Firm News

• Tutorial graphics by Mr. Reid's for his lectures at University of Southern California (USC) "School for Systems & Software Engineering" (Undergraduate & Graduate Schools)
• Demonstrative exhibits used in actual litigation (without names of the parties)

 

Click for "The Construction Analogy - Systems Development"

 

Click for "The 10 Deadly Triggers of IT Apocalypse (Vendor, Integrator, Developer, Consultant Traps)"

 

Click for "The 10 Deadly Triggers of IT Apocalypse (Customer Failure Traps)"

 

Click for "He Said ... She Said Chart: Why Systems Fail??"

 

Click for "Pyramid of Project Delays"

 

Click for "The Software Economics of Late Bug Fixes"

 

Click for "The Eight Pillars of Software Project Success"


 

» Noteworthy Firm News «

 

June 2014:

Warren S. Reid gives testimony re the impact of unagreed-to system requirements & designs, and the arbitrary elimination of proper test schedules and regimen.

In this dispute, Mr. Reid testified on behalf of the software integrator where there was a difficult customer that could not make up its mind as to what it wanted, required and must have in its initial release because it appears it was hoping to get everything, under a fixed fee contract, in its first release. The customer’s refusal to sign-off on systems requirement designs put the industry experienced/successful integrator at risk, delaying the project schedule.

Then, once the customer mandated a surprise, out-of-thin-air, politically favorable Go-Live date (that was less than 20% of the schedule the Integrator believed it had to finsh the coding and testing of the system) without deferring certain requirements, accepting work-arounds for the first 6-12 months, or accepting very increased risks typically resulting in either a failed system, or a system with a very difficult post-Go-Live Settling Period plagued with numerous Emergency System Fixes/Releases. The Integrator had to rely on its own IT industry and domain experience to get the system implemented by the new Go-Live date, and reliably running in the first 12-18 months post Go-Live. The Integrator maintained and operated the system for a few years for the Customer but the Customer refused to pay a substantial portion of the system development, maintenance or operations costs claiming the system was not what was bargained for.

Mr. Reid’s opinion is that the integrator delivered a reliable, auditable, maintainable system that met IT industry and industry domain requirements under the circumstances, and the material requirements that the customer would/did sign-off on. Using its expertise and a Core System that the Integrator developed and used in similar projects as the system base, the Integrator developed, delivered, installed, and operated a system that materially complied with the features, functional and non-functional requirements of the anticipated system. Yes, there were some preferences, metrics and lesser needs the customer had hoped for but wouldn’t approve or modify when asked. And yes, the Integrator either couldn’t always guess what the Customer's preferences were, or there was not enough time to implement them before go-live, or they in fact were delivered – just not in the way the customer hoped for.

Now, several years later, the customer still refuses to pay huge sums for the system and its operating costs absorbed by the integrator even though the customer has enjoyed the benefits the system since Go-Live. The contract between the parties was terminated and the parties will have their “day in court” in 2014.

 

April 2014:

Warren S. Reid presents "Six Critical Systems and Software Development Essentials that Continue to Evade IT Executives, Managers & Professionals"

Warren S. Reid’s presentations and topics are based on his research, consulting experience and expert witness work worldwide in IT development and IT legal matters that he believes every IT professional and counsel should know! He has guest lectured at USC’s Undergraduate and Graduate Schools of Computer and Software Engineering for 7 years and at Southwestern Law School for 6 years. He always brings real stories, real experiences and tangible practicality, tools, recommendations to his audiences from all over the world that can be put to immediate use.

Context: With The Standish Research Group reporting over the last 20 years that, on average, only 30% of all systems projects are successful (on time, on budget, with relatively full functionality) , 40% are challenged (not on time, over budget; missing functionality) and 30% fail outright (aborted, never implemented, shut down shortly after implementation) the IT industry cannot brag that it is doing things right, and doing the right things! Warren will tackle 6 fundamental skill areas that continue to confound systems projects of all types and create failure or very difficult challenges – and tell you how to spot it, evaluate it, address with it and PREVENT it in the future!.

The areas of learning cover:

1. Estimation: A conversion of art, science, and experience that must be adjusted over time. Function Points, Source Lines of Code, Feature Points, Delphi, Historical Metrics, Breadbox, Bottom Up, Top Down? Which is “right” for you!
2. Requirements: Getting this wrong almost guarantees system and software “failure”
3. Testing: What is a successful test program? Why so many tests? How do you know you’re “Done?”
4. Contracting: It’s all about allocating risk -- and your lawyer cannot do it alone, not by a long shot!
5. Outsourcing: An almost 50% failure rate! Little cost savings! What’s going on and how can you do?
6. SDLC Selection: Waterfall? Spiral? Increment Commitment Spiral? Agile? – “Taking Smartcuts NOT Shortcuts”

 

March 2014:

Warren S. Reid presents "Strategizing and Drafting Computer Contracts that Really Work!"

