Annually, the U.S. government invests billions of dollars on information technology (IT) systems. These IT systems are vital to U.S. cabinet level mission programs and administrative functions.
The government’s requirement and goal is to rely on systems and technology for a safe, secure, and dependable method to provide services, provide mission support, develop products, administer daily activities, and perform short- and long-term management functions. Agencies and departments must also ensure data privacy and security when developing and implementing information systems in conformance with a broad framework of privacy and protection policies.
The intent of Oxford’s PMO services are to improve the quality of government systems, during—not after—an agency’s software development life cycle process has executed. Oxford’s PMO methodology utilizes the specific agency’s software development life cycle framework as the basis for its phase-based PMO activity workflow. The focus is on the results obtained at the end of each life cycle phase, assessing deliverable technical quality and design compliance with applicable software life cycle and project planning requirements. An example of Oxford’s mature and customizable framework servicing our clients is presented graphically on the right.
What We Do
The planning and management of an Oxford IT investment includes the control of the following 5 Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) based phases of a project, to include:
Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring & Control, and Close.
Execution phase PMO support activities are represented in the lower quadrant of the above graphic and include the management of PMBoKs 9 knowledge areas (acquisition, integration, scope, schedule, cost, quality, human resources, communications, and risk) as well as the management of all agency specific software development phase based and phase-end activities.
The objective of the initiation phase is to conduct a 5-10-day effort that supports project establishment and project kick-off activities. A kick-off meeting is conducted by Oxford, to include introductions, and a description of the communication methods that will be used, a review of the planned schedule, and a review of the PMBoK-based approaches that will be employed to accomplish the work. The meeting will include a review of the collaboration portal to be utilized on the project, and the review and positioning of the project resources to be employed.
Following project Initiation, the objective of the planning phase consists of developing and delivering an approved project management plan (PMP). Oxford PMPs include a comprehensive schedule and detailed WBS. Oxford PMOs use the PMP to establish standards and maintain processes to manage project communications, quality assurance, configuration management, deliverable development, and risk management activities. The PMP is required to address all required elements of an investments statement of work. Oxford planning phases conclude with an Integrated Baseline Review following the delivery and acceptance of the finalized PMP. Oxford also provides comprehensive conceptual planning phase activities as required by our clients to support acquisition and award of major IT investments to system integrators. Upon award, planning phase activities commence.
The objective of the Execution phase is to perform quality assurance activities, including verifying and validating the Development Team’s SDLCM deliverables and associated software artifacts. Verification is focused on inspecting plans and deliverables. Validation is focused on confirming that the IT investment satisfies users’ business needs and that the requirements are adequately demonstrated, satisfied, and tested. During this phase, Oxford’s Project Management Office (PMO) Team will execute and perform quality assurance activities in association with the Development Team’s activities and deliverables for each phase of the IT investment.
The objective of the Monitor and Control phase is to review, assess, and report on the Development Team’s execution of project monitoring and control activities in accordance with the development effort’s Project Management Plan (PMP). These monitoring and control activities ensure that the IT investment is consistently and accurately reporting on IT investment cost, schedule, and performance data in accordance with project plan baselines and associated Software Development Life Cycle and Capital Planning and Investment Control requirements. PMO-based control activities include management of PMBoK’s 9 knowledge areas, and alignment review of the investments’ Project Management Plan, Quality Control Plan, Status Reports, Cost Reports, and any agency required Project Scorecards.
After project execution is complete, the PMO leads the project close phase. This includes the support and execution of processes to formally end the activities of the project and transfer ongoing operations and products as part of a phase-out period. The PMO leads contractual administrative closure procedures during this phase.
The benefits of the execution of Oxford based PMO services includes independent assessment, enhanced risk assessment, increased stakeholder visibility, and the verification of project deliverables per software lifecycle phase. Oxford maintains established processes in support of execution activities that consists of objectives, inputs, outputs, tools, activities, and checklists for each software life cycle phase. Oxford performs all PMO quality assurance framework activities in sequence with software/system development activities, in a manner that provides early feedback to the development organization, allowing modifications to processes and products in a timely and informative fashion. Any development gaps are identified, and fully mitigated via the contracting officer’s technical representative. This proactive but independent approach, as compared to an auditing or adversarial approach, results in fewer delays, reduced cost, higher product quality, and improvement in the accuracy of the development process itself.