Critical Design Associates employs a proven methodology to ensure successful management of customer expectations. When the below listed project specific processes are followed and implemented successively, Critical Design Associates can ensure customer satisfaction and provide adequate support for the customer's technical environment and business processes. This criterion is applicable to any implementation and follows "best practices" as provided by most software and hardware vendors. Each phase of the methodology is described in brief, below.
The analysis phase is the most critical component of any engagement. During this phase, Critical Design Associates works toward developing and defining the requirements and managing expectations for the entire project. It is typical during this phase to develop a detailed document outlining the existing environment since any subsequent projects may require changes to the existing environment. Risk mitigation is identified and documented via the recommendation’s sections of this phase's final deliverable document. This phase can also include a Proof of Concept where basic ideas and system functionality can be quickly validated and tested in a lab environment prior to moving forward with a design. The analysis deliverable is used as the initial reference point for all subsequent phases.
The design phase encompasses several processes, which are considered best practices for developing a solution. The tasks associated with this phase include hardware and software selections as well as a strategy for integrating all the required components. System functionality and architecture are defined and documented based upon the requirements gathered during the analysis phase. The deliverable for this phase provides a detailed description of the proposed solution. The design deliverable is used as the primary point of reference for all subsequent phases.
Build and Test
The build and test phase encompasses the processes of building the hardware and application architecture to support the proposed solution based on the design deliverables. System functionality is tested and verified during this phase to ensure a successful production rollout. The deliverables for this phase typically encompass some step-by-step procedures for deploying the environment.
The production rollout phase is where "live" users access the new environment. Typically, this occurs in at least three phases: Pilot, Production Deployment, and Knowledge Transfer and Turnover.
The pilot phase encompasses a small production rollout for the purposes of collecting initial use feedback and to refine the final production rollout prior to full deployment. During the pilot phase, user feedback and performance related statistics are collected. The deliverable for this phase typically represents the results of the pilot on a functional level based on user feedback and any other statistics collected.
During this phase of the project, the final production system is completely deployed to the entire end user community.
Knowledge Transfer and Turnover
During this phase of the production rollout, Critical Design Associates transfers knowledge to the onsite staff through interactive meetings and presentations.
The support phase is implemented upon request in the event modifications are required to support changes in the environment or if support staff is unavailable. Support is also available in the event of any production downtime situations. The deliverables for this phase typically reflect documentation of the incident encountered and any steps taken to resolve the issue.
Critical Design Associates also delivers advanced onsite and offsite training for the technical team as required. This phase encompasses the delivery of official curriculum items from the respective vendor or customer developed training as required.