Summary

A DoD agency commissioned an independent evaluation of its large-scale business system implementation, the results of which highlighted significant challenges with the Program’s project management structure, implementation approach and overall funding strategy. The Agency engaged Alta Via Consulting to serve in an advisory capacity, providing strategic guidance to Agency Management on all aspects of a large and transformative business system implementation, including cost, progress, vendor suitability rubrics, and staff resourcing forecasting models.

Challenge

Leadership at a DoD Agency was made aware of the likelihood of issues it would face in successfully passing mission-critical performance test indicators. Leadership understood that this failure would significantly derail its implementation of a transformative business system, and result in significant cost and schedule over-runs by the managing Program Office.

Alta Via Consulting was engaged to assess and evaluate the key drivers that resulted in the failed test indicators, and the root causes for miscommunications regarding program performance. To begin with, the Alta Via team evaluated the current operating environment and status and compared it to the controlling Contract, Acquisition, and Staffing Plans.  Based upon our assessment, Alta Via crafted tailored recommendations leveraging industry-best practices, alignment to both the Program Office and parent Agency’s goals and initiatives and a specific set of Program risks, issues, and critical failure points aligned with a resolution path.

Subsequently, and in order to be more effective and bolster the Program Office’s capabilities, Alta Via Consulting was engaged to serve as in-house advisors to the Program Manager and Program Office, and provide regular assessments of the Program’s position and areas of opportunities across the Program’s most high-risk and/or highly-complex initiatives.

Approach

Alta Via Consulting attained an overall understanding of the Program Office’s key challenges and issues, identified common themes, and synthesized data based upon a custom risk to reward framework, resulting in tailored executable recommendations. Our approach included:

  1. Establishing an Operational Baseline by:
    1. Conducting a thorough root cause assessment
    2. Evaluating successes and opportunities for improvement
    3. Developing a robust and inclusive path forward
  2. Ideated a Dependency / Partner Analysis by:
    1. Eliciting and categorizing baseline Vendor qualifications, abilities, and contractual obligations
    2. Conducting various gap assessment and identifying mitigation paths
      1. Staffing Gap → Engagement and skillset compensation; Qualification fulfillment plan
      2. Capability Gap → Vendor engagement with tailored improvement plan
      3. Financial Gap  → Mitigate via proprietary cost/resourcing models and develop a sufficiency profile
      4. At-risk working groups → Embed experienced consultants to formulate improvement roadmap

Results

Alta Via's contributions to the DoD Agency’s Program Office helped reset expectations with all stakeholders, including adoption of more realistic timelines and costs.  Our implementation of methodologies and practices enabled a structure for both the Program Office and Agency Leadership have greater visibility into true product readiness and interdependencies. 

Additionally, Alta Via developed and implemented frameworks, methodologies, testing protocols and assessment criteria customized to the go-forward strategy for implementation of the transformative business system, providing the DoD Agency with a long-term solution towards this and future business transformation efforts.