Strategic PlanningStrategic planning attempts to answer the question, "How do we beat or stay ahead of the competition?”
In other cases, the question may be, "How do we optimize our services over time to meet/exceed the needs of our customers?"
We use a Balanced Scorecard approach to provide a framework that not only provides performance measurements, but helps planners identify what should be done and measured. We facilitate introspective analysis of strengths and weaknesses, market analysis of opportunities and threats, and assesses cultural, technological, supplier and environmental trends that may affect the priority of selected strategies to drive desired client outcomes focused on the customer, the internal business processes that touch the customer, and how those elements impact the bottom line. The BurningCastle approach enables executives to truly execute their strategies by transforming an organization’s strategic plan from an attractive but passive document into the "marching orders" for the organization on a daily basis.
Business Process Re-EngineeringBusiness process re-engineering, or BPR, aims to improve efficiency and effectiveness of an organization's functions and/or the handoff of activities across multiple organizations. Often, BPR activities follow the generation of a strategic plan when there is recognition that an organization must evolve the processes and procedures used to create its products and services with the aim of achieving dramatic improvements in critical performance measures such as cost, quality, service, and speed.
We identify and analyze the client's "As Is" processes and procedures, determining what elements are outmoded and/or underperforming. Client analytics, interviews, and legacy process documentation, when available are combined to facilitate this 'as is' analysis. To drive the business processes to the "To Be" state, fundamentally rethinking an organization's processes as a whole is required. We assist the client in specifying its performance goals in the form of target measurements and automating the means by which they are to be measured on a clearly defined cycle.
Power boosters, such as automation in both performing and measuring process improvements, are key ingredients to creating re-engineering efforts that in fact transform the business.
IT GovernanceIT Governance seeks to provide structure and discipline for IT investments and the performance of projects and activities of an IT organization. It implies a structure that involves stakeholders from across the business who are ultimately affected by IT investments and ensure that business value is attained by the resulting solutions. It has gained in popularity because of compliance initiatives such as Sarbanes-Oxley and the understanding that large IT projects can easily spiral out of control, profoundly impacting an organization’s performance and costs.
When business automation is required to support optimized business processes, we would leverage a framework like ITILv3 to serve as a basis from which to audit the organization's service readiness posture before a system ‘goes live.’ Using this framework, we would assist the client in ensuring the organization’s:
- “Service Design“ converts the strategic objectives into a portfolio of utility services
- “Service Transition“ develops & improves capabilities to transition them to operations
- “Service Operation“ achieves efficiency and effectiveness
Our approach forms the basis for post-project measurement of organizational improvement, providing our clients visibility to organizational performance while maintaining focus on demonstrating results to stakeholders
Enterprise ArchitectureEnterprise Architecture is the organizing logic for business processes and IT infrastructure reflecting the integration and standardization requirements of the firm’s operating model.
The primary purpose of describing the architecture of an enterprise is to improve the effectiveness or efficiency of the business itself. This includes innovations in the structure of an organization, the centralization or federation of business processes, the quality and timeliness of business information, and ensuring that money spent on information technology (IT) can be justified.
- We would use an Enterprise Architecture Framework to identify common or shared assets, whether they be strategies, business processes, investments, data, systems, or technologies to help an organization drive decisions about its IT investment portfolio.
- We would apply the Performance Improvement Lifecycle, as depicted below, for end-to-end governance of IT investments, and the alignment of IT investments with the organization’s strategic goals so it can achieve its desired mission outcomes and business results.
Information Security ArchitectureIT Security threats are a daily and growing concern for today’s high-tech organization. Enterprise Information Security Architecture is the practice of applying a comprehensive and rigorous approach of describing a structure and behavior for an organization's security processes, information security systems, and personnel.