Warren S. Reid’s presentations and topics are based on his 40 plus years of research, consulting experience, software development, project management, contract negotiations, and expert witness work worldwide.He believes good contracts can only be drafted by a team of lawyers, CXOs, Project Managers, and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Quality Assurance managers. He has guest lectured at USC’s Undergraduate and Graduate Schools of Computer and Software Engineering for 7 years and at Southwestern Law School over a period of 6 years on this and similar topics. He always brings real stories, real experiences and tangible practicality, tools, recommendations to his audiences that can be put to immediate use.

Context: With The Standish Research Group reporting over the last 20 years that, on average, only 30% of all systems projects are successful (on time, on budget, with relatively full functionality), 40% are challenged (not on time, over budget; missing functionality) and 30% fail outright (aborted, never implemented, shut down shortly after implementation), the IT industry cannot brag that it is doing things right, and doing the right things! Warren will tackle the fundamental skill areas that (1) continue to confound attorneys drafting IT and Software Contracts for systems projects of all types, and (2) create failure or very difficult challenges.

He will present a roadmap and refer to his own cases on how to "Build a 'Living Contract'" that properly:

  • Allocates risks and responsibilities
  • Identifies deliverables and their required quality
  • Addresses costs and payments and signoffs -- and what they mean
  • Sets critical milestone dates
  • Identifies processes for sign-offs and escalation; and in-and-out of scope determination
  • Defines quality, sustainability/maintainability requirements
  • Covers performance service level metrics
  • Addresses staffing quality, quantity, expertise, experience, turnover, staff replacement
  • Advocates automated tools usage throughout the life cycle of the project, and much more.

He will instruct you on the best practices on how to make the your Computer Systems Development Contracts support the attainment of and the balance of: project risks, costs, schedule, scope of functionality, quality, stakeholder expectations!

 

November 2013 -- Jan 2014:

Warren S. Reid gives testimony re proper SDLC methods and deviations and scientific project estimate alternatives in a large-scale system dispute.

Mr. Reid spent more than 1 week in deposition and rebuttal testimony in a large-scale system dispute at the request of counsel for the Customer.The Developer/Integrator is countersuing the customer.

Here, Mr. Reid testified on the typical domino effect this project exhibited starting with a:

• Bait & Switch from exceptional IT professionals to unqualified management and staff, who then created an

• Unrealistic, underestimated project plan and unattainable project schedule, which forced

• Short cuts to be taken arbitrarily during the critical requirements elicitation, resulting in

• Incomplete, ambiguous, inconsistent, untestable functional requirements that omitted critical end-to-end business requirements, that caused

• Poor designs and design documents to be written which relied on those requirements, leading to

• Poor coding and unreliable and incomplete unit testing, leading to the

• Promotion of unready/unfinished requirements, design, code, unit tests, interface tests, integration tests, security tests to the next phases of development and testing, causing a

• Never ending series of system test cycles unearthing unacceptably numerous requirements defects that should have been detected/fixed in earlier reviews/tests for orders-of-magnitude less effort & time, and which was further undermined by

• No automated regression testing suite for this new, custom system with millions of lines of effective source code.

Click for "Pyramid of Project Delays"


The integrator could not reliably estimate an estimate to complete date and required resouces. In fact, it didn't even know where the project stood and the project status. The Integrator made classic systems development project errors and tried to fix them by creating ad-hoc practices which only made the system worse and the project further behind.Like the recent Obamacare system debacle, this case is yet another example of what has been going on too much and for too long in IT -- that could be avoided!

Importantly, Mr. Reid was asked to develop estimates to complete under different going forward alternatives. He introduced and both supported and criticized the SDLC process promised to be used in this project vs. what what actually was executed. He configured certain industry practices and metrics in new ways to estimate how long this large and complex project would take to deliver, and the associated risks, if the project were to be:

• Left bumbling along as it had been for the past many years using its current processes, staffing, Quality Assurance, and management organization

• Developed from scratch

• Transformed into a high-quality, materially compliant, maintainable, production-ready system based on the “value of the reusable/salvageable artifacts and components”

• Based on using an ERP system approach.

Using industry supported SEER and COCOMO II models, and his own experience in developing estimating models for a Big-4 consulting firm, Mr. Reid oversaw and/or developed estimated costs & schedules needed to finish and implement the system under each of these 4 alternatives. He calculated reuse value of artifacts already completed -- some at 90% and others at 0%. He estimated the project assuming the project’s use of different automated tools, process maturity levels, staff quality and experience (i.e., management, analyst, programmer, application, and platform experience), both dynamic and static testing approaches/staffing/tools used, staff turnover, team cohesion, architecture/risk resolution, compressed deadlines, system complexity, reliability required, documentation requirements, and more. He testified that using Function Points as a basic measure of program/system size is fine if done correctly, BUT that Function Point size can only be turned into usable effort, cost and schedule estimates after numerous cost multipliers and scale factors similar to the ones listed above are applied to the Function Point count.

 


April 2013:

Warren S. Reid presents “The Critical Roles of Attorneys AND Systems Professionals in creating Successful IT Contracts” at Southwestern Law School.

