Case Study: ‘Limbus’ Discovery
Published Date: 13 February 2018
Client: Hill Laboratories
Project: Discovery for rebuild of LIMS and ERP solution
With five labs across the country and 400+ staff servicing nationwide clients, Hill Laboratories approached Room9 after identifying limitations in their dated existing tech. Along with the need for a major development project, they’d also identified a gap in their team’s expertise and experience in the area of enterprise-level programme identification and initiation. Specifically, Room9 were engaged to run a discovery phase with the goal of identifying the size and scope of their programme of work, as well as to assist in the development and presentation of a Business Case to kick start development.
“Room9’s expertise in scoping requirements and the associated benefits, effort and costs allowed us to build a business case that we felt confident in presenting to our board.” says Jonno Hill, General Manager Technology, Hill Laboratories.
Room9 steered key stakeholders through a robust process before the final future state concept was conceived. The discovery process encompassed:
1. Rapid Planning Session (RAP)
A common challenge in large projects is difficulty in gaining agreement between key players (stakeholders) on important issues such as the scope and objectives. Stakeholders understandably each have their own individual priorities based on the needs within their sphere of influence, but for a large project to be successful, these priorities need to be tempered to benefit the organisation as a whole. To get the discovery process underway, first up Room9 facilitated a RAP session with the large stakeholder group to quickly and accurately solidify the charter of project and gain stakeholder alignment of thought.
“The recognition and resolution of conflicts in expected scope, objectives, benefits, quality, and so on are central to the project management models Room9 uses, and all the techniques we employ have been designed to assist in both modelling and resolving this conflict” says Craig Mackie, Business Analyst & Project Manager, Room9.
2. Current System Assessment (CSA)
Following on from the RAP session, a CSA was then performed to assess the suitability of the current system in relation to the needs of the organisation, as well as deliver a list of improvements based on business need. Typically, a CSA follows a structured process which gains a holistic view of the System’s Scope of Operations, identifies the problems, opportunities and directives of the system within its organisational context, and builds a list of improvement objectives for the new system. The outcome of the CSA for Limbus was a categorised list of system features, each with a benefit value and estimate of development effort.
3. Develop Programme Road Map
Having identified the features required in the new system, Room9 developed a method of prioritising feature sets, allowing for a phased development and release strategy. The prioritisation strategy took into account development efficiency (reducing risk of re-work), maximising business benefit (bang for buck), while reducing impact on users and related systems. The prioritisation strategy was then employed across the system feature sets to develop a Programme Road Map – a major input to the Programme Business Case.
4. Develop Business Case for multi-year Programme of Work
Lastly, in collaboration with the development team and stakeholder group, Room9 assisted in the development, and presentation of the Programme Business Case to the Hill Laboratories Board.
Now in year one of a (potential) six-year build, it’s exciting for both parties to have the build facet of the project underway. Says Jonno Hill, “It’s been such a massive undertaking just to get to this point. But the robustness of the discovery process Room9 have undertaken leaves me in no doubt that the finished product will position us ahead of our competitors and any off-the-shelf software they might be using. We’ll have a bespoke software platform that affords us the much needed flex and form we require as our business and client base continues to grow. Instead of paying huge license fees to a third party software vendor, we can invest those funds into a platform that’s tailored exactly to our requirements.”