The FOCUS Methodology: A Solution-based Consulting Framework
Lydon Solutions developed the FOCUS methodology, a step-by-step approach for delivering information management solutions to our clients. Read on to find out how our FOCUS methodology helped one client ramp up their efficiency without increasing staffing or cost through the smarter application of information technology and streamlined business processes.
The construction industry is undergoing a massive shift. Information management, both the technology and the processes surrounding it, are becoming critical for project delivery. We recently had a client that was ramping up a major maintenance and repair program, and their management tasked them with executing five times the number of projects while keeping their staffing level and cost the same. A classic case of delivering more with less.
Helping this client meet their management's new goal involved more than just creating efficiencies through an improved business process. It required a holistic information management solution. We worked with the client to determine how they should collect, store, handle ownership, and report on their data while also helping them create the tools and processes required to support this new strategy.
Delivering information management solutions like the above that work starts by following an established methodology. Lydon Solutions has been developing and implementing business solutions in and around construction information management for over eleven years. To tackle the challenges our industry presents, we developed the FOCUS methodology.
What is the Lydon Solutions FOCUS Methodology?
FOCUS is our custom step-by-step methodology applicable to any process but ideal for delivering information management solutions. As with the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) approach, the FOCUS methodology is adjustable depending on the project's size, budget, and schedule. The steps, which are most effective when followed sequentially, include inputs, processes, owners, and outputs. As we complete each step, results are reviewed with the client to ensure everything is in-line with their requirements.
Here is a breakdown of the five steps in our FOCUS methodology:
- Formulate. First, we begin with fact-finding to gather high-level business requirements. This step helps us formulate the problem statement, provide a preliminary solution, and develop a rough order of magnitude (ROM) estimate and schedule.
- Organize. Once all parties understand the preliminary project scope, schedule, and budget, the next step is defining detailed requirements. Here we evaluate "as is" and "to be" business processes with the client (for more on this, see my blog post on documenting as-is processes). Taking the time to do this thorough assessment and documentation ensures that all requirements are well understood and expectations clear. At this point, we may need to revise the budget and schedule before building out the solution.
Together, the Formulate and Organize steps make up our envisioning process, which leverages our experience and a series of proven templates required to provide a business case. These templates include assets covering a project charter, risk assessment, governance, solution concepts, project staffing plans, and cost estimates. Having these deliverables enables our clients to be more confident in the successful outcome of their project. They also demonstrate to their stakeholders and senior leadership that the requested budget is realistic with minimal undefined assumptions.
- Construct. Lydon Solutions takes the outputs from the previous envisioning process and moves into building out the solution. We hold bi-weekly review meetings with the client to go over status, monitor scope, address questions, and ensure the solution development progresses efficiently. We have found the agile development approach to be the most effective way to manage the build process since it provides the most flexibility to change due to shifts in scope and definition.
- Utilize. Once we complete the development of the solution, it then needs to be implemented. Implementation is more than just handing over the finished product; it entails training, knowledge transfer, effective communications, and regular follow-up meetings to ensure the deliverables meet the client's needs.
- Support. Once we complete implementation, we establish a feedback loop with a system or a process to ensure that the solution meets the client's expectations. Doing so allows us to manage issues, questions, updates, and requests for changes in a timely and efficient fashion. Having a support channel in place is essential to the solution's ongoing success as it becomes a mainstay for a client.
So what does the FOCUS process mean for you, a potential client? In short, it means if you work with Lydon Solution, there will not be any surprises. Because we focus on solutions and have a formal delivery methodology, you will have a better idea of what exactly you are getting, for how much, and when you can expect it.
Find out how Lydon Solutions can help your organization
Lydon Solutions has been delivering customized and compelling solutions for our clients since its founding in 2009. From integrating a range of technologies and solutions to providing rock-solid hosting in Microsoft Azure, all the way through to the development of our own React-based Construction Viz apps for Microsoft 365 and SharePoint, we strive to provide the best advice, direction, and strategy at every turn. We do not just do IT; we provide information management solutions. Our team knows the construction industry. We have boots on the ground, a can-do attitude to tackle big challenges and a commitment to delivering world-class solutions.
Let us help your organization take your construction project management to the next level. Schedule your free consultation today.