This presentation, updated for the new technologies of 2013 and the challenges of an aging population: introduces business and IT context, perspectives and methods in selecting the “right” IT partners (i.e., vendors, systems integrators, developer, customers, off-shore and on-shore outsourcers, data center operators, and service providers); identifies the multi-faceted nature of IT contracts and the need for a multi-constituent IT Contacting Teams (Attorney, CFO, CIO, CXO, and key project management and subject matter expert users); and explores the negotiating and business processes for surfacing and allocating risks, expectations, roles, responsibilities, deliverables and sign-offs among the parties.

The areas of learning cover:

  • Why Systems Fail? What is a system anyway? An IT System?
  • Defining IT project and IT system “success”
  • What is the central purpose of IT contracts?
  • The “Push/Pull Points” in every project - and the compromises and non-linear tradeoffs to be made between: Cost – Schedule – Functional Scope – Risks – Quality – Stakeholders
  • Eliciting and Managing Requirements
  • Balancing cost, schedule, scope, quality, risk, stakeholders’ expectations
  • The hidden “gotchas” in interfaces, data conversion and implementation
  • Contents/clauses for “world-class IT Contracts” from the perspectives of each and all parties
  • And more

Warren has lectured and presented his material and success models as part of the Contracting Course at Southwestern Law School, oftentimes with follow-up cases, for six years.

 

 

March & April 2013:

“12 Knowledge Areas Every USC IT Engineering Student Should Know!”

USC Systems/Software Engineering Curriculum: Graduate and Undergraduate Classes: March 27, 29 and April 1, 2013
Continuing Guest Lecturer: Warren S. Reid

Date

Topics

Thought Areas

Day 1: 3/27/13

Why Systems Fail? & Fail? & Fail?

The new “He Said – She Said” chart

 

Who is the Single Most Important Person on the Project Team?

PM = P-O-S-D-CO-O-R-B-E:

Planning; Organizing; Staffing; Directing; Coordinating; Communication; Re-solving; Budgeting; Estimating

 

Project Estimation: the Difference Between Project Success & Failure

COCOMO II;

The Impact of Executive and PM decisions on the cost, schedule, scope & quality of the project and resulting system(s)

 

Running Meetings That Work!

Planning, inviting, conducting, summarizing, identifying decisions reached, next step action Items (and how to measure them), interim feedback; next meeting

 

 

 

Day 2: 3/29/13

The Trouble with Requirements!!!

World-Class; SOTA; Misunderstood; incomplete, ambiguous, not concise, imprecise, not testable; changing; prioritizing, deferring, buying, lowering expectations. If requirements are “wrong” – so will be the system!

 

Testing & Defect Management: Lost Arts and Absent Sciences

It’s hard; it’s necessary; it’s under-budgeted; it’s performed out of sequence; we’ll do it later; it’ll pop up later

 

Maintainability: The Real Key to a Successful (thriving, effective, productive, fruitful, triumphant) System!

If you can’t maintain it, it will start degrading and getting corrupted the first day in production. It’s asset value is greatly diminished. Hope it blows up quickly – instead of slowly & quietly over time!

 

The Real Cost of Defects: In development & In Production

It can be much more costly than you think! Searching/ repairing/ retesting errors introduced much earlier in SDLC can have exponential impact on project costs/schedule.

 

 

 

Day 3: 4/1/13

SDLCs: Different but Necessary

What Each Does? When to Deviate? What’s the risk of each one? How to decide which t use?

 

How Can You Best Outsource Software Development & Maintenance Abroad

50% of software outsourcing to India fails?

50% succeeds! How to get into the right column?

 

How to Excel on Your Next Job Interview!

Getting it right … the First Time!

 

Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control

Not Knowing the Difference Can Cripple your Project!

 


OCTOBER 2012:

ALIGNING BUSINESS AND IT STRATEGY:
Helping Achieve Corporate & IT Success!

New Coursework for Fall 2012 “CS510 - Software Management & Economics” class:
By Warren S. Reid

This semester, Warren S. Reid tackles a most overused, yet poorly understood, buzzword in the IT industry – i.e., "Aligning Business and IT Strategy!"

Warren will direct participants to answer the question, "How can we best use and invest in ever-changing information technology to achieve the long term business goals and strategies of the company -- whether to improve financial performance, increase market share or stock prices, reduce operational expenses & working capital – or getting the right information into the right hands, at the right time to help make better informed short- and long-term decisions.”

Today, very few IT execs & managers play substantive roles in the strategic business planning process – and vice versa – typically causing disappointing results, executive and IT firings, and even company bankruptcy. Even when IT improves short-term financial performance, IT oftentimes fails to empower company decision-makers to make better and more-informed immediate or longer term decisions based on supportable facts, logic, and metrics.

“Aligning Business and IT Strategy” is presented in 3 successive classroom sessions:

  • Session 1: Warren takes participants through a universal business planning model – useful for lemonade stands, SMBs, and large multi-national corporations
  • Session 2: participants evaluate available ERP, “Best of Breed”, in-house v outsourced development/data center operations alternatives to select an IT strategic alternative that most meets business strategy – sustainably.
  • Session 3: participants learn how to develop/make trade-offs in their strategic IT alternatives/plan so that it is "properly" aligned with the business plan (and within budgets, “doable timeframes”, resource ramp-up realities, etc.). Mr. Reid role-plays the business executives; participants play IT execs, planners, architects, project managers. Practical trade-off strategies, step-down hierarchies, and alignment negotiation options are covered.

