Ed Yourdon provides a variety of management and technical consulting services to IT organizations and software development groups. Typical examples are as follows:
- Web 2.0 technology and business planning: mainstream IT organizations are realizing they can no longer ignore the combination of technologies and business strategies collectively referred to as “Web 2.0” – because if they do, their competitors may eat their lunch, and their customers may abandon them. Ed Yourdon works with companies and government agencies to select, organize, and design appropriate technologies for incorporating and integrating Web 2.0 into the existing legacy environment. And he works with senior IT executives and business managers to plan a business strategy for transforming traditional closed, top-down, hierarchical Internet-related systems to Web 2.0-style open, grass-roots, participative systems.
- Project management mentoring for “death march” projects: How do you cope when you’re in charge of an IT development project that has to deliver too much, too quickly, and with too few resources? Standard project management strategies and tactics won’t work, and imposing a death-march regime of heavy overtime on the project team is usually a recipe for disaster, too. I work with project managers to develop strategies that do work – a combination of “triage” mechanisms for prioritizing requirements; light/agile processes for analysis, design, implementation, and testing; peopleware strategies based on positive leadership, rather than fear and intimidation; and a heavy dose of risk management. If it’s a death-march project that I believe is utterly doomed from the outset, I’ll tell you that, and go home without wasting any more of your money.
- “Breathalyzer test” assessments: When a major IT project falls behind schedule or begins to exceed its budget, senior IT managers and business decision-makers need to determine whether the project is salvageable, with some mid-course corrections – or whether it’s shaping up to be an utter disaster that should be shut down before it wastes any more money, time, and resources. An objective assessment by an unbiased outsider can be enormously valuable; I provide this service, the equivalent of a “breathalyzer test” administered by a traffic cop.
- Litigation support: When an IT project does fail, it occasionally results in a lawsuit between various, aggrieved parties. I provide services as an expert witness in such cases; particularly, when the allegation is made that the failure was caused by poor project management, or failure to use well-known “best practices” of software analysis, design, implementation, and testing.
- Introducing new methodologies: If an organization is planning to introduce a new software development methodology – particularly in the area of object-oriented analysis and design – a great deal of careful planning must be done to tailor the methodology to the organization’s specific needs, to plan the appropriate training, to schedule pilot projects, to organize mentoring and support activities, to select appropriate CASE tools to support the methodology, etc. My role in this effort is that of planner and advisor; I don’t represent any vendors, and can afford to offer unbiased advice on the best combination of tools, strategies, and methods for a specific situation.
- Process improvement: Many organizations are investigating or planning a process improvement effort based on the Software Engineering Institute’s CMM process maturity model, or ISO-9000 standards. My work in this area involves assessment of the organization’s current process maturity, as well as an assessment of the organization’s perception of where it believes its major problems are, as well as its readiness to embrace change. (Regardless of what the “official” SEI assessment might be, if an organization doesn’t believe that it has problems in certain process areas, then there’s no point trying to improve those processes; even if the organization accepts the existence of problems, it may be unwilling or unable to institute change.) Based on that, a strategic plan can be developed to implement a process improvement initiative.
- Reengineering IT: In some cases, process improvement is part of a broader, more comprehensive effort to “reengineer” the entire IT operation. I offer strategic planning and guidance in these efforts, which typically have to address a broad range of issues: peopleware (recruiting, compensation, morale, etc.), processes, tools and infrastructure, methodologies, and interactions with the rest of the organization outside IT.
Pricing and details for these consulting activities are available upon request, and depend (among other things) on the length of the assignment.