We review and assess your existing installation and implementation of firewalls, intrusion detection / prevention system, antivirus, anti-spam, and other security measures. Based on these findings:
- We recommend and drive development, documentation & implementation of organizational security policies and standards,
- We recommend automated solutions and customize/optimize their configurations on firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, operating systems, and application systems to ensure the protection of your organization's assets from security threats;
- We combine best-of-breed COTS products and integrate them with existing assets, as appropriate, as part of a carefully planned process.
Product ManagementProduct Management is the function of building software products based on strategies developed by analyzing market and customer business intelligence. It includes the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a Product from its conception, through design and launch, to service and disposal.
BurningCastle consultants will work with you to research your markets, develop or improve your product and marketing strategies, analyze your product development process, and implement process improvement programs that deliver increases in productivity and revenue.
BurningCastle will help you implement a product management process and product roadmap which provides the framework within which you can effectively plan for and execute future enhancements after the initial launch.
Our Product Management services include the following types of activities:
- Conduct a business analysis of current processes and organizational staffing in place to manage the product
- Develop a product management process for the product
- Qualitative and Quantitative research to develop a prioritized list of features and functions
- Ongoing testing after release to improve the usability and effectiveness of the product
- Long-term product planning with Product Roadmap for future releases
- Ongoing development and production support to implement features and functions specified in the product roadmap or to resolve known product defects.
Management ConsultingBurningCastle, LLC Management Consultants provide independent and objective advice to client organizations in an effort to define and achieve their goals through improved utilization of resources. We do this by working in tandem with our clients and diagnosing problems and/or opportunities, recommending solutions, and helping implement improvement.
Our principals bring over 40 years of professional experience across various industries. Using a broad range of industry best-practices we help firms realize their goals by providing direction in strategy, operations, technology, executive leadership, and process improvement. Our innovative approach in assessing challenges and opportunities provides our customers solutions that help achieve their organizational vision, business definitions and improve overall performance.
In the end, all this means nothing unless a plan is actionable… we focus on being idealistic but also realistic in creating plans that are actionable and measurable.
Program/Project ManagementProject Management is the discipline of planning, organizing and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. It is a finite endeavor (having specific start and completion dates) undertaken to create a unique product or service which brings about beneficial change or added value.
Initiation involves starting up the project, by documenting a business case, feasibility study, terms of reference, appointing the team and setting up a Project Office.
Planning involves setting out the roadmap for the project by creating the following plans: project plan, resource plan, financial plan, quality plan, acceptance plan and communications plan.
Execution involves building the deliverables and controlling the project delivery, scope, costs, quality, risks and issues.
Closure involves winding-down the project by releasing staff, handing over deliverables to the customer and completing a post implementation review.
Based on your specific project requirements, we have the talent and resources to employ appropriate Project Management processes from Traditional Project Management techniques to Process Based - Agile- methodologies.
Systems Engineering & Technical AssistanceWhen a new system is envisioned, the devil is in the details.
Systems Engineering & Technical Assistance (SETA), although traditionally coined to represent government acquisition programs, can generally be applied to the early phases of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) inclusive of Discovery, Requirements, and often early stages of Design for any product/solution implementation program that requires independence in software selection and system design.
SETA support focuses on a high degree of customer interaction to facilitate transforming strategy and ideas into development of detailed functional & technical specifications. Subject Matter Experts may be brought in over a short term period to develop a Concept of Operations, a high-level System and/or Enterprise Architecture, and drive specification development and technical interaction with both the receiving customer and the potential development community. We will analyze the impact of potential systems as it relates to the mission needs, human factors, and on the organizational structure of the receiving department. We will recommend and prioritize with client input, a series of systems options, organizational structures and mission capabilities to drive a software selection and development strategy that solicits the greatest capability at the best value.
User Interface Design & AnalysisA crucial, but often under-emphasized stage of building a website or application is designing the user interface — where human meets computer. Usability defines great applications.
We can analyze your current user interface and report back on how “usable’ it is and how well it meets your needs. For example:
- Does the current information organization allow users to easily find what they're looking for?
