With over £1bn turnover, Softcat are one of the UK’s leading providers of technology solutions and services. Delivering IT solutions across both the public and private sector.
Speculo Consulting engage with Softcat as a major channel partner, providing consultation and professional services across multiple disciplines and engagements.
Softcat have been working with a major UK Police Force over the last 3 years to provide programme and technical support to deliver the Force Infrastructure Modernisation programme of works.
Softcat and the Police Force identified a need for Speculo Consulting to provide an Enterprise Architect to ensure that all the various streams of work are cognisant of each other and the wider impacts on the business in delivery and then in production. Achieved through reviewing the existing process and creating new enterprise architecture processes and artefacts for the Police Force to use.
It was quickly acknowledged that due to the low levels of maturity relating to Enterprise Architecture framework and governance, that implementing a full-scale framework such as TOGAF® to drive the governance, processes and artefacts was not achievable. This was simply due to the combination of a lack of maturity in this area, time and resource availability, and budget constraints.
In addition, there was a challenge regarding how to introduce even small changes to artefacts utilised across technology and the business, which would and could remain consistent, easy to follow, provide easy sight across domains and disciplines, and provide the opportunity for creation and reuse of technology standards and approaches.
A review and simplification of the high-level designs implemented, whilst broadening the scope of the low-level designs to allow for these artefacts to be used across domains and disciplines. This approach allowed for easy reviewing of designs and changes at a design and change authority level, whilst opening the scope of the low-level design to reference standardised functions, solutions and technologies documented elsewhere.
To support this approach, the introduction of standard building blocks and methods (delivery of grouped building blocks to provide a service) was key. This would allow for easy synchronisation and referencing between artefacts, whilst reduced duplication efforts.
A technology foundation area was assigned to create their high-level designs and low-level designs and provide examples of solution building blocks that were frequently used. This was created from using the ten most utilised areas of change within the Networks foundational area, which also meant every time a change involving those items was involved, providing the opportunity to create and expand on artefacts for applications and platforms involved within the change.
- Streamlined design document templates
- Alignment to Change Process framework implemented
- TOGAF® aligned building block templates and specific Police Force examples
- Roadmaps and effective process delivery to ensure continued delivery within the Police Force
- Independent due diligence, analysis & advice.
The initiative successfully delivered new high-level, low-level, and solution building block templates which can now be easily used and implemented across this Police Force. Delivery of initial high-level and low-level designs were completed for the Networks foundational area, which referenced and provided standards for ten newly created Network solution building blocks.
These solution building blocks created were directly driven from the top ten change requests allowing easy approval and review of new change requests for those items, but also now providing the driver and opportunity to begin the creation of other artefacts for applications and platforms affected by those changes that do not currently have documentation to that enterprise level.
The artefacts, templates and process provided by Speculo on behalf of Softcat has enabled this major UK Police Force to start the maturity journey towards enterprise level documentation, processes, governance, and frameworks, utilising their existing change management process. Something that has proven phenomenally successful over the last 9 months since implementation. So much so, that Softcat have engaged Speculo again, on behalf of this Police Force, to create further example solution building blocks in different foundational areas, to aid the speed of adoption, whilst provided further support and mentoring to those other areas and teams.
- Efficient design documents, at both a high and low level
- TOGAF® aligned reusable building blocks
- Supporting process for effective implementation of TOGAF® aligned framework elements
- Ongoing advice, coaching and support.