After 3 sessions, each active participant will have struggled with, reviewed, and/or refined some of the key methods, models, recommendations, alternatives/trade-offs, thinking required, negotiation tips, etc. to meaningfully participate and contribute to developing successful and aligned Strategic Business and IT plans for his/her organization.

 

May 2012:

A Glowing Recommendation for Warren S. Reid from USC on Linkedin.com

Following is a recommendation that Warren S. Reid received from Dr.Supannika ("Sue") Koolmanojwong, PhD, on May 1, 2012:

“As a lecturer of the graduate-level software engineering class and software management and economics class at University of Southern California, Warren is our regular invited guest lecturer. Students love to hear his informative stories about IT updates, tips and tricks in software engineering world, new trends in software business, and how to apply various theories in to the reality... His presentation skill is exceptional. His knowledge is vast and comprehensive. I would love to invite him any day. He is one of the best guest lectures that we have..."

 

February 2012:

A WSR Consulting Group, LLC expert team testifies on PCI-DSS, and payment card industry practices in U.S. and international tribunals.

Banks are hunting for new ways to replace revenue that is no longer available to them. The new Consumer Protection Agency is setting limits on some bank fees and regular/ongoing customer complaints are stopping others, for example the fees to use debit cards. The next place they may look is to their other customers, namely commercial accounts, including retail merchants, professional offices, etc. Some Payment Card Processors <-> Payment Card Companies <-> and Credit Card Account Banks have begun to impose penalties, ignore normal theft protection liability limitations for merchants, and even tie up merchant bank accounts for risk reserves to cover the "potential extra risks of credit card fraud and misuse based upon failure of merchants to materially comply with updated PCI DSS rules (i.e., Payment Card Industry, Data Security Standard).

The PCI DSS is a multifaceted security standard that includes requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, software design and other critical protective measures. This comprehensive standard is intended to help organizations proactively protect customer account data.

WSR Consulting Group, LLC has a small team of experts who have successfully interpreted, clarified and dealt with Retail/Merchant POS systems and their issues and relationships with/uses of the payment card industry & related banking systems.

 

Teaching & Training Schedule - Winter 2011

Feb-March 2012: USC's School for Systems & Software Engineering

February 2011: Southwestern Law School - Los Angeles)

December 2, 2011: SPIN-LA - Session 2

November 14/16, 2011: USC's School for Systems & Software Engineering

October 2011: SPIN-LA (Software Process Improvement Network - Los Angeles)

 

Seven IT Industry Trends That Can Impact Your Decisions & Careers”

© by Warren S. Reid. All rights reserved.

Warren S. Reid’s ( MBA, CMC, CFE, CSQA, CSTE) presentations and topics are based on his research, consulting experience and expert witness work in IT and IT legal matters that he believes every IT professional and counsel should know!

Note: Warren Reid has already presented/taught six of these trends in the fall and winter 2011-2012 Systems & Software Engineering graduate and undergraduate classes at USC. Six trends were presented and debated at the October and December 2011 LA SPIN (Software Process Improvement Network) group meetings. A more targeted version of two trends was presented in a winter 2012 lecture at Southwestern Law School.

The most up-to-date sessions’ slides will be consolidated and posted here by March 31, 2012. .

  1. What Is A "World-Class" System? No, Really?
    In my opinion, the most hyped word in the 21st century is “world-class”. More and more companies are contracting for “world-class systems” – hoping to get to the difficult and painstaking requirements elicitation, prioritization, and management processes later. Yet there are no generally accepted business or IT industry standards defining world-class – and no legal definitions of them either. So what does that mean? What has each party just agreed to? And how will judges and juries make such a determination – if it gets to that? How much is subjective? How much is objective?

  2. How the Federal Anti-Kickback Laws Affect All Government Systems/Software Projects?
    Under Federal Law, kickbacks, gifts of money, reduced service and training fees, promised future customer references, or anything that might be valuable to government contractors is now illegal in Federal IT Contracts – although it was a common occurrence and agreement between vendors, integrators and consultants in the past.. The law is a result of the belief that kickback incentives can consciously or unconsciously affect the independent judgment of supposedly independent integrators, consultants, advisors, and employees. The US Department of Justice is cracking down hard on dozens of the world’s largest IT vendors and service providers now accused of such abuse. Just what is the government doing? And how might that affect you ?

  3. The New Science, Techniques & Metrics Being Used In Court To Determine the “Quality” Of Delivered Systems -- and More?
    New qualitative and quantitative models, methods, reasoning, and metrics are being developed by some of the most respected minds in the IT industry and at Universities. Mr. Reid is among the first to introduce these concepts and proofs successfully into courtrooms internationally to address questions such as:
    1. I s the delivered system really bug-ridden, normally buggy, or even “best-in-class”?
    2. Is delivered documentation appropriate for the: system; users; operators; maintainers, and its stakeholders?
    3. How sustainable is the delivered system (scalable, maintainable, auditable, reliable, portable, testable, etc.)?
    4. How viable is the vendor and its ability to live up to its long-term maintenance, support, service, upgrade contracts?
    5. What are the quantifiable cost, schedule, scope, risk and quality effects of deviating from promised people, product, project and process methods?

