Using FUSION to power and project manage major upgrade work
When the Cygnum team needed to deliver a major new release of the software in the shape of Cygnum 2020, they deployed FUSION to shape, create and utilise it.
CACI’s FUSION methodology is designed to deliver projects on time and in budget. Following three key phases – shape, create and utilise – FUSION sets out the vision, goals and timelines of all customer delivery and internal development work. This case study looks at how CACI’s Cygnum workforce management and scheduling software went through a major enhancement project to deliver a new release, Cygnum 2020, overseen internally using FUSION. This included improving the software, ensuring future compliance for users and the release of a mobile app to support enhanced usability of Cygnum.
As with all projects, it is important to fully understand, as a team, why we are creating a project and what it needs to achieve. “We had been working alongside our customers for a number of years to deliver software development projects which were often bespoke,” explains Luke Brown, project manager for Cygnum 2020. “Components of these projects were actually beneficial to all our customers, so a new release made it possible to amalgamate these as standard for everyone. Research and development we had been working on internally was also included, as was any ongoing compliance updates, be they for data and security regulations or third party compatibility.”
This would bring benefits to everyone by delivering enhanced functionality and the creation of a common platform for future development. A release like this also makes customer support of Cygnum more straightforward by having commonality in use of the system and satisfying compliance concerns for all.
“Once we had understood what the project needed to achieve, it enabled us to focus on the mobilisation and discovery stages of FUSION,” says Luke. “A good example of this is the mobile app that we wanted to create for Cygnum. Extending the usability of Cygnum made a great deal of sense and was something that customers were keen to see. We identified the need to cover mobile forms via the app, essentially making the capturing of data for field-based workers available in real-time, so that they could log data on the move. This would then bring more benefits to more of our customers.”
“Once we had established an agile approach to the FUSION methodology that was to drive the Cygnum 2020 project, we went into a phase of building and testing, building and testing,” says Luke. “This helped the Cygnum team to ensure that everything was coming together as planned.”
Since Cygnum was undergoing a number of functionality enhancements, it was important that the team then started working on the Cygnum user guides to incorporate the changes that Cygnum 2020 would introduce. This started with a number of internal sessions to upskill the team to help them prepare for the launch of Cygnum 2020.
“Education of staff internally was hugely important,” stresses Luke. “Not only did it help team members to prepare on an individual basis, we were able to listen to their feedback and establish areas where we could perhaps be a little clearer in our use of language and terminology.
“At the same time this supported the verify stage of the project. We were using QMETRY, a Jira add-on, which was supporting the constant process of building and testing that underpinned the create stage of Cygnum 2020. This helped us with the all-important stress testing, too, which consisted of two rounds of regression testing.”
Once the shape and create stages of any FUSION project are completed, it is time to focus on the utilise aspect of the project. “A major aspect of the utilise stage for Cygnum 2020 was awareness,” says Luke. “We had to make everyone in our wider team aware of Cygnum 2020 and what it meant, before engaging with our marketing colleagues to establish materials and campaigns to help us with customer awareness.
“This included updating user guides, a webinar which was recorded by Cygnum solutions architect, Kristen Butler, supporting marketing materials including a teaser campaign and glossy, detailed release notes that our customers could use to generate interest in the upgrade work amongst their teams when they came to implementing Cygnum 2020. This relied heavily upon the work completed in the create stage of the project, since the team was able to draw upon its own internal education to help inform the awareness element for clients.”
This then turned into the transition phase of the project, with a go-live date for release established and a number of customer upgrade orders to fulfil immediately! The transition phase is ongoing, as is the final element of the project, evolve.
“The evolve phase has already started,” explains Luke. “We are already getting feedback from customers and our own internal processes which are informing the future roadmap for Cygnum ; we’re not resting on our laurels and patting ourselves on the back for a job well done, we’re looking for ways to continue to evolve Cygnum and make it even better for the next release.”
Cygnum 2020 went live in May 2020. Using the proven project delivery methodology of FUSION, the team was able to operate the process smoothly, on time and in budget. FUSION is the delivery methodology that CACI uses for all of its projects, both internally and customer facing.
For more information on how FUSION underpins CACI’s project management, please click here.