Project Management Consulting for Data Warehouse Development
The end Customer is one of the world’s leading stock market regulators.
The end Customer delegated the project on the development of a data analytics solution to detect potential violations of stock exchange speculation rules to two contractors. The sub-contractor was developing a data warehouse for the data analytics solution that had to be connected with a number of internal and external resources. The main contractor was responsible for preparing data for the data warehouse from these resources.
The project had fixed deadlines, and the end Customer wasn’t satisfied with the project’s pace, which was influenced by the following factors:
- Frequent change requests expanded the project’s scope and made scope planning problematic.
- With two contractors and more than 30 stakeholders involved in the project, the project suffered from communication gaps and low progress visibility.
- Low-efficient communication between contractors slowed down the development process as the sub-contractor depended on the data prepared by the main contractor to continue work on the data warehouse.
As a result, the end Customer required consulting on how to streamline project management and the development process.
To put the project to rights, a senior consultant from ScienceSoft’s Project Management Office (PMO) joined the project. Our expert started project management consulting with analyzing the project’s workflows and communication processes and defined several areas of improvement:
- Fighting uncontrollable growth of the project’s scope.
- Speeding up development.
- Raising the efficiency of communication that took 40% of the project’s time.
Fighting uncontrollable scope growth
To regulate scope planning and add predictability to the project, the consultant initiated a requirements formalization process with the sub-contractor’s BA. The consultant helped build a traceability matrix with all the requirements known up to that moment and turn them into tasks with the Definition of Done, a responsible person, and a checklist to verify the task’s completion to track the progress. Through several following meetings with the end Customer and the contractors, the resulting scope of work was negotiated and secured in a written form between all sides.
Speeding up development
As there were a lot of requirements to cover, ScienceSoft’s consultant organized internal brainstorms between the sub-contractor’s PM, QA and tech leads to prioritize requirements and determine the roadmap of the project that would allow meeting the deadlines. To ensure timeline adherence and good quality of the deliverables, the consultant suggested dividing the sub-contractor’s team into micro teams: BA + 2 developers, QA + BA, QA + developer. 10 micro teams with their own sets of tasks were organized. The micro teams provided support and control to each other and held on-point productive collaboration with the main contractor’s team.
Raising the efficiency of communication
ScienceSoft’s consultant formalized the approach to regular meetings with primary stakeholders on all sides and situational stakeholders (for example, representatives of a financial department when financial matters were discussed). The meetings became used for risk management (identifying process-related risks and offering solutions) and providing 360-degree progress reports to bring in more transparency in cooperation with the end Customer.
Another way of enhancing cooperation transparency was by creating a comprehensive shared project repository in Confluence with information on all tasks for the end Customer to control the status of every task the project team was responsible for.
The formalization of requirements helped remove scope planning bottlenecks from the project, which, together with a new approach of micro teams, allowed increasing the pace of development. And the formalization of reporting and proactive risk management activities during joint meetings helped the end Customer reduce risks related to the co-dependence of the project’s contractors.