Elyon Strategies Case Study

Semi-Supervised Project Assessment & Platform Fit-Gap

Secretary of State
Semi-Supervised Project Assessment & Platform Fit-Gap

To Fit or Not a Fit, That was the Question.

Project Background

Elyon was tasked by a large state’s Secretary of State (SOS) to conduct a Project Assessment and Fit-Gap Analysis of a newly developed system and provide them with business, technical, and project advisory services.

The state’s statutory changes enacted by their legislature requires the disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures and state lobbying financial activity. The legislature required the SOS to reach the following two objectives:

  1. Provide greater public access to vitally important information
  2. Gradually eliminate paper filings of campaign finance and lobbying activity statements and reports

A division for political reform (Division) was established within the SOS to serve as the filing office for state-level campaigns and lobbying entities. 

The Division administers the state’s filing requirements that are set by the legislature. They conduct a wide range of program activities in order to establish compliance with reporting requirements and allow public access, distribution, and analysis of disclosed information.

The Problem 

The Division hired a systems integrator to redesign the system and the supporting processes. The Division’s user community did not have confidence that the newly designed system – which was close to being deployed – would meet their needs.

The system users and stakeholder groups identified the following three problems:

1. The system design was negatively affecting the program business operations 

  • The platform that was selected was not a good fit for the business model
  • It was doubtful that this platform could be adapted sufficiently to meet the needs of the Division

2. The business operations were at risk 

  • The original system was old and fragile, making it incredibly difficult to find staff or vendor support with the necessary skills to maintain the system’s applications. 
  • The system wasn’t well documented and couldn’t be patched or modified for improvements, including changes in legal requirements or filing processes which made it difficult to do tasks effectively and efficiently.
  • Stakeholders were concerned that the business operations could not support deployment given the current workload

3. There was limited information access and reporting capabilities

  • The system design didn’t provide a user-friendly or reliable method for staff and stakeholders to search for and find information. 
  • Data couldn’t always be retrieved in a useful manner, and could only be compiled and analyzed in small sections. 
  • The data migration to the new platform was not reliably tested to the stakeholders’ satisfaction

The system integrator was tasked with implementing the system in a highly compressed timeline to meet the legislatively mandated date. But when the system integrator missed the implementation target date twice, the Division hired Elyon to assess the project processes and conduct a fit-gap analysis of the selected technical components.

Our Solution

Elyon was charged to holistically and objectively assess the current fit of the replacement system and work closely with the SOS, Division, and various vendors to effectively evaluate the business, technical infrastructure, and project management practices. 

Elyon’s experience in providing platform assessments for various state government departments seeking to modernize legacy applications is extensive. We have determined comparative fit for platforms including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow and Pegasystems by creating a business reference model and conducting a fit for purpose analysis. Elyon’s consultants have provided applications using these platforms as well, giving our team full Solution Development Life Cycle (SDLC) experience from strategy to implementation and positioning them well to understand both the complexities and benefits of modernization efforts that use a platform-based solution.

In performing this work, we also model the project using our enterprise Maturity Readiness Index (eMRI) and ExcelerPlan tools. eMRI is an enterprise project process assessment tool, that assesses the project process capabilities versus industry best practices, value-weighted to the specific processes required for success on this project. eMRI project modeling is in terms of Key Process Areas (KPAs). 

ExcelerPlan is a benchmark-driven, system dynamic modeling framework that uses benchmark data to create a model of project success, also tailored to this project. ExcelerPlan project modeling is in terms of High-Level Objects (HLOs) and Function Point Equivalents (FPEs), which are industry standards to define application scope; plus, Other Direct Charges (ODCs), including infrastructure and licensing; Maintenance and Operations (M&O) support requirements; and project characteristics that impact efficiency. ExcelerPlan’s models are based on data from over 40,000 projects.

In developing our list of priority items for review, our criteria included:

  • Ensuring that the new system restart will result in a high-quality, maintainable system that meets the objectives of the various internal and external stakeholders
  • Maximizing value to the state by ensuring that previous work is used to the greatest extent possible and that the path forward is the most economical one in-line with the above quality-related objectives
  • Minimizing the go-forward risk. In particular, our objective is to ensure that the proposed approach is achievable with a high degree of confidence
  • Seeking opportunities with a phased approach to deliver incremental value to the new system’s users (internal and external)

Elyon provided a detailed corrective action plan and roadmap that could be easily followed and achieved for the Division.

We helped guide them forward to confidently develop a plan that would help them achieve successful completion and delivery of the new system and achieve their goals.

At the start of the project, Elyon provided the SOS with an assessment work plan that describes at a high level the planned work performed during the 3-month project assessment. We met with a core team weekly and supported communications with a weekly assessment status report of the project that included an overview of the activities accomplished and the hours worked during the reporting period. 

The assessment yielded three key deliverables:

  1. Initial Assessment Report
  2. Comprehensive Assessment Report
  3. Roadmap and Project Budget for use in a Go-Forward Strategy

The deliverables included:

  • Fit-Gap analysis of Salesforce compatibility 
  • Assessment of the technical implementation to determine whether the system developed to date is in alignment with the business and Salesforce platform capabilities, including third-party integration capabilities
  • Assessment of the data migration requirements 
  • Assessment of the system’s coverage of the stated business requirements
  • Communication and management assessment for the entire project
  • Assessment of the quality testing performed during the project
  • Project roadmap and operational roadmap that supported the overall assessment findings and summary report

The Role of AI 

To efficiently develop this analysis, Elyon used CADETSM AI to:

  • Ingest an enormous amount of information from past and current artifacts, reports, requirements and contracts.
  • Create maturity models for state and vendor capabilities.
  • Develop a fit-for-purpose model for the selected platform and evaluated that platform against the business and technical requirements.

Without the use of AI on this assessment, a large number of consultants would have had to use experiential analysis vs. a data-driven framework integration approach in the mandated timeframe.

The Result

Our assessment guides the SOS’s path for developing a remediation plan to drive towards achieving successful completion, implementation, and delivery of the replacement system. 

This plan is designed to meet or exceed the Division’s and external stakeholders’ business needs, fulfill legislative and statutory requirements, and function consistently with the legislative intent of the State’s statutory policy.


“The Division now has a comprehensive and reliable assessment of the project and the system, as well as a solid go-forward plan and roadmap to achieve their system modernization with confidence.”
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Here at Elyon, we’ve developed the ability to transform organizations through powerful processes and innovative technology. Our team helps you manage the complexities of digital transformation and overcome the struggles of long implementation cycles. 

We have the experience to execute detailed transformation projects from the foundation and planning stages through to the implementation and knowledge transfer phases.

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