- Does the interaction model allow users to easily accomplish their tasks?
- Does the implementation work well on all prevalent computer platforms, web browsers and varying connection speeds?
- Does your interface take advantage of the latest user interface approaches and technologies?
In essence, good user interface design focuses on four areas we would analyze and make recommendations:
- Functionality Design - Deciding what functionality to offer in a web site or application can often be the most important design decision.
- Information Architecture - How the information is organized and how the user interacts with it.
- Layout Design - This is the part that most people think of when they hear the phrase "user interface design" or "graphic design.“
- Interaction Design - The interaction design defines how the user will interact with the website or application.
Application Development ServicesChange. In the world today change comes quickly. …by way of technological changes or enterprise changes, be they, mergers & acquisitions, corporate expansion or simply changing market conditions. With these changes come changes in your system requirements.
You need an application development partner who understands the impact that business changes impart on technology requirements, who can independently and without bias, facilitate selection of a software development approach, whether custom or COTS,. You need a partner who can ensure success with an approach that gives you the best possible balance of cost, speed and quality.
BurningCastle supports enterprise application development and desktop software development using a number of platforms, including Windows, Rich Internet Applications (RIA), Microsoft .NET, PHP, C++, Python, Java, and Unix.
We customize and design client applications with a focus on lowering your long-term cost of ownership with expected results including:
- Reductions in overall information technology (IT) spend of up to 30 percent over the lifetime of your application,
- An exceptional record for on-time and on-budget delivery,
- Flexible, customizable processes proven to boost development productivity by as much as 25 percent ,
- Outsourcing capabilities that help you expedite time to market and lower long-term costs.
Quality AssuranceQuality Assurance is both a discipline and a key step in the Software Development Lifecycle intended to validate that a product or solution satisfies the customer requirements in a systematic and reliable fashion. In the QA cycle of a project, informally known as “Test,” we would develop Test Plans, Processes and Scripts to enable testing on the functional requirements and engage the users in a final ‘acceptance test’ prior to ‘Go Live.’
However, the full scope of quality assurance serves to not only validate a system’s functionality, but to validate that the key technical performance specifications can be met. As such, we identify the scenarios, approaches and supporting tools, and generate associated documentation as required to conduct:
- Load testing, to model the expected usage of a system to determine how to optimally structure its supporting hardware infrastructure for the expected user community;
- Stress testing, to assess the robustness, availability, and error handling of a system under a heavy load of concurrent users or under a scenario of denial of service attacks, rather than on what would be considered correct behavior under normal circumstances
Members of the BurningCastle leadership team have been mentored in large organizations that are CMMI Level 5, thus imparting a strong sense of discipline and rigor in the approach to quality assurance in the company.
Limited-Engagement Project StaffingBurningCastle provides professional Staff Augmentation Services to meet clients’ short term project needs. We can also provide those resources as Contract-to Hire as needed to meet your requirements and to ensure the best qualified candidates, we work with you to understand your specific requirements and:
- Recruit locally and specifically for professional contractor/consulting staff.
- Screen by way of 1st interviews to review experience and skills specific to requirements, and assessment of personality fit with client.
- Then we follow thru with review of references and track record.
- Work with your staff to schedule interviews.
- After interviews, do background check
IT Schedule 70, sin 132-51
|GSA Schedule 70
Provides government agencies and the DOD with information technology (IT), software engineering/development, professional management services and staff augmentation. Schedule 70 can be selected for use by Federal, State, and local government agencies. State and local government agencies can purchase off of Schedule 70 by way of Cooperative Purchasing. There is no maximum order limitation therefore customers can use Schedule 70 to support large-scale, multi-million dollar requirements.
BurningCastle, LLC is dedicated to providing the best value and quality of services to our government clients. We make every effort to partner with other US based contractors, vendors, resellers, and specialty providers to provide creative solutions to meet the specific needs of our customers while striving to keep jobs at home.