  4. Slipping Backwards: When And How Agile Methodology Fails?
    We all know about the agile methodologies, and perhaps many of you have implemented this approach into your organizations or have used it on specific IT development projects. Many such projects are very successful; others only moderately so. Yet there are also some prominent failures using these techniques – which are oftentimes unreported. I recently was a consultant/expert witness in a large-scale system project failure allegedly following SCRUM and Agile methodology. Changing from the more traditional “planned methodologies” (i.e., waterfall, spiral, and prototype methodologies) is not just a change in processes, but also a change in culture, organization structure, how IT thinks, teamwork, and more. I will discuss my experience when such things are insufficiently addressed, the havoc it produces, and how to avoid such situations and behavior.

  5. A Look at Software Development Outsourcing -- A 15 Year Retrospective!
    For a decade and a half, many flavors of IT outsourcing, especially to India, have enjoyed tremendous growth – yet, in many circles and in many ways, it has not delivered on its initial promise – i.e., the reduction of total cost of ownership, improved quality, on-time delivery, “full functionality”, more manageable project risk, better customer service, more satisfied customers, among other things. It is time to look at IT offshore outsourcing over these years, examine and uncover some of the lessons learned, and separate the facts from the myths you should be aware of when selecting, contracting for, performing and managing such services to improve your chances of outsourcing success!

  6. What You Really Need to KNOW TODAY about “Cloud Computing.”
    While overhyped and misunderstood, cloud computing is here to stay and will become much more important is it grows rapidly as predicted. Here, Mr. Reid explores the following critical issues:
    • What is cloud computing and its essential characteristics?
    • How is cloud computing creating its value proposition to address the growing disconnect between Business and IT strategies?
    • Disentangling cloud computing reality from its hype
    • Cloud computing’s specific vulnerabilities, risks & hidden dangers and how to address them
    • Special legal, regulatory and contractual considerations in what is likely to be a demanding and changing environment in response to customer demands. competitive market positioning, interpositions by regulators, governments & courtsincluding:
    • Governance and transparency
    • Ownership, location, protection, security, privacy, accessibility, auditing, backing up and assessing the quality of data, results and applications
    • Critical performance SLAs
    • Critical business key performance indicators (KPIs)
    • Required methods/investment in staffing, processing, managing, securing, protecting, backing-up and auditing the data, results, and applications
    • Standards for critical infrastructure architecting, refresh, upgrades, maintenance, error detection/handling, defect repair, system operation, status reporting (real-time & batch)
    • Sub-contracting and termination roles, processes, and procedures

  7. The Calamitous Growing Misalignment of Systems Design/GUIs with Aging User Segments
    With Americans working later into their lives, and foregoing retirement for the time being, new computer systems and technologies must be learned, used, and managed by workers well into their seventies and beyond. But studies and empirical evidence are showing that different age groups (digital user segments) want and “need” different GUI’s and process workflows to successfully migrate to and use the new technologies and continue to be efficient, effective and happy at their jobs. Also, the Web provides great opportunities for older users in retirement with unprecedented access to: information; social interaction & communication; e-Commerce; government services and civic participation; training and learning opportunities, and more.

    Here, Warren covers, among other things, the needs, wants, preferences and realities of the Digital Dinosaurs (aka the Digital Disenfranchised), the Digital Immigrants, the Digital Natives, and the DNAs (Digital Natives Always) as it relates to each user segment’s ability to perceive, operate, understand, manage and effectively use systems applications and the internet. There are things that can and must be done to make software, applications, technology and the Internet “work” for the aging Baby Boomers.

August 2011:

Warren S. Reid testified as an expert witness in a complex software dispute at an international arbitration in London. The verdict is pending.

Testimony included:

(1) What makes a system “world class”? What makes software world class?

(2) What are the “industry best practices” re the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)?

(3) What makes training and systems documentation “best in class”?

(4) What were the underlying root causes of alleged system and software functional and performance deficiencies? Which party was responsible for them? What caused them? How could they have been avoided/addressed?

(5) IT industry practices a trier of fact be informed about:

(a) Customer responsibility in selecting enterprise software? (knowing requirements)

(b) Vendor responsibility in representing its software and capabilities? (understanding customer requirements/metrics; help customer make tradeoffs, explore alternatives; refuse to make certain changes to the system; lead GAP analysis)

(c ) Making realistic estimates; tracking progress; not falling into trap that adding more project staff increases project/individual productivity in a linear fashion (“Mythical Man Month”)

(d) Managing scope creep in a project with a tight timeframe and unmovable delivery date.

(e) Many functional requirements can be/are subjective and changing

(f) The difference between an RFI, and RFP, and an agreed to list of functional deliverables by Product Release.

