• MSSBTA Staff

Case Study: Technical Debt Erased through Project Oversight

Client Detail:

The client is a higher education institution. For more than seven years MSS Business Transformation Advisory (MSSBTA) has worked with their Information Technology department to support their systems and infrastructure.

The Challenge:

The client owns and maintains a complex network of systems that integrate into a core Microsoft Identity Management System (MIM). Back office systems such as ERP applications, student application system, Gmail, domain servers, and in-house proprietary applications operate interdependently, and most of these systems operate on servers and infrastructure that are outdated, creating significant amount of technical debt that the client needed to remove. Without these critical identity services, the organization would fail to operate. A three-phase plan was created to address the project work streams:

  • Phase 1: Target systems that were unstable

  • Phase 2: Identify servers at end of life and upgrade or replace

  • Phase 3: Optimize current assets in future transformative phase

The client’s challenge was to identify which servers to upgrade, which servers to replace, how to upgrade or replace the servers without causing service disruption to any interconnected systems, and accomplish these tasks leveraging an already resource-constrained Information Technology (IT) team.

Our Solution:

MSSBTA worked with the IT team and leadership to identify and prioritize which systems fell within each phase, and the solution and upgrade plans for each phase.

As the project lead, MSSBTA provided Leadership, Governance, and Accountability for all project phases and work teams, including vendor partners and subcontractors engaged to support very specific activities and tasks in each phase. In the last phase, work was segmented and organized into separate work streams with assigned team leads to help accelerate the completion of the project.

In addition to detailed project plans, MSSBTA consultants created and maintained an executive-level roadmap throughout all project phases, providing leadership visibility into the status of all active, in-flight work.

Their Results:

The client leveraged MSSBTA’s leadership and guidance on this project to reduce their technical debt, install new systems that were robust, stable, and integrated with modern systems throughout the organization.

This project deployed a modern, optimized technology infrastructure that enables the client to focus on optimization efforts instead of firefighting and recovering from unexpected downtime. It also allowed the IT team to pivot their focus and attention to address unexpected COVID-19 demands on the organization and quickly deploy the associated process changes.


  • Project Management,

  • Prioritization, and Plans

  • Executive-level Road Map

  • Leadership, Governance, and Accountability

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