the software features, but manual and procedural changes as well. End-user training serves many purposes: (1) prepares users for acceptance testing and final implementation; (2) provides business users with an understanding of system functions to enable them to complete their day-to-day work assignments, and (3) identifies procedural and organizational changes. AIT Group's consulting teams will provide the client with as much or little mentoring and assistance in planning, developing and executing the content management and workflow system end-user training. Items that need considered for successful implementation of a content management and workflow system includes:

Establish a training plan that defines timelines, roles, responsibilities, and participants

Evaluate use of classroom versus computer-based training

Define end-user training objectives for the courses being taught

Identify attendees per class session, training dates and times

Create training materials and define timeline for completing

Develop and use of training evaluation forms

Document changes to business and operational procedures

Use of online help files

Deliver ongoing training for new system functions/features, and employee position changes

Implementation Support Services

AIT Group assists its clients with maintaining the operational stability of the system during the design, testing and training phases of the project. AIT Group believes that involvement by client's IT staff is critical throughout the project. During the project, AIT Group progressively transitions system information to the client's IT staff. This approach provides an opportunity for our clients to develop sufficient expertise to assume full responsibility for operations and administration of the content management and workflow application. Items we cover with our customer's IT staff include:

installing and configuring server components in designated environments

establishing and change user security profiles

being familiar with system architecture, workflow application components, and database tables

using workflow administration utilities to monitor and correct system problems

understanding system maintenance terms and agreements

logging and reporting system errors

upgrading server components and installing system corrections ("software patches")


 

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