(g) System and software performance, capabilities (e.g., maintainability; architecture; GUI; auditability; scalability; fault tolerance; etc.), and industry standards are objective and measurable

(h) All systems have bugs! All bugs are not equal! It is possible to estimate the average and “best in class” latent defects (including bugs), by severity level, that will likely be delivered/introduced into production.

 

June 2011:

WSR Consulting Group, LLC assists U.S. Department of Justice in winning favorable settlement against IT integrator in Federal Anti-Kickback Law matter. Case involved billions of dollars or hardware, software and systems acquisition planning, development, implementation, project management and IT operations outsourcing services.

Regarding this litigation, we opined on:

(1) The roles played by systems integrators in large-scale software development and implementation projects;

(2) The roles the defendant integrator palyed in five large Federal Government Agency contracts/projects;

(3) The project events/decision points, and resulting integrator recommendations/advice influencing specific vendor hardware/software/netware component selection that the integrator maintained alliance agreements with;

(4) The extent the integratorwas influenced (consciously or unconsciously) to purchase more, different, and/or unproven state-of-the-art components/resources; shorten the delivery schedule for such hardware/software/netware components; recommend/ alter system components not warranted by the merits of the project/circumstances

(5) The extent to which the integrator created, planned, and executed policies, procedures and organizational structures to manage and collect "vendor influence payments" from alliance vendors.

 

April 2011:

WSR Consulting Group, LLC proudly announces Jim Mottern joining the WSRcg family of IT Consultants and Expert Witnesses

We are delighted that Jim Mottern will be bringing over 30 years of systems and business experience to WSRcg clients. Jim is a senior executive with deep and effective ERP selection, customization, implementation and operations expertise that includes numerous SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards systems projects, including successful assignments with large-scale government and Fortune 1000 companies. He built a Big 4 Accounting/Consulting Firm’s SAP practice from 0 to 250 staff, and garnered “SAP’s Award of Excellence for Implementation” quality and success five years in a row. Jim is one of the most experienced ERP implementation advisors assisting companies today.

Jim adds significant operations and systems experience with pharmaceutical, technology, consumer products, aerospace/defense companies and government clients. He also brings expertise in solving complex global Board of Director, CFO and CIO issues. He has worked in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Jim is also an experienced expert witness. Click to see his full resume.

 

April 2011:

Warren S. Reid presents The Critical Roles of Attorneys AND Systems Professionals in creating World-Class IT Contracts” at Southwestern Law School.

This presentation: introduces business and IT context, perspectives and methods in selecting the “right” IT partners (i.e., vendors, systems integrators, developer, customers, and service providers); identifies the multi-faceted nature of IT contracts and the need for a multi-constituent IT Contacting Teams (Attorney, CFO, CIO, CXO, and key project management and subject matter expert users); and explores the negotiating and business processes of surfacing and allocating risks, expectations, roles, responsibilities, deliverables and sign-offs among the parties.

The areas of learning cover:

  • Why Systems Fail? What is a system anyway? An IT System?
  • Defining IT project and IT system “success”
  • What is the central purpose of IT contracts?
  • The “Push/Pull Points” in every project - and the compromises and non-linear tradeoffs to be made between: Cost – Schedule – Functional Scope – Risks – Quality – Stakeholders
  • What does “world class” mean?
  • The pillars of “world class: Organizational & Operational Excellence; Focus on the “Right” stuff; Robust Life Span (Sustainability)
  • What makes a software organization “world class?” A system? A contract?”
  • Eliciting and Managing Requirements
  • Contents/clauses for “world-class IT Contracts” from the perspectives of each and all parties
  • And more

Warren has lectured and presented his material and success models as part of the Contracting Course at Southwestern Law School, oftentimes with follow-up cases, for four years.

 

March 2011:

Warren S. Reid presents updated version of his lecture series at USC's School for Systems & Software Engineers

Warren is presenting his "IT Contracting for Success" lectures to Systems & Software Engineering students at the University of Southern California (USC). He has expanded the coursework to include:

1. "What makes a world-class IT organization?"

2. "What makes a system/software, world-class?"

3. "How to negotiate, write and manage a world-class IT Contract?"

Recurring and updated course topics also cover related contract clause thinking and drafting under different SDLCs such as waterfall, spiral, evolutionary, incremental, agile, eXtreme, Scrum etc. methods. Veryimportantly, how to build a IT negotiating team consisting of CXO, CIO, Project Director/Manager, and Legal Counsel is covered in detail.

Contract clauses covered include those relating to: functional, performance and ability requirements; project timetable; party roles and responsiilities; drafting a measurable definition of project success; project management and progress reporting; project costs and payment schedule; testing amd acceptance; training; documentation; site preparation; custom programming services; conversion and integration services; unique outsourcing contract issues and clauses; project organization and staffing; warranties; maintenance contracts and issues, measuring quality and much more. These are the areas that counsel typically needs help in based upon my almost 25 years as an expert witness in IT system and contract failure litigation.

