Case Study: Business Requirements and Gap Assessments for Future Software Selection
The client is a state agency responsible for overseeing public charter schools that operate under a contract with the Board. Overseeing more than 550 charter schools, the Board is the largest charter school authorizer in Arizona and is the second largest authorizer in the nation.
The client’s antiquated online platform was significantly hindering its ability to perform against its mandate. As a small state agency, staff was doing its best in a tough situation and had developed a significant number of time and resource intensive workarounds to negotiate the system’s limitations and shortcomings. Agency leadership knew they needed to replace or overhaul the system but were unsure how to articulate their needs or make their case in a difficult funding environment. Additionally, they had limited insight into what options might be available and what it would cost to replace or overhaul the system.
In our initial engagement, MSSBTA performed a Needs Assessment and Online Platform Evaluation. Deliverables from this first engagement included a business requirements document, a gap and impact analysis, and a technology modernization roadmap. These deliverables served as inputs into our second engagement which culminated in a Decision Package delivered to the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting (OSPB).
The second engagement began with our consultants reaching out to similar organizations across the nation to understand what solutions are being leveraged by other institutions, to what level these solutions meet their organizational needs, and what was the level of satisfaction to the end-users. This market and industry research developed a list of potential vendors. Our consultants then solicited the potential vendors for a self-assessment against the documented requirements and set up a series of demos with the vendors identified as best suited for the Agency’s needs.
Following the demos, our consultants requested non-binding 5-year TCO estimates and provided vendor assessments for the client in order to develop a budgetary ask. Finally, our consultants documented the Business Case and compiled all the information into a Decision Package for the Governor’s office.
Throughout the research phase of the project, MSSBTA consultants conducted weekly touchpoints with the Client Sponsor and kept both ASET and OSPB informed of progress and results.
On a tight timeline, MSSBTA delivered a comprehensive decision package to the Governor’s Office. This package documented the assessment of the existing platform against the Agency’s requirements, the gap assessment and impact analysis, and a proposed modernization roadmap. It included the thorough market research into potential solutions, a 5-year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) estimate for a replacement system, and third-party input into vendor capabilities. Finally, it documented the Business Case to transition to a new platform.
Even in a tough budgetary cycle, the Agency anticipates approval of the appropriation due to the quality of the product and the well-substantiated business case.