Case Study 8: Software Design, Development & Maintenance

Virginia Community College System (VCCS)

Customer: Virginia Community College System (VCCS)

Engagement: Education Wizard 5.0 Redesign

Background: The Virginia Education Wizard (Wizard) https://www.vawizard.org/ was originally released in 2009 and was designed and built using technology that is close to ten years old. To ensure that student success initiatives with the Wizard are successful it is important that the technical infrastructure is robust, reliable, and extensible.

Challenge: The purpose of this initiative is to provide design, build, and implementation services that incorporate existing functional features and add several identified new functional features based on a redesigned technical infrastructure using site hierarchy, user interface adaptable design, and a content management system approach. The redesign needed to update the site look, feel and usability. In addition, enhanced functionality needed to be developed to provide additional support of career and course planning, Veterans, and K through 12 requirements.

Solution: Virginia Community Colleges (VCC) chose Team Senryo that includes Senryo Technologies and Peridot Solutions to accomplish this ambitious task in just 5 months. We put together a design and development team and supported them with a world class Project Management Office (PMO) team. The PMO team managed the development and design team deliverables, worked with end users in gathering the requirements and created business requirement definition (BRD) documents and passed them over to design team. The design team created visual designs, wire frames and HTML markups and passed them to the development team, which created Java Script for features, such as dynamic search etc. The dev team also built the databases and services needed to pull data to populate any search, as well as enabling a content management server (CMS) for the web site content. The PMO team worked closely with stakeholders to create and execute test scripts and test plans for the delivered content and provided feedback to the relevant teams based on their findings. The PMO team also created training materials and conducted training based on the ‘Train the Trainer’ approach.

The strict timeline imposed by the client required all the teams to work closely in an Agile fashion. The project manager (PM) assigned created a detailed project plan and monitored project progress closely. Any issues identified were properly logged and prioritized using JIRA and were discussed periodically for resolution. A change control board was created to review and analyze any change requests (CR), which were thoroughly reviewed before being approved, rejected or deferred. An issue log was created to capture and register all the issues and risks. The development team worked closely with the VCC technical lead and managed access issues to databases, SharePoint and other version control systems promptly and started using these systems in a collaborative fashion. Frequent touch points were set up between the design, development and PMO teams to address issues and resolve them quickly through daily stand up calls.

Results:

  • Redesigned website that used modern UX design, technologies and interfaces
  • Revamped website with modern look and feel and better adaption to mobile devices
  • Veterans and military students can now find comparable occupations which they held while serving in active duty
  • High School students can imagine their future with a gaming style reality check tool that answers questions pertaining to their dreams and vision
  • Enhanced Career Coach Case Management System (CMS) now captures career coaches’ interactions with students enrolled in multiple programs from community colleges