 

December 2010:

WSR Consulting Group, LLC Delivers Expert Report/Opinions in Billion Dollar Dispute

WSRcg LLC delivered several expert reports containing its opinions regarding systems: architectural and technical design, integration, development methodology, procurement issues, and responsibilities contracted for by hired project consultants regarding several large systems development/implementation projects at a number of federal government agencies. The projects involved a wide array of hardware, application, management, and netware components and COTS ERP packaged software for projects ranging from tens of millions of dollars to over 1 billion dollars. This engagement was based partly on a reference from a previous litigation involving a failed robotics army base, in which WSRcg’s report and testimony played pivotal roles.

 

November 2010:

Warren S. Reid presents latest version of his two-part lecture series at USC's Graduate School for Systems & Software Engineers

Warren presented his "IT Contracting for Success" lectures to graduate Systems & Software Engineering students at the University of Southern California (USC). He has expanded the coursework to include more detailed comparative and impact analyses of different Systems Development Life Cycle methodologies (SDLCs) on IT contracts and COCOMO II model - comparative modes.

In addition to his recurring course materials, he now presents related contract clause thinking and drafting under different SDLCs such as waterfall, spiral, evolutionary, incremental, agile, eXtreme, Scrum etc. methods. How to build a IT negotiating team consisting of CXO, CIO, Project Director/Manager, and Legal Counsel is covered in detail.

Contract clauses covered include those relating to: functional, performance and ability requirements; project timetable; party roles and responsiilities; drafting a measurable definition of project success; project management and progress reporting; project costs and payment schedule; testing amd acceptance; training; documentation; site preparation; custom programming services; conversion and integration services; unique outsourcing contract issues and clauses; project organization and staffing; warranties; maintenance contracts and issues, measuring quality and much more. These are the areas that counsel typically needs help in based upon my more than 20 years as an expert witness in IT system and contract failure litigation.

 

September 2010:

WSR Consulting Group, LLC assists international law firm in winning large $ settlement in alleged system project failure dispute between very large hotel-casino chain and software developer.

Regarding this litigation, we discovered/uncovered and reported on:

(1) faulty project practices (including inadequate staffing and management, improper selection of and execution of agile software development methodology, and improper and incomplete testing and bug fixing);

(2) improper, incomplete, ambiguous and “untestable” requirements gathering, documentation, and prioritization;

(3) significant and widespread design, programming, testing,GUI, data loading, and businessreports bugs/flaws that proved, in our opinion, that the work in progress would have to be scrapped if a suitable system was to be developed; and

(4) fraudulent misrepresentations by the software developer defendant re understanding, ability and willingness to adapt its core system to the needs of the hotel-casino industry.

 

July 2010:

The "He Said ... She Said" Chart: Why Systems Fail??"

(c) 1995 - 2010 by Warren S. Reid All rights reserved

By popular demand, and peer group pressure, Warren S. Reid has been pressured to put his “He Said … She Said” Chart up on the website. This chart reflects Mr. Reid’s over 22 years as an expert witness in the North America, Asia and Europe in the areas of systems and software project failure.

The chart reveals the complaints and defenses that the different parties almost invariably claim in their lawsuits and disputes. Warren invites you to review the list and see how many apply to your dispute or to a current in-process project. WSR Consulting Group, LLC will be happy to discuss the Chart and its ramifications with you if you wish. We can act as expert witnesses if the need arises, or as turnaround consultants for projects in-process. Contact us at 818-986-8842.

 

April 2010:

Warren S. Reid presents his expanded two part lecture series at USC's Graduate School for Systems & Software Engineers

Warren presented his expanded "IT Contracting for Success" lectures to graduate Systems & Software Engineering students at the University of California. He has expanded the coursework to include more detailed comparative and impact analyses of different Systems Development Life Cycle methodologies (SDLCs) on IT contracts.

In addition to his recurring course materials, he now presents related contract clause thinking and drafting under different SDLCs such as waterfall, spiral, evolutionary, incremental, hybrid, incremental commitment, agile, eXtreme, Scrum etc. methods. Such clause changes typically affect estimating, reporting, staffing, project management, deliverables, "static" testing (i.e., requirements/test cases, coding, testing reviews, walkthroughs, and inspections), dynamic testing, documentation, and open communications clauses in the IT Contracts.

 

October 2009:

Warren S. Reid releases "The RFP Process Model for Successful Software and Vendor Selection" -- the 5th in his series of "7 IT Success Models".

Simply put, a Request For Proposal (RFP) is a formal written document inviting suppliers to submit a proposal on a specific commodity or services. The RFP PROCESS helps leverage a company's negotiating ability and purchasing power with suppliers. It brings structure and more precision to the procurement decision and, when done correctly, flushes out risks upfront. It benefits from input from a wide range of subject matter experts – which helps ensure the chosen solution will suit the company's strategy, short/long-term business objectives, and functional, performance and maintenance requirements.

 

Warren S. Reid has created an RFP SUCCESS MODEL that takes you through the foundational steps, the preliminary selection, “best” candidate selection and the meeting of the minds processes, culminating with party relationaships and IT contracts that allocate risks, embrace and enforce proven SCLC methodologies, and incentivize all parties to continue to perform.

 

September 2009:

WSRcg makes its "IT Litigation and Bad Contracts that Foster Failure" slides & companion materials available free!"

Attorneys wishing to view a video of the 3.5 presentation given jointly by Warren S. Reid and Attorney Steven Brower for MCLE Credit may find it on the www.attorneycredits.com website .

It outlines a "Systems Approach to IT Contracting" that, based on their own personal experiences and expertise, better serves many IT contract purposes. This approach quite thoroughly flushes out and documents the responsibilities and risks each party is willing (and able) to accept and the deliverables / deliverable quality each party will produce and approve, how to get a project back on track, and the renedies for failure to deliver.

Done properly with dedicated IT Contracting Teams, this approach to IT Contracting will generally produce:

(a) much better contracts,

(b) stronger long term working relationships between the parties that can be very helpful if and when a disputes arise, and,

(c) more understanding and control over planning, developing, and managing IT systems and project: estimates; schedules; staffing; progress awareness and reporting; functional AND performance requirements (scope creep); better testing regiments; quality assurance; project specific risks and stakeholder expectations.

 

WSRcg has been engaged by one of the world's largest hotel and casino companies to review their new systems effort.

 

"Warren S. Reid accepts invitation to present to Canada's Deputy Ministers in a closed circuit meeting on May 22, 2009!"

On May 22, 2009, Warren S. Reid, IT expert, and two hand-picked IT lawyers will present to The Government of Canada's most senior executives in the Procurement Ministry and Treasury Board [i.e., "Public Works & Government Services Canada" ( PWGSC )]. They have been asked to speak on "IT Procurement & Project Risk Management" in Ottawa. Since Warren's oldest son Alex will be getting married later that day, Warren will conference into the session.

Warren will focus on 3 of his IT SUCCESS Models

1. "Riskipedia 2.0 -- Failure Factors That Fly Under the Radar: Hidden, Yet Debilitating Software Project Cripplers!
This presentation discusses why, after 25 years of knowing exactly “Why Systems Fail?”[ "He Said ... She Said Model"] -- only 2/3 of large scale systems projects today still come in late, over budget, under-functioning or scrapped altogether? Warren explores what we likely have all missed!

2. "Requirements Elicitation:  Why So Difficult -- Still? "
Requirements are nasty, difficult, changing, and unknown – if you get them wrong at the start of the project, you are in big trouble. So, one more time – but with different emphasis – how can we do a better job in this elusive, oftentimes frustrating, people-heavy area!

3. "IT Contracts: Allocating Risks Properly and Effectively!"
IT contracts serve many purposes-- but they are primarily to flush out and document the responsibilities and risks each party is willing (and able) to take and the deliverables each will produce. Done properly, with contracting teams consisting of a CXO, CFO, the IT Project Champion and Project Manager, and an attorney (hopefully one with IT expertise) can generally produce much better: (a) contracts, (b) long term working relationships that can be very helpful if and when a disputes arise, an, (3) more understanding and control over managing budgets, schedules, the scope of functionality, quality assurance, project specific risks and stakeholder expectations.

 

WSR Consulting Group, LLC Opens Its "Learning Center for IT Excellence"

We envision and position this webspace to be a place where:

  • the leading scholars, researchers and practitioners in IT today and in the future,
  • can introduce new ideas, models, processes and challenges
  • that will spark discussion, thought, disagreement and advancements
  • in the software/systems development, implementation, management, contracting and litigation arenas of Information technology.

Mr. Warren S. Reid is happy to open this new portion of WSRcg’s website with his “Five IT Success Models”.

This is our ultimate reality show: "Real people! Real stories! Real trials! Real Lessons!


WSR Consulting Group, LLC reports a few of our latest developments:

+ Warren S. Reid, Managing Director, has been engaged as a testifying expert witness using computer forensic investigations in a death row matter.

+ Randy Brown, Senior Manager, will be testifying in a complex HIPAA matter.

+ Warren S. Reid and Lubomyr Chabursky, Senior Manager are working on a matter involving the fairness and accuracy of disclosures in a Prospectus for a bond offering given the status of the issuer's IT applications, organization & infrastructure. Either one, or both will be testifying experts

+ Elyse Gura, Manager, has recently become associated with WSR Consulting Group, LLC as a Manager in IT Consulting and Project Management. We are thrilled to have her on board.

Ms Gura has more than 20 years of hands-on implementation-oriented management information technology consulting, corporate IT management and Professional Services leadership experience. She has planned and executed large-scale ERP implementations, rollouts and upgrades, focusing on effective planning, communications, and risk management. She has very special expertise in Oracle ERP. Ms Gura has served as an IT Director leading upgrade stabilization, SOX compliance and package selection projects. She has built, led and/or turned around international IT Professional Services organizations for mid- to large-size software vendors and management consulting firms. ITIL V3 trained, B.A., M.B.A.

 

 

Firm News in 2008

Firm News in 2007

Call Warren S. Reid at (818) 986-8842 if you have any questions or wish to discuss your case.

WSRcg

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